Sri Lanka’s former president Chandrika Kumaratunga has called for a ban on madrasas, or Islamic schools, on the island, claiming that they teach “extremism” to children.
Speaking at an all party-all faith conference held at Sri Lanka’s parliament last week, Kumaratunga said she was concerned as she had “been told that some Muslim children who were studying at Ladies College have left that school and had joined a Madarasa school”.
She went on to state,
“Madarasa schools have been existing in Sri Lanka for the last ten years. Children are taught extremism in these schools. I informed about these to the present regime as well but no action was taken.”
Her call for a ban on the Islamic schools came just days before the Sri Lankan president announced that full face coverings, which make up part of traditional Muslim attire for some women, were to be banned.
Kumaratunga was Sri Lanka’s president from 1994 until 2005. Her tenure in office was marred by the bombing of churches, schools and the massive military invasion of Jaffna, killing countless Tamil civilians.