Sri Lanka UAE

UAE embassy condemns ‘manipulation’ in #SriLanka media related to Sharjah directive

UAE embassy in SriLanka has issued a statement condemning deliberate manipulation in local media websites regarding a directive by Ruler of Sharjah.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Embassy in Colombo has denied claims made in some local media with regards to the burial of coronavirus victims.

In a statement issued today, the UAE Embassy said that there was no truth to reports that the UAE has banned the burial of coronavirus victims nor has it instructed that the bodies be cremated.

Some local Sinhalese media had reported that His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah had directed the Department of Islamic Affairs in Sharjah not to allow the burial of any coronavirus victims in the Al Saja’a area of Sharjah.

The news item claimed burial was no longer allowed for #Covid_19 victims in Sharjah. It urges authorities to remove the said news item.

Sharjah Ruler Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on Friday directed the Department of Islamic Affairs in Sharjah not to allow the burial of any coronavirus victims in Al Saja’a area of Sharjah.

Al Saja’a industrial area in Sharjah

Confirming that there have been no such burials that have taken place in the area, Sharjah authorities rubbished rumours doing the rounds on social media videos that some victims had been laid to rest in the area.

The Media Office of the Sharjah Government called on the public to rely on news from official sources, and not to circulate rumours.

These reports had also been widely shared on social media which the Embassy says was a misreporting of facts.

The UAE Embassy said that it strongly condemned the deliberate attempt to incite racism and hatred against the Muslims of Sri Lanka. 

Two of the early coronavirus-related deaths in Sri Lanka have been those of Muslims who were forcibly cremated on the instructions of the authorities and against the wishes of the deceased’s families.

The World Health Organisation’s guidelines for the safe management of a dead body during the coronavirus crisis allows for either burials or cremations, and this position was mirrored in the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health’s initial guidelines issued on 27 March. However, four days later Sri Lanka’s guidelines were revised to exclusively order cremations for those who die – or who are thought to have died – as a result of contracting the virus.

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