Sri Lanka Cremates Muslim Coronavirus Victims, Cites High Groundwater Level In The Island Nation

The Sri Lankan Government is cremating bodies of Muslims who tested positive for Coronavirus citing the high groundwater level in the country.

The Island nation has gone ahead with this move despite protests from the Muslim community and an advisory in this regard from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Sri Lanka was among the first few countries that defied the WHO advisory to not block entry of Chinese when Covid-19 was in its early stages.

Sri Lanka’s Health Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi that “the corpse of a person who has died or is suspected to have died, of… COVID-19 shall be cremated.”

Sri Lankan officials justify the move to cremate the bodies of those testing positive for Coronavirus citing the high groundwater level. They say that the groundwater levels are high and that heightens the risk of the infection spreading.

In Sri Lanka, 218 have tested positive for Coronavirus with seven deaths. Three of the seven deceased were Muslims. While 152 persons have been admitted to hospitals, 59 have recovered.

Though the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and some human rights organisations have protested and criticised the move, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha has said that his Government would act looking at the bigger picture.

Sri Lanka Health Services Director General Anil Jaisinghe said the island nation would take into consideration the impact on the entire society while cremating the corpses.

Philadelphia Missionary Holds Tablighi Jamaat-Like Mass

In a related development, Sri Lanka saw an almost Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Jaffna in its Northern Province being held by a Philadephia Missionary Church last month.

However, timely action by the authorities helped avert any major outbreak of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in that Island country.

India TV that Paul Satkunarajah, the pastor, called for a mass to help tackle the spread of the pandemic virus. He then hugged and kissed all those who attended the congregation.

He later tested positive for Coronavirus but fled to Switzerland. Then, the Sri Lanka Government quarantined all the 240 people who attended the mass.

At least seven of them were found infected with Covid-19. The rest, who initially tested negative, have now tested positive for the pandemic virus.

Many villages in all five districts in the Northern Province have been made a buffer zone by the Sri Lankan Government.

According to Dr Maravanpulavu Sachithananthan, a scholar and founder of Siva Senai that advocates for the rights of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Hindus, the Sri Lankan Government now views the influx of evangelist missionaries as a threat.

Sachithananthan, a former United Nations advisor, says the Rajapaksha Government in Sri Lanka has handled the situation efficiently.

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