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Sri Lanka To Ban Burqa, Shut Over 1000 Islamic Schools: Minister

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Sri Lanka will ban the wearing of the burqa and shut more than a thousand Islamic schools, a minister said on Saturday.

Sri Lankan Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekera said he has signed a directive banning the wearing of the burqa in the country as it is a sign of religious extremism, Colombo Times reported. Explaining the reason for the move, the Public Security Minister said the burqa directly affects the national security of the country.

“We had a lot of Muslim friends when we were little. But Muslim females did not wear the burqa back then,” he said. Weerasekara stressed that the burqa is a symbol of religious extremism that garnered attention quite recently. “So, it will definitely be banned.”
Speaking on the regulation of madrasas, he said there are more than 2,000 such schools in the country.

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“No one can arbitrarily open a school and teach the students whatever they want. All children aged from 5-16 years must study under a national education policy. We will take measures to ban more than 1,000 madrasas which have not been registered under the national education policy.”

Last year, a Sri Lankan parliamentary committee on national security had proposed an immediate ban on the burqa and suspended the registration of political parties on an ethnic and religious basis.

The wearing of the burqa in the majority-Buddhist nation was temporarily banned in 2019 after the bombing of churches and hotels by terrorists that killed more than 250.

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