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)