November 12, 2020

Burial of corona victims: Sabry denies giving assurance to CTJ

Burial of corona victims: Sabry denies giving assurance to CTJ

By Dilshan NadeeraNovember 12, 2020

…guidelines pertaining to final rites intact

by Shamindra Ferdinando

Justice Minister Ali Sabry, PC, yesterday (11) denied having given any assurance to the Ceylon Thowheed Jamaat (CTJ) as regards resumption of burial of Muslim corona victims.

Asked whether Sabry, in his capacity as the Justice Minister gave an assurance to the CTJ, the National List MP said: “Not at all. I never gave such an assurance.”

The Island sought a clarification from Minister Sabry against the backdrop of a fresh controversy over the push to have health guidelines pertaining to final rites of corona victims amended.

General Secretary of the CTJ R. Abdul Razik on Monday (9) on its FB page thanked President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Justice Minister Sabry for having allowed the Muslim community to bury its members dying of COVID-19.

Razik said that the Sri Lankan Muslim community really appreciated the government taking into consideration the feelings of minorities.

Responding to The Island query, Minister Sabry said he had made it clear to all concerned, both in and out of parliament, that there were many who sought permission to bury Muslim corona victims in terms of WHO regulations. Minister Sabry said that he urged all parties to the issue to be patient and not to politicize the issue. “Protests and bids to attract international attention will make it worse,” the President’s Counsel said, revealing those who requested for burials to resume were planning to launch a protest campaign. Minister Sabry explained the rationale at a recent state sponsored religious event at Kollupitiya.

The Island

also raised the issue with Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, State Minister of Prisons Reforms and Prisoners’ Rehabilitation, who emphasised thatall communities should fully comply with the Sri Lankan law. State Minister Fernandopulle pointed out that only those who died of corona were cremated in line with specific health guidelines. The State Minister said that when cremation of Muslims was raised recently in parliament by SJB lawmaker Mujibur Rahman, she explained only corona victims were cremated. “We (Catholics) also have an issue with cremation. But, the Church never expressed concerns. Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith assured the Catholics would obey the law during pandemic.

State Minister Fernandopulle asserted that deviation from the current health strategy could sharply increase the threat posed by the epidemic.

Health Ministry spokesperson Dr. Jayaruwan Bandara told The Island yesterday that the final decision as regards health guidelines pertaining to corona would be taken by Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Dr. Asela Gunawardena. Dr. Bandara said that as far as he was concerned there hadn’t been any change in that regard.

DGHS Dr. Asela Gunawardena yesterday afternoon told The Island that health guidelines that dealt with final rites of corona victims remained intact. He said decisions were taken based on expert advice and relevant data.

Ven. Jamburewela Chandraratna thera of Mahajana Yuthukam Kendraya, in a letter dated Nov 11, 2020 addressed to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa urged the government not to give in to political pressure. The Ven thera said that the SLPP received two overwhelming mandates in Nov 2019 and August 2020 to thwart extremism, terrorism and fundamentalism. The thera questioned the basis for a section of the community to demand special status whereas the Sinhala Buddhists, Sinhala Catholics and the Tamil community accepted government health directives without causing any issue. The civil society group also questioned the role played by Justice Minister Ali Sabry in the ongoing project.

When The Island raised the issue with Dr. Deepika Udugama, who was the Chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) during the first corona eruption she said the government should have consulted the Muslim community as regards its decision to cremate covid-19 victims. HRCSL sent us the following statement in response to The Island query on the HRCSL position on the government policy on disposal of bodies of Covid-19 victims: “The Commission is of the view that if the government wished to move away from the WHO regulation as well as its own previous regulation which permitted both cremation and burials for Covid-19 victims, the government should have consulted leaders of the Muslim community including medical professionals and scientists of the faith. This would have dealt with religious sensitivities in a participatory manner.

“The commission recognizes that at a moment of unprecedented health crisis like that at present, views of the public health specialists and other relevant scientists must prevail in the interest of all. However, when cultural or religious sensitivities are involved, the proper path is to dialogue with the particular community concerned so that a final decision is taken in a consultative manner. It is also important to communicate the final decision to the public explaining reasons for it so as to win public confidence and minimize tensions.”

3 கருத்துரைகள்:

CTJ does not need to thank anybody on behalf of Muslims because they represent their own salafi sect. They consider all the Muslims are Mushrik who are not following salafi sect.
CTJ should be banned before another bomb attack because Sahran (NTJ) and CTJ are same ideology but different only names.

Correct Misinformation in a Press Release by the person did the pres release. If he can understand the severity of his statement. If he not motivated by someone to do the media statement.

It is politics. They cant prove scientifically

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