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'COVID should not cost us our compassion and respect for another’s beliefs' - US Ambassador, Alaina B. Teplitz

US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Alaina B. Teplitz, has criticised Sri Lanka’s policy of forced cremations stating that COVID “should not cost us our compassion and respect for another’s beliefs”.

This comes as there is growing international condemnation of Sri Lanka’s policy, as Human Rights Watch notes that their “baseless public health claims” have been used as a “smokescreen for persecuting a minority”. Human Rights Watch has further condemned the denial of burial rights stating that the policy was “causing intense distress, stoking communal hatred, and is without any scientific basis”.

Read more here: HRW urges international action ahead of UNHRC session

Teplitz full statement reads:

“Ratified by Sri Lanka in 1955, UDHR Article 18 states that everyone has the right to manifest their religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, & observance. COVID created global challenges, but it should not cost us our compassion and respect for another’s beliefs. We stand with all families who’ve lost loved ones to this pandemic. Their rights and dignity should be respected by permitting the observance of their faith in accordance with international public health guidelines”.

See her statement here.

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