The President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena announced a ban on face masks on Sunday 28 Apr 2019.
The ban comes after the country was struck by 8 bomb blasts that killed at least 200 people and wounded hundreds more on easter sunday 21 Apr 2019.
ජාතික හා මහජන ආරක්ෂාවට තර්ජනයක් විය හැකි මෙරට තුළ ජනතාවගේ අනන්යතාවය තහවුරු කර ගැනීමට බාධාවක් වන සියළුම ආකාරයේ මුහුණු ආවරණ භාවිතය වහාම ක්රියාත්මක වන පරිදි හෙට (2019.04.29) සිට හදිසි අවස්ථා නියෝග යටතේ තහනම්
— Maithripala Sirisena (@MaithripalaS) April 28, 2019
According to a google translate, the tweet translates as follows:
It is prohibited to use all kinds of face masks which will hinder the identity of the people in the country, who can be a threat to national and public security, tomorrow (29.04.2009) with immediate effect.
The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the top body of Islamic scholars in Sri Lanka, issued an official statement which was shared on twitter by Farhan Faris.
“We appeal to all, to cooperate with the security forces and law enforcement agencies.” was written on the official statement.
“Hence, we advice that in the prevailing situation our sisters should not hinder the security forces in their efforts to maintain national security by wearing the face cover (Niqab).
Pls read the official statement. pic.twitter.com/UWdXem23ad
— Farhan Faris (@Farhan30296727) April 29, 2019
“No indication that recent Sri Lanka bombers covered their faces but Pres Sirisena bans face covering.” tweeted Kenneth Roth, who is the executive director of Human Rights Watch. “That needless restriction means that Muslim women whose practice leads them to cover up now won’t be able to leave home.”
No indication that recent Sri Lanka bombers covered their faces but Pres Sirisena bans face covering. That needless restriction means that Muslim women whose practice leads them to cover up now won't be able to leave home. https://t.co/s2sfKy9hBX pic.twitter.com/4nJpMcAyJv
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) April 29, 2019