Sri Lanka bans all face coverings

April, 2019
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka announced a ban on face coverings, including veils and burqas, in the wake of the Easter suicide bombings that killed 253 people. 

President Maithripala Sirisena used emergency powers to ban any form of face covering in public.

The new decree announced today means Muslim women in Sri Lanka will no longer be able to wear veils covering their faces. 

An MP called for the ban last week, citing the religious garment's use by terrorists to escape authorities by concealing their identities. 

The powers prevent the wearing of the niqab, which covers all but the eyes, and the burqa, which includes a veil across the eye opening.

But the law does not prevent women wearing the chador or the hijab, which leave the face exposed but cover the hair and neck. 

The restriction will take effect from April 29, President Sirisena's office said in a statement today.

The announcement came days after local Islamic clerics urged Muslim women not to cover their faces amid fears of a backlash after the bombings carried out on luxury hotels and churches by jihadists affiliated to ISIS. 

Source: Daily Mail