Sri Lankan government is planning to ban 'burqa', a body covering piece of clothing worn by Muslim women as a part of Islam teachings, and about 100 madrassas (Islam teaching schools), said a Union Minister on Saturday. Minister for public security Sarath Weerasekera said the move, which is likely to impact the country's minority population, is being taken on the grounds of "national security", a news report said.
Wanseekra while addressing a press conference told that he had already signed a paper for cabinet approval to ban the 'full face covering' worn by some Muslim women.
Calling burqa a sign of religious extremism, Wanseekra further said, "Muslim women and girls never wore the burqa in our early days It came about recently. We are definitely going to ban it," quoted Reuters.
Notably, this is not the first time Sri Lankan government took an action against the practice of wearing burqa. In 2019, the majority-Buddhist nation temporarily banned the practice at the backdrop of Islamic bombings in churches and hotels that killed more than 250.
However, as far as shutting downs the madrassas are concerned, Weerasekera said that the government's move against the Islamic schools is because they were flouting national education policy.
The banning of burqas and closing of schools comes after the Sri Lankan government last year mandated the cremation of COVID-19 victims, a practice against the Islam which calls for burying the dead body.
This order, however, was lifted after massive criticism from the United States and international rights groups.