After the Easter bombings that occurred in Sri Lanka killed 253 people and injured hundreds more, President Maithripala Sirisena has now put a ban in place that will make it illegal for face coverings to be worn in public.
President Sirisena’s office made a statement saying the ban will go into effect today, on Monday. It says, “The ban is to ensure national security. No one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult.”
The ban was put into place because terrorists have made use of the religious garments as a means to conceal their identity in order to escape authorities.
A press release from the President’s office states, “President Maithripala Sirisena took this decision to further support the ongoing security and help the armed forces to easily identify the identity of any wanted perpetrators.”
The new decree means that Muslim women will no longer be able to wear the veils that cover their faces in public. However, they will still be able to wear the hijab or chador, which will leave their neck and hair covered.
Muslims account for 10% of the 21 million population in the Buddhist nation.