A week after Sri Lanka faced coordinated blasts across the country, in an emergency move the Sri Lankan president has issued an order banning the adornment of any form of face veils
Colombo: Muslim women in Sri Lanka are now forbidden from wearing any form of face veils in public. This is under their new regulations announced by Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena.
On Sunday, the president made a new regulation banning any form of face covering, a week after the coordinated blasts across the island country that killed over 250 people and injured more than 500 others.
Sirisena’s office issued a statement that read, "The ban is to ensure national security... No one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult."
Reports suggested that the step was taken under the emergency regulations to prohibit the use of face coverings of all sorts which is an obstacle to ensure the identity of the people and a threat to national and public security.
The order clarifies that the key criterion for establishing the identity of a person is the need to clearly expose the face, the report said.
The president has taken this decision to establish a peaceful and cohesive society which does not inconvenience any community people as well as ensure national security, it added.
Muslims account for 10% of the population and are the second-largest minority after Hindus. Around 7% of Sri Lankans are Christians. Buddhism accounts as a majority religion in the island country.
Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on Easter Sunday, killing 253 people.
The Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the government has blamed the local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) for the attacks.
Sri Lanka on Saturday banned the NTJ and a splinter group linked to the ISIS.
A total of 106 suspects, including a Tamil medium teacher and school principal, have been arrested in connection with the blasts.
According to Sri Lanka's foreign ministry, the number of foreign nationals who have been identified as killed remained at 40, including 11 from India.
Last Updated 1:29 PM IST