Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The Sri Lankan government has agreed to the request of the Muslim World League (MWL), urging the country to stop cremating the bodies of Muslims who have died of COVID-19, and let them be buried in accordance with Islamic procedures.
The decision has been confirmed by MWL secretary-general Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa when making a phone call with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dinesh Gunawardena.
During the call, Gunawardena told Al-Issa that the Sri Lankan government had agreed to the MWL’s request.
The miister said that that step served to strengthen the close relationship between the MWL, which is a global reference for Muslim nations, and the Sri Lankan government.
Al-Issa thanked Sri Lanka for approving the MWL’s request to stop the cremation of the bodies of Muslims and instead allow their burial.
The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) also welcomed the Sri Lankan government’s decision.
The OIC said that it had on several occasions during the pandemic called on Sri Lankan authorities to refrain from cremating Muslims and to give them an Islamic burial.
The majority of Sri Lanka’s population with more than 20.2 million people is Buddhist 70.2 percent, followed by Hinduism at 12.6 percent.
Meanwhile, the number of Muslims in Sri Lanka currently reaches nearly 1.97 million or around 9.7 percent of the total population.
Reporting by Indonesia Window