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Sri Lanka Issues Decree Banning All Forms of Face Covering

The Sri Lankan government on Sunday issued a decree banning burqas and other face-covering garments from Monday, in light of the Easter Sunday attacks, which were carried out by a local cell that pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.

“Wearing garments that cover the face completely will be banned from tomorrow, to ensure public safety, “ the presidential decree reads. 

The move comes just days after a parliamentarian submitted a Private Member’s Motion to ban the burqa on security grounds. MP Ashu Marasinghe had said that the garment was "not a traditional Muslim attire".

Another organisation of Muslim clerics named All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) had also issued a call asking women to avoid covering their faces with a niqab so security forces aren’t hindered “in their efforts to maintain national security”, reports said earlier. 

Following this, reports had alleged that PM Ranil Wickremesinghe might reject the proposed ban. The Prime Minister in a statement today, however, rubbished the claims and said that the ban will be discussed with the Minister of Justice, according to a report by News outlet ColomboPage.

253 people were killed and over 500 injured in the blasts, which ripped through eight locations of the island country. Then on Friday night, atleast 15 people including six children were killed during police raids on suspected safe houses.

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