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Burka ban: No decision yet says Keheliya

ECONOMYNEXT- Discussions are still underway about the decision to ban the wearing of the Burka and the Niqab in Sri Lanka, said Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said.

Speaking to reporters this morning at the cabinet briefing, he said that recent cultural changes associated with the Burka in the Muslim community have created the opinion that it would affect national security not only in Sri Lanka but in the entire world.

“The discussions are still going on about it, moreover we have come to the opinion that we should take time without suddenly implementing it,” he said.

Keheliya said that what the subject minister presented was that he hopes to take actions about it, “but we should create an open debate on the decision about the time period to implement it,” he said.

Further, he said that this decision by the government does not have any connection with the Geneva Human Rights Council sessions and the decision was based on an internal security matter.

“This not only internal but external also there are enough and more countries sees this as a security threat, We will be moving forward on the basis of national security nothing else,” the Minister said.

“It requires time as it is a sort of a serious decision, so when you make those decisions we need consultation and consensus,” he added.

Minister for Public Security Sarath Weerasekera signed a paper last Friday for cabinet approval to ban burkas on “national security” grounds.

“In our early day’s Muslim women and girls never wore the burka,” he said in a press conference on Saturday, “It is a sign of religious extremism that came about recently. We are definitely going to ban it,” he added. (Colombo/Mar16/2021)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe

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