Sri Lanka: Parliamentary oversight committee recommends ban on face-covering attire

In Sri Lanka, a parliamentary oversight committee has recommended ban on face-covering attire including burqa and to suspend the registration of political parties on ethnic and religious basis. The sectoral oversight committee on National security made the suggestions in a special report presented to the Parliament offering solutions to 14 controversial issues following the Easter attacks.

The report points out that currently many countries have banned the burqa and that the ISIS headquarters in Syria too banned the attire on September 5, 2019. It suggests that the police should have the authority to arrest any person who is willing to uncover their face at a public place when needed to establish identity. The report also called that all students studying in madrasas institutions should be absorbed into the normal school system within a period of three years.

The report contains recommendations on 14 areas including formulating a National Security Policy addressing the challenges of possible future terrorist attacks, amending Immigration and Emigration Law, monitoring of electronic, print & social media, amending the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act, empowering the Muslim civil society, establishing dhamma schools to ensure inter-religious harmony and regulating of madrasas curriculum. The committee was set up following Easter Sunday attacks last year in which over 260 people were killed. 

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