Tag: Sri Lanka suicide bombings

Sri Lanka bans burqa, is there a lesson to India?

Image credit: flickr

Sri Lanka has banned burqa, a garment that covers the body from head to toe, as a security measure. A press release on April 28 from President Maithripala Sirisena’s office said that the decision has been taken to “further support the ongoing security and help the armed forces to easily identify the identity of any wanted perpetrators”.

The move comes eight days after the deadly suicide bombings on Churches and luxury hotels in the island nations, which left at least 253 dead and over 500 injured. The bombers were found to be home grown Islamist extremists with links to ISIS. It was also found that one of the nine suicide bombers was a woman, while some female accomplices of terror suspects are believed to have escaped wearing burqas.

President Sirisena termed burqa as “a security risk and a flag of fundamentalism”. The is set to come into effect on Monday, April 29.

  • With this move, Sri Lanka has joined the growing list of nations that have banned face covering clothing, fully or partially. Here is the list of nations, where covering one’s face in public places is legally not allowed:
    • Cameroon banned face veil and burqa in July 2015 following suicide bombing by burqa-clad women.
    • Chad banned full face veil in June 2015 following suicide attacks by burqa-clad men.
    • Republic of Congo banned face veil in May 2015 to counter extremism.
    • Gabon banned the face veil in 2015 to counter extremism.
    • Morocco prohibited the sale, production and import of burqa in January 2017.
    • Syria banned students, teachers and staff in universities from wearing face veil
    • Australia face covering clothing in public places in 2017.
    • Belgium banned wearing garments that obscures identity on streets and parks in 2010.
    • Bulgaria banned clothing that covers the face partially or totally in public places, government officers, educational institutes etc.
    • Denmark prohibited people wearing garments that masks the face and impairs the recognisability in August 2018.
    • France banned burqa in public places in Aoril 2011.
    • Germany imposed partial ban on burqa in 2017.
    • Italy banned all the dresses that hide the face of the person in 1975.
    • Netherland banned all the clothing that hide wearer’s identity in January 2012
    • Norway banned clothing that covers the face at educations institutions in June 2018.
    • In part of Switzerland, burqa has been banned in 2016 and 2018.
    • This is not an exhaustive list. There are other countries like Latvia that have legally banned face-covering clothing, partially or fully.

    (Source: New Agencies and Wikipedia)


How close is the ISIS threat to India?

A screen shot of ISIS video

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday conducted raids on the residences of two people at Nainmarmoola and Bandaduka villages in Kerala. It is reported that the two were suspected to have links with Islamic State (ISIS) through social media websites, such as Facebook.

Earlier, quoting Indian intelligence official The Hindusthan Times reported that one of the nine suicide bombers, in the Easter Sunday carnage in Sri Lanka, visited India twice in 2017. Identified as Mohammad Mubarak Azaan, he was the second attacker from the gang to have travelled to India.

From day one of the dastardly attacks in Sri Lanka, it is being reported that Zahran Hashim, an Islamic preacher and leader of Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) had links with an organisation by the same name based in Tamil Nadu.

Incidentally, Zahran Hashim was reported as the mastermind of Sri Lanka bombings. He was seen delivering oath to other attackers with covered faces to pledge allegiance to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the video released by the global terrorist organisation.

The video has unequivocally confirmed the presence of Islamic State (ISIS) in the Indian subcontinent. Going by the fact that Sri Lankan police are still looking for a large number of missing terror suspects, it is clear that the island nation is not yet out of the woods.

The question is how close India is to ISIS terror threats. Many southern cities and towns have been already put on high alert. Hopefully, ISIS ideology is kept at bay by every one in the community concerned.