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‘A purely racist measure’ - Sumanthiran launches Supreme Court challenge against forced cremation

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and lawyer MA Sumanthiran is challenging in the Supreme Court Sri Lanka’s policy of forced cremation of COVID-19 victims’ bodies.

Commenting on the policy to ABC News on Monday, he said that “it has been terrible for the families [...] they know that this is being done not on account of any bona fide belief that this is necessary for health, but purely as a racist measure.”

In December, the Supreme Court dismissed all petitions filed against Sri Lanka's forced cremation policy. This was despite mounting criticism against the policy which violates the religious freedom of Muslims and goes against both the World Health Organisation guidance and Sri Lanka’s own Medical Association.

Responding to criticism, the government continues to assert that the protocol of cremation is based on science and not public health grounds.

Last month, the UN labelled the forced cremation of deceased coronavirus patients in Sri Lanka a violation of human rights, especially in the case of Muslims. In a joint appeal, Special Rapporteurs Ahmed Shaheed, Fernand de Varennes, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule and Tlaleng Mofokeng, said that the practice ran contrary to the beliefs of Muslims and other minorities.


The full video is listed below:



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