Sri Lankan parliamentary committee proposes immediate burqa ban

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Colombo, Feb 21: A Sri Lankan parliamentary committee on national security has proposed an immediate ban on the burqa and suspending the registration of political parties on ethnic and religious basis, following the Easter Sunday terror attack that killed over 250 people.

The proposals featured in a special report presented in Parliament on Thursday to resolve 14 controversial issues following the April 21 Easter attack last year. The report was tabled by MP Malith Jayatilaka, Chairman Sectoral Oversight Committee on National Security, the Daily Mirror reported.

According to the report, a number of countries have already banned the burqa.

The report suggested that the police should have the power to ask anyone wearing a face covering in a public place to take off such clothing in order to establish the identity of the person.

If such a request is not complied with, police should have the power to arrest the individual without a warrant, the report said.

It also recommended the country’s Election Commission to enact a legislation to suspend the registration of political parties on ethnic and religious basis.

The report also said that the registration of political parties which have some racial or religious conflict or in its name should also prohibited.

Such a party should be converted into a political or non-religious political party within a specified period of time, the report said.

The report states that all students studying in madrassas should be absorbed into the normal school system under the Ministry of Education within three years.

The report also proposes to establish a special committee to regulate the madrasas under the Department of Muslim Religious and Cultural Affairs.

Nine suicide bombers belonging to local Islamist extremist group National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday, killing 258 people, including 11 Indians.


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