Pakistan's High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Saad Khattak on March 15, 2021, intervened in the internal affairs of the country and commented on the ban on wearing burqa and niqab in the country, and the imposition of strict regulation on unregulated Islamic schools.
Khattak took to his official Twitter handle and wrote, "The ban on the niqab in Sri Lanka is hurting the feelings of ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims and Muslims around the world."
Sri Lankan Minister of Public Security Sarath Weerasekara had on Saturday asserted that a ban would be put on full-face covering worn by Muslim women. Reasoning the ban on the burqa, he had said," The burqa has a direct impact on national security. In our early days, we had a lot of Muslim friends, but Muslim women and girls never wore the burqa." Calling it a sign of religious extremism, he vowed to ban it.
However, the Foreign Secretary of the country Jayanath Colombage went on to call it 'just a proposal' and said no decision has yet been taken in relation to the ban.
As per reports, the Parliament will have a discussion on the ban, after which voting will take place, and if maximum parliamentarians vote for the ban, Sri Lanka will be one of the handful of non-muslim countries where the piece of clothing will be banned.
In 2010, when France had barred Muslim women from wearing anything that covered their faces and heads, the United Nations Human Rights Committee had opined that the ban imposed was a direct violation of human rights but the ban persisted and even branched out to other Europen nations, including Belgium, Bulgaria among others.
Similar demands keep coming up every once in a while even in the United Kingdom.
The proposal to ban the burqa came right ahead of the 2nd anniversary of the Easter Sunday attacks, which comprised six suicide attacks at churches and hotels in Colombo and led to the death of approximately 260 people. A Presidential Commission was set up to investigate the attack, and that committee submitted the report, which was studied by cabinet ministers and thereafter, a ban on the burqa and the shutting of almost 1,00 madras were proposed.
(Inputs from ANI)