Pakistan has raised concerns that ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims will be affected if the Sri Lankan Government goes ahead with moves to ban the niqab.
The Ambassador of Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Saad Khattak, said that the likely ban on the niqab in Sri Lanka will only serve as injury to the feelings of ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims and Muslims across the globe.
“The likely ban on niqab in Sri Lanka will only serve as injury to the feelings of ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims and Muslims across the globe. At today’s economically difficult time due to pandemic and other image related challenges faced by the country at international fora, such divisive steps in the name of security, besides accentuating economic difficulties, will only serve as fillip to further strengthen wider apprehensions about fundamental human rights of minorities in the country,” the Ambassador tweeted.
Minister clarifies what’s banned
Sri Lanka is to ban the niqab and not just the burqa, Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Sarath Weerasekera had said today.
Weerasekera told reporters that the Cabinet paper submitted for approval to ban the wearing of face veils in Sri Lanka includes both the niqab and the burqa.
The niqab covers the face of the wearer except the eyes, while the burqa covers the entire face of the wearer from onlookers, including the eyes.
Minister Weerasekera said the Cabinet paper that has been submitted bans the wearing of face veils that cover the face of the wearer and hence includes both.
He said therefore, a decision was taken to ban both the niqab and burqa over national security concerns.
The Minister further said however, the hijab will not be banned as it reveals the face of the wearer and poses no threat.