Muslim women in Sri Lanka will no longer be able to veil their faces under an emergency law ordered by President Maithripala Sirisena that bans all kinds of face coverings that may hide people's identities.
Sri Lanka has banned its citizens from wearing face coverings under an emergency law, after terrorist attacks at prominent churches and upscale hotels left hundreds dead in the small island nation. But local officials warn that there are still militants at large who could be planning another wave of attacks.
"It is a presidential order to ban any dress covering faces with immediate effect", a spokesman for President Maithripala Sirisena, told Reuters.
The measures would help security forces to identify people as a hunt for any remaining attackers and their support network continues across the Indian Ocean island, authorities said.
The sister of the suspected ringleader of Sri Lanka's Easter Sunday bombings has claimed that up to 18 members of her family are missing and feared dead since the massive suicide attacks and subsequent police raids, according to a media report.
Tyreek Hill investigation reopened
Howe said Wednesday that he believed a crime occurred , but the evidence wasn't clear in establishing who committed the crime. We have great concern for Crystal, we are greatly concerned for Tyreek , but our main concern is with the young child".
Sri Lankan army personnel and police check people entering Ampara General hospital, where the wife and daughter of suspected mastermind of Easter Sunday bombings are being treated, in Ampara, Sri Lanka, April 29, 2019.
There were a series of cabinet meetings post the Easter bombings on new anti-terror laws and the decision to ban the burqa was delayed after both President Sisirsena as well Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe chose to take the matter with Muslim clerics in the country. "When it comes to national security, there are no party differences, religious differences or racial differences between us as Sri Lankans", he said. "Sri Lanka's pain from the Easter attacks should not be used to promote failed policies". ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack, but local authorities are investigating whether it was carried out by a local terror group known as the National Tawheed Jamath. "We also, who follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ, we say for the Lord to forgive these people". "If they wanted to wear a veil, then they were told not to come out", Hilmy Ahmed, vice-president of the Sri Lanka Muslim Council, told the BBC. It had deferred the matter until talks with Islamic clerics could be held, on the advice of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Dozens of people have been arrested over alleged links to the bombings, which targeted churches and luxury hotels.
While previously unseen in Sri Lanka, the niqab has grown in popularity in the last 10 years after the country's civil war.