Sri Lanka announces ban on face veils in public post Easter bombings

Colombo: Muslim women in Sri Lanka will not be allowed to wear any form of face veils in public from Monday under new regulations announced by President Maithripala Sirisena who used emergency powers in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings.

The new regulation banning any form of face covering was announced by the President on Sunday, a week after the coordinated blasts hit three churches and three luxury hotels, killing over 250 people and injuring more than 500 others.

“The ban is to ensure national security… No one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult,” the President’s office said in a statement.

He took steps under the emergency regulation to prohibit the use of face coverings of all sorts which are an obstacle to ensure the identity of the people and a threat to national and public security, Colombo Page reported.

Muslims account for 10 per cent of the population and are the second-largest minority after Hindus. Around seven per cent of Sri Lankans is Christians.

Nine suicide bombers carried out a series of devastating blasts that tore through three churches and three luxury hotels on the Easter Sunday, killing 253 people.

The Islamic State claimed the attacks, but the government has blamed local Islamist extremist group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) for the attacks.

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