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Circular on burial of COVID-19 victims issued

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The circular containing the guidelines with regard to the burial of COVID-19 victims has been issued, the Health Ministry said.

Some key guidelines are as follows,

  • The relatives of the deceased should inform the Director/ Head of the health care institution (Where the death has occurred) of their desire to bury the corpse without delay.
  • The Director of the hospital/ Head of the health care institution should obtain a written request from relatives for burial.
  • The relatives need to provide a coffin in advance.
  • It is the duty of the director/ Head of health care institution to transport the corpse in a coffin provided by the relatives to a designated location in Colombo Institute of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology (office of JMO) / BH Welikanda where the corpse will be received by the designated officer.
  • The vehicle transporting the corpse to "Nachchikuda pier" will leave daily at 5.30 a.m. from the designated receiving center nominated by the DGHS.
  • Corpse carried by authorized officers will be handed over to the respective authority at the "Nachchikuda pier" which is supervised by the area MOH representative PHI.
  • Burial will take place by the facilitation and coordination of the Police/Security personnel at an Island earmarked by the Government of Sri Lanka in the presence of relatives, MOH his representative PHI of the area of burial.
  • Religious activities are permitted only at hospital.
  • The relatives or unauthorized persons are not permitted to obtain photographs, video and video calls in the health care institution/s.
  • Only two relatives are permitted to be present at the burial.

http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Circular-on-burial-of-COVID-19-victims-issued/108-206952

 

Muslims to raise concerns over Iranaithivu burial with global bodies

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A leading Muslim organisation in Sri Lanka will this week send an official letter of concern to the global Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the World Muslim Congress, seeking their intervention to urge the Sri Lankan government to allocate a decent land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims.

The Daily Mirror learns that the Sri Lanka Islamic Centre, which is a member of the World Muslim Congress will raise serious concerns with the global bodies and will also send a letter to the World Muslim Congress office in Geneva urging for immediate intervention after the government announced that burials of the COVID-19 dead would take place on the Iranaithivu Island, in the Gulf of Mannar.

Senior Muslim officials said they were disappointed at the government’s decision to allocate the Iranaithivu Isle for the burials and instead urged the government to find a suitable land elsewhere in the country.

The Daily Mirror learns that two lands have been proposed by the Muslim community - the Kupiyawatta burial grounds in Colombo and a five acre land in Mannar, in the north which belongs to a local mosque in the area, where ground water level reports have been carried out by the Geologists from the Department of Geology from the University of Peradeniya.

When questioned, a senior geologist from the Geology Department of the Peradeniya University confirmed that ground water level reports had been carried out on both the lands and the proposed land in Mannar was found to have low water levels.

Senior Muslim officials said the proposed land in Mannar was ready to undertake burials of the COVID19 dead immediately and were concerned why these requests were ignored by the health authorities who were notified.

Meanwhile Minister of Water Supply, Vasudeva Nanayakkara told Daily Mirror that according to his knowledge, he was not aware of any feasibility report carried out on the Iranaithivu Island to bury COVID-19 dead but said he had proposed two more lands, one in the North and another in the East which had low water levels and was suitable to bury the COVID19 dead. He said he had handed over these recommendations to the expert committee for them to decide.(JAMILA HUSAIN)

 

http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Muslims-to-raise-concerns-over-Iranaithivu-burial-with-global-bodies/108-206971

 

Hizbullah and Madrasa School Principal further remanded

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Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah and Principal of Madrasa School Mohammed Shakeel were further remanded till March 18 by the Fort Magistrate’s Court today.

They were earlier remanded under section 2 (1) (h) of the PTA and section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act.

 

http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Hizbullah-and-Madrasa-School-Principal-further-remanded/108-206945

   

Govt turns blind eye on Muslims’ request to bury COVID-19 dead in Kupiyawatta; go ahead with Iranaitivu isle

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Muslims in Sri Lanka will make an urgent appeal to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to find a suitable land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims, instead of burying them in the island of Iranaitivu, in the Gulf of Mannar, stating it was not a practical solution to bury the victims there.

The Daily Mirror learns that the trustees of the Maradana mosque have written to the Director General of Health, Dr. Asela Gunawardena requesting the Kupiyawatta Muslim burial ground in Colombo to be utilized for the burial of COVID-19 dead as a ground water table test report was carried out recently by the Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya, where it was determined that the water table was detected at a depth of 2.5 to 3 meters which is suitable for COVID-19 deceased burials according to the Health Ministry's expectations.

In the letter, a copy which was seen by Daily Mirror, the trustees have also confirmed that if permission is granted for burials in the Kupiyawatta burial grounds, any additional guidelines issued by the Health Ministry would be complied with when undertaking the burials.

An official from the trustee board said this ground water table report had been handed over to the Health officials as soon as the report was received, but there had been no word from the authorities who he claimed even failed to discuss it or table it at the task force meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

On Monday, the trustees of the mosque handed over the letter, addressed to the Director General of Health along with the ground water report, to Temple Trees, in an urgent attempt to seek Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's intervention.

A letter will also be sent to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa this week, attaching the ground water table report, urging him to reconsider and grant permission for burials in the Kupiyawatta grounds.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Islamic Center,  Mohammed Hussain told Daily Mirror that while they will make an urgent appeal to the President and Prime Minister, if necessary they will also go to the OIC and World Muslim Council urging for a suitable land to be allocated.

He said it was disappointing that the groundwater level report conducted by the University of Peradeniya on the Kupiyawatta burial ground was not even tabled at any official discussions and urged for immediate redress. "We will not protest but we appeal the government to reconsider," he said.

The Iranaitivu Island which is located in the Gulf of Mannar is located 10 kilometers away from the mainland and requires a boat to access it. Presently 12 to 15 families are residing on it and it also has a navy facility.

Once the fresh guidelines are issued by the Director General of Health, the navy's assistance will be sought to transport the bodies on to the island from the mainland.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said the families residing there will continue and things will be organized once the fresh guidelines are issued by the Health Ministry.

Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror that the idea to select Iranaitivu Island was made by the expert committee, taking into consideration all the scientific criteria as well as the new strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Rambukwella dismissed claims that it was a political decision stating that the decision was made by the experts and not politicians.

He said a special vehicle which will include a container with a freezer, and where the driver's compartment will also be seperate, will be utilized to transport the bodies on the long journey, from hospitals  and two family members will be able to attend the funeral and give the victims a dignified burial. All health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry will be followed.

Rambukwella said that all suggestions over the land, which came in from the Muslim community was also taken into consideration.

Meanwhile the inhabitants of Iranaitivu Island will launch a protest on the island today against the government's decision to bury the COVID-19 dead there.(JAMILA HUSAIN)

http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Govt-turns-blind-eye-on-Muslims-request-to-bury-COVID-19-dead-in-Kupiyawatta-go-ahead-with-Iranait/108-206917

 

Technical committee gives clearance; ban on COVID-19 burial revoked

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The government decided today to allow the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims after the technical committee appointed in this regard gave clearance, a Minister said today.

The decision follows the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressing concerns over the cremation of dead bodies of Muslims at a high level meeting. OIC Secretary General Yousef Al Othaimeen said the OIC is “concerned on the situation of Muslims in Sri Lanka."

Sri Lanka counts on the support of these countries to defeat a resolution to be moved by the core group of countries led by the United Kingdom.

Earlier, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced in Parliament that burials would be allowed.

Later, State Minister Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle said it would be referred to the technical committee of experts to take the final decision. (Kelum Bandara)

 

http://www.dailymirror.lk/top_story/Technical-committee-gives-clearance-ban-on-COVID-19-burial-revoked/155-206622

   

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