Sri Lankan MP calls for burqa ban in wake of the Easter Sunday attacks

  24 April 2019    Read: 2052
  Sri Lankan MP calls for burqa ban in wake of the Easter Sunday attacks

A Sri Lankan MP has called for the burqa to be banned across the country to prevent male and female terrorists using it to cover up their identity.

Professor Ashu Marasinghe, who is a member of the United National Party, declared on Facebook that he was going to present a private member's bill about the issue.

Posting a copy of the bill, Marasinghe said that the garment is not traditional Muslim attire, reports Ada Derana.

He went on to claim that both male and female terrorists have used the burqa in the past while committing atrocities. Marasinghe also called for the niqab to be outlawed.

On Easter Sunday, 321 people were killed - including at least 45 children - when seven suicide bombers attacked three luxury hotels and three churches.

Defence sources told Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror that female accomplices had escaped from a Dematagoda apartment complex wearing burqas.

Officers had been questioning a suspect in the building hours after the initial attacks when they set off a suicide bomb, killing three police officers.

Three suspects were detained there.

State minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene said today that two different local Islamist groups were to blame for the co-ordinated blasts, but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe admitted there may be 'some links' with ISIS.

Wijewardene also told parliament that preliminary investigations suggested the co-ordinated blasts were 'in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch'.

Marasinghe's call for a ban on the face-covering garments comes as Sri Lanka's prime minister warned there are more explosives and militants 'out there'.

PM Ranil Wickremesinghe made the comment today at a news conference, and said some officials will likely lose their jobs over intelligence lapses surrounding the attack.

Security sources said a warning was sent from India two hours before the strike warning of a specific threat against churches.

One Sri Lankan source said a warning was also sent by the Indians on Saturday night.

The Indian government source said similar messages had been given to intelligence agents on April 4 and April 20.


Daily Mail

More about: SriLanka