Facebook icon
Twitter icon
e-mail icon

Buddhist festival to go ahead in Jaffna despite rising coronavirus infections

State celebrations of the Buddhist festival of Wesak, a national holiday in Sri Lanka, will go ahead on the Jaffna island of Nainathivu as planned, despite rising coronavirus infections and restrictions across the North-East.

At a press meet about the increasing risks of COVID-19 Jaffna District Secretary K. Mahesan said that he had not been instructed to cancel the festivities.

When pressed by journalists as to how the festival could go ahead when Sri Lanka’s Army Commander who heads the pandemic task force, Shavendra Silva, had declared the next three weeks as a precautionary period to avoid travel and festivities or functions, the District Secretary said that Wesak festivities would take place following health regulations and with limited numbers.

The state festivities are planned to last a week from May 23 to 28, with special events taking place on May 24.

Tamil groups have questioned the exemption of coronavirus restrictions for a Sinhala Buddhist festival, when Tamil holidays, protests and memorials have faced crackdowns throughout the pandemic.

We need your support

Sri Lanka is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a journalist. Tamil journalists are particularly at threat, with at least 41 media workers known to have been killed by the Sri Lankan state or its paramilitaries during and after the armed conflict.

Despite the risks, our team on the ground remain committed to providing detailed and accurate reporting of developments in the Tamil homeland, across the island and around the world, as well as providing expert analysis and insight from the Tamil point of view

We need your support in keeping our journalism going. Support our work today.