“The burqa has a direct impact on national security,” Weerasikara said at a ceremony held at a Buddhist temple on Saturday, without going into details.
Weerasikara said, according to a video clip sent by his ministry: “In our early days, we had a lot of Muslim friends, but Muslim women and girls never wore a burqa.” It is a sign of religious extremism that has emerged recently. We will definitely ban it. “
The burqa was temporarily banned in 2019 after Sunday’s bomb attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed more than 260 people. Two local Muslim groups were accused of loyalty to the Islamic State group of carrying out the attacks in six locations – two Roman Catholic churches, a Protestant church and three major hotels.
Weerasicara also said the government will ban more than 1,000 religious schools, saying they are not registered with authorities and do not follow the national education policy.
The decision to ban the burqa and schools is the latest step affecting the Muslim minority in the island nation in the Indian Ocean.
Muslims make up about 9% of the 22 million people in Sri Lanka, with Buddhists making up more than 70% of the population. The Tamil ethnic minority, who are mostly Hindus, make up about 15% of the population.
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