The Government of Sri Lanka(GoSL), withdraws the option which was available under Public Health Guidelines to allow the burial of the deceased Covid19 victims,  which adversely affects the religious rights of the Muslim Community of Sri Lanka. This adverse decision was taken contrary to the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) relating to the disposal of bodies affected by the Corona Virus, which are being followed by many countries, including United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, Israel, Malaysia, Iran and Italy. In the absence of any scientific evidence of spread of disease after the body has been sealed in a body bag from respiratory or gastrointestinal fluids (and therefore there is no difference in cremation or burial with regard to spreading of the virus), this decision appear to be taken on other considerations. This will continue to  cause much anxiety and anguish to the affected Muslim families in particular and the community in general.  The GoSL should therefore reconsider reintroducing the amendment to provide the burial option too with strict conditions to avoid infection spread, as provided in the WHO guidelines, in addition to the cremation option.

(Please let us know if anything missing or to be added on this timeline. Whatsapp: +447401018964 OR mail@prgsrilanka.org)

COVID-19 Related Incidents, News & Other Activities in Sri Lanka

2021
15/01/2021
14/01/2021
12/01/2021
11/01/2021
09/01/2021
08/01/2021

IBAHRI condemns forced cremations of Muslim COVID-19 victims

The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) condemns the forced cremations, in violation of..Read More

04/01/2021

Burial of the Dead is an Integral Part of a Muslim’s Belief

https://www.prgsrilanka.org/burial-of-the-dead-is-an-integral-part-of-a-muslims-belief/

02/01/2021
02/01/2021

Cremation Vs Burial: Expert Panel Revises Recommendation To Include Both Cremation And Burial Of COVID-19 Dead Bodies

Cremation Vs. Burial: Expert Panel Revises Recommendation To Include Both Cremation And Burial Of COVID-19..Read More

01/01/2021

Appeal to End Forced Cremation of Covid-19 Victims in Sri Lanka

Australian Advocacy for Good Governance in Sri Lanka

01/01/2021
2020
31/12/2020
30/12/2020

The Muslim Council of Britain to launch legal action against Sri Lankan government’s ‘forced cremations’

https://www.prgsrilanka.org/the-muslim-council-of-britain-to-launch-legal-action-against-sri-lankan-governments-forced-cremations/

28/12/2020

Watch our show: Sri Lanka Forced Cremation

Mujahid Talks with Imam Malik Mujahid in conversation with Sir Iqbal Sacranie – Senior Advisor..Read More

28/12/2020
28/12/2020

Contentious ‘Forced Cremation’ Issue: Danger Of Muslim Emotions Being Exploited!

https://www.prgsrilanka.org/contentious-forced-cremation-issue-danger-of-muslim-emotions-being-exploited/

27/12/2020

Survival of Coronaviruses in Water and Wastewater

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7091381/

27/12/2020

Health Ministry reiterates position on Covid-19 cremation

Health Ministry reiterates position on Covid-19 cremation

Ministry of Health in a statement says all those who have died due to COVID..Read More

26/12/2020

Covid-19: Sri Lanka forcibly cremates Muslim baby sparking anger

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-55359285

26/12/2020

Maldives: Discourse over burying Sri Lankan Covid dead turns Islamic

Maldives: Discourse over burying Sri Lankan Covid dead turns Islamic

26/12/2020
25/12/2020

Muslims are being forcefully cremated – British Muslim TV

Muslims are being forcefully cremated ⚠️ The Sri Lankan 🇱🇰 government is forcing those who..Read More

24/12/2020
24/12/2020

Letter from Muslim doctors to Sri Lanka

FIMA President Prof. Dr. M. İhsan Karaman explained that FIMA (Federation of Islamic Medical Associations),..Read More

23/12/2020
19/12/2020
18/12/2020

Outrage over forced cremation of Muslim Covid victims in Sri Lanka

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/asia/sri-lanka-muslim-covid-burial-cremation-b1776201.html

16/12/2020
16/12/2020

Maldives COVID burial plan ‘will marginalise Sri Lankan Muslims’

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/12/16/maldives-marginalising-sri-lanka-muslims-with-covid-burial-plan

15/12/2020
14/12/2020

Forced cremations of Muslim Covid-19 victims cause outrage in Sri Lanka

https://www.trtworld.com/asia/forced-cremations-of-muslim-covid-19-victims-cause-outrage-in-sri-lanka-42356

13/12/2020

Sri Lanka’s Anglican Church condemns human rights violations

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/201213/news/sri-lankas-anglican-church-condemns-human-rights-violations

12/12/2020

Universal Human Rights Council – Statement on Forced Cremation in London Protest

We are gathered here today to express our anger, horror and disgust about the most..Read More

12/12/2020

London Protest Against Forced Cremations in Sri Lanka

https://www.prgsrilanka.org/uk-protest-against-forced-cremations

12/12/2020

MCB Statement on forced cremations of Muslims who have died of COVID19 in Sri Lanka

MCB Statement on forced cremations of Muslims who have died of COVID19 in Sri Lanka

11/12/2020
11/12/2020

A statement on Forced Cremation in Sri Lanka

“I’d rather die on my feet, than live on my knees” said the Mexican revolutionary..Read More

10/12/2020

Anger over forced cremation of virus victims in Sri Lanka

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/anger-over-forced-cremation-of-virus-victims-in-sri-lanka

09/12/2020
09/12/2020

There were no virologists in the committees set up – Prof Vitharana

http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/There-were-no-virologists-in-the-committees-set-up-Prof-Vitharana

08/12/2020
07/12/2020
05/12/2020
04/12/2020
04/12/2020
04/12/2020

Muslims in Sri Lanka ‘denied justice’ over forced cremations of Covid victims

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/04/muslims-sri-lanka-justice-forced-cremations-covid-victims

04/12/2020
03/12/2020
03/12/2020

Dr Nihal Abeysinghe regarding forced cremation

Dr Nihal Abeysinghe, former government chief virologist and epidemiologist in talk with Chamudiththa He clearly..Read More

03/12/2020

We Will Continue To Struggle For Justice And The Right To Bury Our Dead: Civil Society Organizations

We Will Continue To Struggle For Justice And The Right To Bury Our Dead: Civil..Read More

02/12/2020

Sri Lanka SC rejects petitions against COVID-19 cremation

https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/sri-lanka-sc-rejects-petitions-against-covid-19-cremation/article33234058.ece

30/11/2020

Forced cremation of bodies of pandemic casualties must stop

https://asiapacific.gchumanrights.org/2020/11/30/sri-lanka-forced-cremation-of-bodies-of-pandemic-casualties

26/11/2020
26/11/2020
25/11/2020
19/11/2020
18/11/2020
17/11/2020
07/07/2020
18/05/2020

Sri Lankan Officials Stoke Covid-19 Communal Hate – Human Rights Watch

https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/05/18/sri-lankan-officials-stoke-covid-19-communal-hate

17/05/2020

Malaysian Muslim organisation calls on Sri Lanka to approve Islamic practice

Malaysian Muslim organisation calls on Sri Lanka to approve Islamic practice

15/05/2020
14/05/2020
14/05/2020

Compulsory cremation: A nightmare for Sri Lanka’s Muslims – By Lukman Harees

The World Health Organization says burials are safe for Covid-19 victims. So why is Sri..Read More

14/05/2020
13/05/2020

5th Muslim victim’s body was cremated forcefully

5th Muslim victim’s body was cremated forcefully

Name: Abdul Hameed mohamed Rafaideen Age: 64 years Last Address: Neth Sevana Housing Complex,  Thotalanga...Read More

12/05/2020

No issue with cremating COVID-19 dead: Archdiocese

No issue with cremating COVID-19 dead: Archdiocese

http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/No-issue-with-cremating-COVID-19-dead-Archdiocese/108-188143

12/05/2020

Journalist Asiff Hussein sent an open letter to Dr Anil Jasinghe

Journalist Asiff Hussein sent an open letter to Dr Anil Jasinghe

Dear Dr.Anil Jasinghe It is with much sadness that I write this to you, all..Read More

11/05/2020

Sri Lanka: Muslims face extra threat as coronavirus stirs hate

Sri Lanka makes cremations compulsory for COVID-19 victims, but Muslims and activists urge authorities to..Read More

11/05/2020

Rights petition filed against cremation of COVID-19 victims

A Fundamental Rights violation petition was filed yesterday, challenging the Gazette notification that a body..Read More

10/05/2020

Corpses Of Coronavirus Patients Can’t Be Infectious, So Cremation Not Necessary, Says WHO

Corpses Of Coronavirus Patients Can’t Be Infectious, So Cremation Not Necessary, Says WHO

09/05/2020
09/05/2020
09/05/2020

Muslim Burial Rights: An Open Letter To The President Of Sri Lanka – By Mass L Usuf

Muslim Burial Rights: An Open Letter To The President Of Sri Lanka – By Mass..Read More

09/05/2020

Dr Ruvaiz Haniffa’s Message

Government and its leaders should immediately stop harassing the Muslim community in the country, this..Read More

09/05/2020

The tragic circumstances and horrific treatment of the family of the deceased from Modara, who was misdiagnosed for COVID19

The tragic circumstances and horrific treatment of the family of the deceased from Modara, who was misdiagnosed for COVID19

The tragic circumstances and horrific treatment of the family of the deceased from Modara, who..Read More

09/05/2020
08/05/2020

Sri lanka – Only country in the world Forcibly cremating Muslim Covid-19 victims – By Latheef Farook

The situation in the island today is that Sri Lanka is the only country in..Read More

08/05/2020
08/05/2020
08/05/2020
07/05/2020

ACJU Clarification on the ambiguity on burying the ashes of a Muslim who succumbed to COVID-19 and request to reverse the stance by permitting burial

https://acju.lk/en/news/acju-news/item/1935-clarification-on-the-ambiguity-on-burying-the-ashes-of-a-muslim-who-succumbed-to-covid-19-and-request-to-reverse-the-stance-by-permitting-burial

07/05/2020

Sri Lanka lab technologists warn COVID19 tests flawed, cremated body not COVID19 related

Muslim death, cremated The ‘9th coronavirus fatality’ in Sri Lanka which occurred on Tuesday could..Read More

06/05/2020
06/05/2020
05/05/2020

A Muslim victim of COVID19 cremated against the wishes of her family

A Muslim victim of COVID19 cremated against the wishes of her family. And also obtained..Read More

05/05/2020
05/05/2020
04/05/2020
03/05/2020

Signature campaigns against forced creamtion

https://www.change.org/p/sri-lanka-government-don-t-cremate-the-covid19-affected-sri-lankan-muslim-bodies-instead-please-bury-them https://www.change.org/p/justin-trudeau-sri-lanka-becomes-the-only-country-in-the-world-to-forcibly-cremate-victims-of-covid-19 https://www.change.org/p/sri-lankan-government-stop-forced-covid-19-patient-cremations-in-sri-lanka https://www.change.org/p/sri-lank-stop-cremating-deceased-s-body-without-first-consulting-family-to-obtain-consent https://www.change.org/p/don-t-cremate-the-covid19-affected-sri-lankan-muslim-bodies-instead-please-bury-them-don-t-cremate-the-covid19-affected-sri-lankan-muslim-bodies-instead-please-bury-them https://www.change.org/p/united-nations-retain-the-right-of-covid-19-victims-of-religious-minorities-in-sri-lanka

30/04/2020
15/04/2020

Small fear whether the dead bodies with the virus can be used as biological weapons – Dr. Channa Perera tells BBC

https://english.theleader.lk/news/690-small-fear-whether-the-dead-bodies-with-the-virus-can-be-used-as-biological-weapons-dr-channa-perera-tells-bbc

15/04/2020
13/04/2020

Sri Lanka ignores Muslim protests, forces cremation for coronavirus victims – TRT World

Sri Lanka ignores Muslim protests, forces cremation for coronavirus victims – TRT World

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/sri-lanka-ignores-muslim-protests-forces-cremation-for-coronavirus-victims-35373

12/04/2020

Sri Lanka makes cremation compulsary for Covid-19 deaths – The Times of India

Sri Lanka makes cremation compulsary for Covid-19 deaths – The Times of India

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/sri-lanka-makes-cremation-compulsory-for-covid-19-deaths/articleshow/75109273.cms

11/04/2020

Sri Lankan Government made cremation compulsaory for all victims of the virus, becoming the only country in the world to do so

Sri Lankan Government made cremation compulsaory for all victims of the virus, becoming the only country in the world to do so

Sri Lankan Government made cremation compulsaory for all victims of the virus, becoming the only..Read More

10/04/2020
10/04/2020
10/04/2020
10/04/2020

Burial vs cremation seen in the context of the viral threat – NewsIn Asia

Burial vs cremation seen in the context of the viral threat – NewsIn Asia

https://newsin.asia/burial-vs-cremation-seen-in-the-context-of-the-viral-threat/

09/04/2020
08/04/2020
08/04/2020
07/04/2020
06/04/2020

Sinhalese popstar Iraj Weeraratne, shared a false claim on Twitter that the ruler of Sharjah had banned burials in his emirate

Sinhalese popstar Iraj Weeraratne, shared a false claim on Twitter that the ruler of Sharjah had banned burials in his emirate

The pick-up from local Sri Lankan media and hardline Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalists was so extensive that..Read More

05/04/2020

Virus burial prevention move shocks Muslims

https://www.pressreader.com/sri-lanka/sunday-times-sri-lanka/20200405/281582357740946

04/04/2020
04/04/2020
03/04/2020

Misleading claim circulates that Muslims ignored COVID-19 curfew at Sri Lankan mosque

Misleading claim circulates that Muslims ignored COVID-19 curfew at Sri Lankan mosque

A claim has been shared on Facebook and several Sri Lankan news websites that Muslims..Read More

03/04/2020
03/04/2020
31/03/2020
31/03/2020
31/03/2020
31/03/2020
31/03/2020
30/03/2020

First Muslim COVID-19 victim died. The body was cremated without the consent of his next of kin or family

First Muslim Covid19 victim died and cremated without the consent of his next of kin..Read More

27/03/2020
11/03/2020

The first Sri Lankan infected with COVID-19 was identified

https://www.garda.com/crisis24/news-alerts/321466/sri-lanka-first-locally-transmitted-covid-19-case-march-11-update-3

10/03/2020

Reference Articles

WHO  guidelines https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance/infection-prevention-and-control UK amends emergency Coronavirus legislation https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/03/23/emergency-coronavirus-legislation-altered-muslim-jewish-communities/   Singapore  https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/bodies-of-covid-19-patients-to-be-handled-according-to-strict-protocols-which-include  India  https://www.indiatoday.in/information/story/coronavirus-death-india-how-handle-covid-19-dead-bodies-1657799-2020-03-20 Iran  https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-18/coronavirus-deaths-in-iran-lead-to-mass-burial-pits-for-victims-families-it-is-changing-the-way-they-mourn ..Read More