A Sri Lankan Muslim ladies attends a particular prayer throughout Eid al-Fitr celebrations on the Galle Face esplanade in Colombo on August 31, 2011. — AFP/Ishara S. Kodikara

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka introduced on Saturday it is going to be making use of a controversial anti-terror regulation to cope with spiritual extremism that can see the detention of suspects for as much as two years for “deradicalisation”.

Additionally, the federal government goals to outlaw the burqa, formalising a brief ban imposed in April 2019 after lethal bomb assaults blamed on native militants.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promulgated rules permitting the detention of anybody suspected of inflicting “acts of violence or spiritual, racial or communal disharmony or emotions of unwell will or hostility between totally different communities”.

The principles, efficient Friday, have been arrange below the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which each native and worldwide rights teams have repeatedly requested Colombo to repeal.

Sri Lanka’s earlier authorities, which was defeated by Rajapaksa at 2019 elections, had pledged to repeal the PTA after admitting it critically undermined particular person freedoms, however failed to take action.

Rajapaksa, who got here to energy with a promise to battle “Islamic extremism”, introduced the “deradicalisation from holding violent extremist spiritual ideology” measures in a gazette notification seen by AFP Saturday.

In the meantime, Public Safety Minister Sarath Weerasekera introduced Saturday that the burqa, a unfastened garment masking from head to toe and worn in public in lots of Islamic states, was a menace to Sri Lanka’s nationwide safety.

“The burqa is one thing that immediately impacts our nationwide safety,” Weerasekera informed reporters in Colombo. “This (costume) got here into Sri Lanka solely not too long ago. It’s a image of their spiritual extremism.”

Weerasekera mentioned he signed paperwork outlawing the burqa, however they have to be authorised by the cupboard of ministers and parliament the place the federal government has a two-thirds majority to see its payments by.

Sri Lanka had used emergency legal guidelines to impose a brief ban on the garment quickly after the April 2019 bombings in opposition to three church buildings on the island killed 279 folks.

Burqa wearers should not generally seen in Buddhist majority Sri Lanka the place Muslims are a small minority accounting for 10 p.c of the nation’s 21 million inhabitants.

The strikes come forward of the second anniversary of the 2019 Easter Sunday assaults that killed 279 folks and wounded over 500.

The coordinated suicide bombings, in opposition to three church buildings and three high-end accommodations, have been blamed on a neighborhood extremist group.

However the brand new rules don’t solely goal “Islamic extremism” and will apply to any spiritual group or neighborhood.

A presidential fee that probed the assaults known as for the banning of each Islamic extremists in addition to ultra-nationalist Buddhist teams, which have been accused of feeding off one another.

Tensions between Sri Lanka’s minority Muslims and the bulk Buddhists resurfaced after the 2019 bombings, which additionally critically broken the nation’s tourism-reliant economic system.

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