Cremation issue: ACJU writes to DGHS | Daily News


Cremation issue: ACJU writes to DGHS

The All Ceylon Jammithul Ulema has written to the Director General of Health Services Dr. Anil Jasinghe today requesting that the stance on cremation be reversed to permit burials after it was found that a Muslim woman who was believed to be a victim of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) had later tested negative.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the matter we re-appeal for this provision and wish to emphasize that we shall comply with all the required standards for the burial,” President of the ACJU Ash Sheikh Mufti M.I.M. Rizwe wrote. “It is our moral and ethical duty to abide by the law of the country but it does not imply that we endorse or consent to this ruling as it goes against our religious principles.”

Ash Sheikh Mufti Rizwe noted that there is much ambiguity following the cremation of a Muslim lady who was thought to be COVID-19 positive. “We wish to reiterate that the Muslim community stand on this matter has always been that a Muslim deceased due to COVID-19 should have the option of being buried in line with World Health Organization guidelines.”

He added that from the inception this issue had been addressed in a professional and ethical manner including by way of a letter to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on March 24. As a response, the authorities had reconsidered the request and amended the ‘Provisional Clinical Practice Guidelines on COVID-19 suspected and confirmed cases” on 27th of March.

“But unfortunately on March 31st the above guidelines were suddenly revised and the provision for burial was removed. Thereafter on April 1, we issued a statement expressing our disappointment and requested a reversal of the decision,” he said. “It was later agreed to appoint a panel of experts to conduct a scientific study on this matter but it did not materialize.”

He said the ACJU was willing to comply with all required standards for burial including digging a grave up to eight feet deep and cementing the grave with concrete or any other measures that the health authorities request.








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