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Sri Lanka Bans All Facial Covering From April 29 In The Wake Of Serial Blasts

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Published:

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  • Defence sources said that a number of female accomplices of incidents in Dematagoda too had escaped wearing burqas, the report said.
  • Forty suspects, including the driver of a van allegedly used by the suicide bombers, have been arrested in connection with the multiple attack.

In the aftermath of eight string of blasts that shook Sri Lanka's Colombo, the country has called to ban all facial coverings, that comes into effect from Monday. 

The decision was taken after citing burqas to be a 'security risk and a flag of fundamentalism' 

"President Maithripala Sirisena took this decision to further support the ongoing security and help the armed forces to easily identify the identity of any wanted perpetrators," according to a press note from the Sri Lankan president's office.

The country remains on high alert following the terror attack

It was reported on April 23 that the Sri Lankan government is planning to implement the move in consultation with the mosque authorities, the Daily Mirror reported quoting sources.

"The government, he said (source), is planning to implement the move in consultation with the mosque authorities and on Monday several ministers had spoken to President Maithripala Sirisena on the matter," the paper reported the source as saying. 

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It has been pointed out that burqa and niqab were never part of the traditional attire of Muslim women in Sri Lanka until the Gulf War in the early 1990s which saw extremist elements introducing the garb to Muslim women.

Defence sources said that a number of female accomplices of incidents in Dematagoda too had escaped wearing burqas, the report said.

A string of powerful blasts, suspected to be carried on by National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) jihadist group, ripped through three churches and as many luxury hotels frequented by foreigners in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing 253 people and injuring more than 500 others, shattering a decade of peace in the country following the end of the brutal civil war with the LTTE.

The bombs tore through three five-star hotels in Colombo: the Cinnamon Grand, the Shangri La and the Kingsbury. At least 38 foreigners, including 10 Indian nationals, have died in the attacks.

READ| Refugees, Asylum Seekers Harassed In Sri Lanka After Easter Sunday Blasts

Forty suspects, including the driver of a van allegedly used by the suicide bombers, have been arrested in connection with the multiple attack.

Sri Lanka adopting the burqa ban, now joins the group of nations in Asia, Africa, and Europe that have done so in the interest of preventing terrorists from using the burqa to evade police or hide explosives. 

Among the nations that have enacted a ban on the item are Chad, Cameroon, Gabon, Morocco, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Belgium, and Xinjiang, a Muslim-majority province in northwestern China, the paper reported. 

(With PTI inputs) 

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