Tuesday July 16, 2019

Sri Lanka bans burqa, niqab face coverings under emergency law

Apr 28, 2019 23:08 PM GMT+0530 | 7 Comment(s)


ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has banned face coverings, invoking emergency law, his office said, effectively outlawing attire like niqab and burqa following suicide attacks on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.

President Sirisena said the regulation will come into effect from April 29.

Any face coverings which can be a threat to national or public security, and make it difficult to indentify persons will be banned, the statement said.

During Sri Lanka's long-running civil war, full face helments which cover the chin were also banned, though activists went to court against the move after the war ended. They said full face helmets improved the safety of riders.

It was not immediately clear how the emergency regulation will affect full face helmets. The statement did not make any distinction on face coverings and referred to a standard law.

Most Muslim women of Sri Lankan origin wear the saree, Western dress and other attire similar to the hijab, which leave the face uncovered.

But covered faces had become more common in recent years.

Following Easter Sunday attacks by extreme Islamists, there had been increasing calls for the burqa to be banned, though the suicide bombers themselves were men with uncovered faces. Those caught on camera were shown wearing Western dress.

However, the police had published pictures of several wanted women. These women did not have their faces covered.

The office of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said in a statement earlier in the day, that he had asked the Justice Minister to prepare laws after consulting the Muslim community since Sri Lanka's main organization had passed a resolution endorsing such a ban. (Colombo/Apr27/2019-SB)



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  1. M Yusoof April 29, 02:25 AM

    The ban is fair. How can anyone be identified with the face closed? As Omar says face covering was not their 2 decades ago.

  2. Sanjaya Prasad April 29, 12:59 PM

    All peace loving community would welcome this move and authorities should look at madrasa and other institutions too. There should not be extremisms of any kind whether it is from Islam, Buddhist, Hindu or Christianity. One law should prevail and every one should be punished if they done any thing wrong.

  3. F OMAR April 29, 12:00 PM

    The ban on burkas and face cover is most welcome.This ban should be permanent. We never had women covering their face 10 to 15 years, ago why now?Safety and security of people is TOP priority and all communities must support the Forces who are risking their lives for our safety and are doing an excellent job of finding all the culprits.

  4. Dave de Alwis April 29, 10:50 AM

    Mohammed Akram, Hijab has not been banned. dont talk about fairness..if are not comfortable, always you have a choice to leave the country. In Sri Lanka, hundreds of years, Muslims and other races lived peacefully. Those Islamic extremists try to destroy everything.

  5. Yosuf April 29, 08:46 AM

    Majority of muslims will welcome this ban of Burqa and Niqab. It doesn't suit our Sri lankan culture. Even the black dress can be changed to other light colours. Let the ban stay permanently.Time for a change

  6. sacre blieu April 29, 08:47 AM

    What will the members of those foreigners who .lost their loved ones due. Will they be satisfied with the compensation by the government or sue the government for their loss.

  7. Mohammad Akram April 29, 12:07 PM

    To whom it may concernYes sir we all saw the published videos yes it was a man that made the suicide attack, his looks was just like a normal man and it doesn't mean that he was a Muslim, but if we assume that he was a Muslim, it doesn't mean they were all Muslims and you cannot say extreme Islamists because there is no such thing like extreme Islamists, there is no extremism in Islam.And for this supposed reason banning the hijab is not good, it's not fair.

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