Govt. should consult all communities, religious leaders - UNP | Daily News
Final rites of COVID-19 deceased:

Govt. should consult all communities, religious leaders - UNP

The UNP announcing its stance on the final rites of the deceased due to COVID-19 stated that the Government should reach a consensus and take a speedy decision after consulting all communities and religious leaders.

UNP Deputy Leader Ruwan Wijewardene issuing a statement on behalf of his party stated party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had placed the matter before the UNP Working Committee during its Meeting held on December 23 and the Working Committee had unanimously approved his idea.

According to Wijewardene, UNP leader Wickremesinghe had suggested that it was the right of the people to decide whether to cremate or bury their dead, and that the Government should consult with Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic and Muslim religious leaders before making a decision on the matter.

“We are of the view that all people can be addressed only if they are represented by responsible religious leaders representing all religions”.

The statement said the UNP while always giving priority to Buddhists has also defended the rights and values of other religions and as such the party looks at this issue from a broader perspective. “We have to admit that not only Muslims but also Catholics bury their dead. On the other hand, there are occasions when both Buddhists and Hindus bury their dead. There are also times when they cremate corpses. We must recognize that right as well”.

“Regardless of race, religion or caste, no individual or group should be allowed to use such sensitive issues for narrow racist or religious purposes,” the UNP said.

The UNP said it is also important to look at how Korea, India and Germany have acted in this regard, as recommended by the World Health Organization.

“We are of the view that the recommendations made by the health sector should be highly regarded. It is imperative to pay close attention to the needs of the health sector. All that needs to be done is to call all the religious leaders and the health authorities and take a quick decision. Accordingly, we propose to hold preliminary discussions with the Department of Health, the Department of Buddhist Affairs, the Department of Hindu Affairs, the Department of Christian Affairs and the Department of Islamic Cultural Affairs and then take steps to hold discussions with religious leaders in coordination with the relevant departments,” the UNP further said.