Sri Lanka bans niqab in public places


29 April 2019| 23 Shabaan 1440| Gulf News

The government of Sri Lanka has banned all kinds of clothing that covers people’s identity, including the niqab and burqa.

The temporary measure, which came into effect on Monday, was implemented on week after the deadly Easter Sunday attack that killed more than 250 people, including 40 foreign nationals.

According to the new ban, which was issued by the presidential office, people will no longer be allowed to use any item that covers their face or conceals their identity.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena also took to Twitter to make the announcement.

In the Sinhala language, President Sirisena said: “It is prohibited to use all kinds of face masks which will hinder the identity of the people in the country, who [will be seen as a] threat to national and public security. The ban will come into immediate effect tomorrow (29.04.2019).”

While the majority of residents are Buddhist, around 70 percent, Muslims make up about 10 percent of the 21 million population. Christians and Hindus make up 7 and 13 percent of the population respectively, according to the New York Times.