Face coverings in public are now completely banned in Sri Lanka, after the series of suicide attacks on Easter Sunday which killed over 200 people and several hundreds were injured.
According to BBC, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena stated that he has used an emergency law to impose the face covering restriction which instigated from Monday.
A statement released by the Presidential office stated that the ban is for all kinds of face garment which “hinders identification”, and ensures security. Many Muslim leaders criticised the move.
The statement did not mention or named ‘Niqab’ or ‘Burka’ wore by Muslim women specifically.
The country remains on high alert days after the attacks which targeted churches and hotels.
Dozens of suspects have been arrested since then, however, the local officials have warned that many militants still remains at large.
Ceylon’s Jamiyyatul Ulama, an organisation comprising of Muslim clerics, criticised President’s decision.
“It is the stupidest thing to do. Three days ago we took a voluntary decision regarding this. The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema told all Muslim women not to wear face veils for security reasons. If they wanted to wear a veil, then they were told not to come out,” Hilmy Ahmed, the group’s vice-president, told the BBC.
“We see this as a reflection of the conflict between the president and the prime minister. We strongly criticise the decision. We will not accept the authorities interfering with the religion without consulting the religious leadership.”