Civil society today (04) demanded that the government allow the burial of those who died of the Covid-19 epidemic in consultation with Sri Lanka's foremost medical practitioners.

A joint statement was issued by 68 civil activists and 27 civil society organizations.

The request has been made to the government in the report itself. The report further states,

Under the auspices of the Individuals and Civil Society Organizations, we welcome the permission of the foremost and most authoritative individuals and organizations in the field of medicine in Sri Lanka to bury the bodies of those who have died of Covid-19 infection.

Therefore, in view of this, we urge the Government to immediately end its policy of cremation.

Last week, Sri Lanka's top anti-viral experts and leading medical institutions publicly announced that burial of those died by the Covid-19 epidemic could be allowed, according to scientific evidence. On January 2, the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) issued a statement confirming that it could bury those who died of the Covid-19 infection.

It stated that the virus was "unlikely to infect dead bodies" and that scientific evidence had not been obtained from anywhere in the world that burying the bodies of those killed by the Covid-19 infection was harmful to public health.

The Sri Lanka College of Community Physicians (CCPSL) issued a similar statement on December 31. Of the 85,000 medical research articles published so far on the Covid-19 infection, none reported cases of the virus spreading from a dead body, the report said.

The CCPSL's position statement stated the following, refuting the argument that burying the bodies of those who died of the Covid-19 infection would contaminate groundwater:

"The argument that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is transmitted by groundwater has not been scientifically proven and there are no examples of the virus being transmitted by drinking water."

World-renowned anthropologist Malik Peiris of Sri Lanka and Professor Tissa Vitharana, a Member of Parliament for the government, have recorded their views in defiance of the Sri Lankan government's policy of cremation only and in support of safe conduct.

Both SLMA and CCPSL argue that burying the bodies of the dead increases the risk of contaminating the water supply with the waste of Covid-19 patients rather than spreading the infection.

We hereby signify that the Government should take steps to enable the incineration and cremation of the bodies of those who have died of Covid-19 infection in accordance with the above firm and authoritative medical advice.

This policy was in force till March 31 last year. Unexpectedly, however, the Ministry of Health issued a directive that only those who died from the Covid-19 infection should be cremated.

Subsequent media articles and civil society organizations pointed out that the policy also applies to people suspected of being infected.

Among the appeals made by a number of parties, including the United Nations Resident Representative in Sri Lanka, the United Nations Special Rapporteur, the OIC Permanent Human Rights Commission, and other religious organizations in Sri Lanka, including the Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabawa and Ramanna Maha Nikaya, civil society organizations and concerned citizens This policy has been stubbornly pursued by the government.

While Sri Lanka's own medical community supports the burial of those who died of the Covid-19 epidemic, there is no prospect of continuing the government's cremation-only policy of discriminating against Sri Lanka's religious minorities.

Both medical institutions point out that the religious and cultural repercussions of cremation not only affect the coexistence and harmony of communities but also cause uncontrollable problems for the public, especially the affected groups, in terms of public health and well-being.

We are well aware of the risk of spreading the Covid-19 epidemic, which is associated with manipulating the bodies of those who have died of the Covid-19 infection, participating in funerals, and social gatherings.

We therefore support the legal restrictions on these activities. There is no doubt that all communities in Sri Lanka will support such measures as in the past.

In the absence of any scientific evidence, the government's violent cremation policy is causing great suffering and suffering to certain religious groups, and should be brought to an end.

We therefore urge the government to heed the clear advice given by these esteemed individuals and organizations in the medical field and to allow minority religious groups and other groups to bury their dead bodies without hindrance.



1. A.M. Ranawana
2. Amalini de Sayrah
3. Ambika Satkunanathan
4. Anithra Varia
5. Anne-Marie Fonseka
6. Annouchka Wijesinghe
7. Anthony Jesudasan - Human Rights Defender
8. Anthony Vinoth
9. Anushani Alagarajah
10. Aritha Wickramasinghe
11. Bishop Duleep de Chickera
12. Bishop Kumara Illangasinghe
13. Channaka Jayasinghe
14. Deekshya Illangasinghe
15. Dinusha Panditaratne
16. Dr. Jehan Perera
17. Dr. K. Guruparan - Attorney- at-law
18. Dr. Mario Gomez
19. Dr. Radhika Coomaraswamy
20. Dr. Tara de Mel
21. Geethika Dharmasinghe
22. Godfrey Yogarajah
23. Gowthaman Balachandran
24. Ian Ferdinands
25. Joanne Senn
26. K.J. Brito Fernando
27. Kshama Ranawana
28. Kumudini Samuel
29. Marisa de Silva
30. Megara Tegal
31. Nagulan Nesiah
32. Nilshan Fonseka
33. Niran Wirasinha - Reconciliation and Peace Desk
34. Niyanthini Kadirgamar
35. P. Muthulingam
36. P.N. Singham
37. Philip Dissanayake
38. Prabodha Rathnayaka
39. Prof. Jayadeva Uyangoda
40. Professor Chandraguptha Thenuwara
41. Ralston Weinman
42. Rev. Andrew Devadason - Vicar, St. Paul's Church, Milagiriya
43. Rev. Asiri P Perera (Former President Bishop Methodist Church Sri Lanka)
44. Rev. Dr. Jayasiri Peiris
45. Rev. Fr. F. C. J. Gnanaraj (Nehru)
46. ​​Rev. Fr. Jeyabalan Croos
47. Rev. Fr. Nandana Manatunga
48. Rev. Fr. Rohan Peries
49. Rev. Fr. Fr. Sarath Iddamalgoda
50. Rev. Marc Billimoria
51. Rev. Sr. Deepa Fernando
52. Rev. Fr. Sr. Nichola Emmanuel
53. Rev. Fr. Sr. Noel Christine Fernando
54. Rev. Fr. Sr. Rasika Pieris
55. Ruwan Laknath Jayakody
56. S. Thilipan
57. Sakuntala Kadirgamar
58. Sandun Thudugala
59. Sanjana Hattotuwa
60. Sarah Arumugam
61. Selvaraja Rajasegar (Editor, maatram.org)
62. Senel Wanniarachchi
63. Sheila Richards
64. Stella J. J. Victor
65. Sugath Rajapaksha
66. Swasthika Arulingam - Attorney-at-law
67. Ven. Fr. Samuel J Ponniah - Archdeacon of Jaffna, Church of Ceylon (Anglican)
68. Visaka Dharmadasa


1. Alliance for Minorities
2. Association of War Affected Women
3. Center for Policy Alternative
4. Dabindu Collective
5. Eastern Social Development Foundation
6. Families of the Disappeared
7. Forum for Affected Families, Mannar
8. Hashtag Generation
9. Human Elevation Organization
10. Human Rights Office (HRO)
11. Institute of Social Development
12. International Center for Ethnic Studies (ICES)
13. iProbono
14. Law and Society Trust
15. Liberation Movement
16. Mannar Women’s Development Federation
17. National Peace Council
18. Right to Life Human Rights Center (R2L)
19. Rights Now Collective for Democracy
20. Rural Development Foundation
21. Sangami Penkal Collective
22. Shramabhimani Kendraya
23. Sisterhood Initiative
24. Women and Media Collective
25. Women Education Research Center (WERC)
26. Women’s Action Network
27. Suriya Women Development Center
Patreon : Witness Tv
YouTube : Witness Tv
FaceBook : Witness Tv
Instagram : Witness Tv
Telegram Group : Witness Tv
Official Mail : witnesstv2@gmail.com

Post a Comment