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Sri Lanka’s COVID exit strategy proposes racial profiling 

Sri Lanka’s Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) published a report discussing potential COVID-19 exit strategies which included the proposed racial profiling of Muslims. 

The document, which was dated 4 April 2020, is claimed to have been presented to Sri Lankan, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Shortly after publication online, the document was removed and references to monitoring the Muslim populations and the Information and Communication Technology Agency were removed.

The original report describes the Muslim population as a potential risk factor for the contraction of the coronavirus alongside “number of corona cases; the number of quarantined; and, population density”.

Dr Sanjeewa Weerawarana, a board member of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) denies that he co-authored the document and said on Twitter;

“The whole idea of using Muslim population to make this decision is utterly preposterous and disgusting. I did go for one meeting with GMOA and the president along with ICTA Chairman Jayantha de Silva (and others). We were never shown this document nor did we consent to being co-authors of this document.”

Sri Lanka’s Muslim Council has a response from the GMOA into the language in the original document. In their letter they state;

“The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka would like a response as to how a study with a questionable methodology, using language that could lead to misunderstanding and conflict between fellow Sri Lankans could arise from a professional organisation like yours”. 

The full transcript of the letter from the Muslim Council is accessible from the Colombo Telegraph

The original report is accessible here.

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