April 29, 2019

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has issued an order for a ban on burqa, veil or covering of the face in a manner which prevents anyone from being identified.


  • The President used his emergency powers to ban any form of face covering in public. The order which came into immediate effect said any garment or item which obstructs the identification of a person’s face would be barred. 

  • It follows Easter Sunday attacks in which more than 250 people were killed. The blasts took place across eight locations, including three prominent churches and three hotels in the island nation. 

  • Some Muslim organisations had also come forward and suggested a ban on burqa to help stabilize the security situation. Local Muslim clerics urged their women not to cover their faces amid escalating fears of a backlash after the blasts. 

  • Muslims account for 10 per cent population of Sri Lanka. Most Sri Lankan Muslims practice a liberal form of the religion, with only a small percentage of women wearing a full face veil known as niqab.