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Title: The disposal of COVID-19 dead bodies: impact of Sri Lanka's response on fundamental rights
Authors: Marsoof, Althaf
Keywords: Business::Law
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Marsoof, A. (2021). The disposal of COVID-19 dead bodies: impact of Sri Lanka's response on fundamental rights. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 13(3), 669-689.
Journal: Journal of Human Rights Practice
Abstract: In early 2020, the Government of Sri Lanka decided that all bodies of individuals who had (or were suspected to have) died of COVID-19 should be disposed of by cremation alone. Although this decision appears to be neutral and does not give rise to de jure discrimination, as a matter of fact, it has significantly impacted the religious rights of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka. This is because they firmly believe in the need to bury the dead in a dignified and decent manner-cremation being regarded as a repugnant practice amounting to a desecration of the human body. As such, the Sri Lankan Government's decision to adopt a cremation-only policy interfered with the right of all Sri Lankan Muslims to manifest their religion or belief as guaranteed by the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka. Despite there being no scientific evidence to suggest that the burial of COVID-19 victims could give rise to contamination of the surroundings and thereby cause the spread of the virus, the Government of Sri Lanka continued with the policy for almost a whole year. Thereafter, due to international pressure, the Sri Lankan Government decided to allow burials but in a very restrictive manner. The objective of this article is to consider the extent to which the aforementioned decisions of the Sri Lankan Government are consistent with the fundamental rights framework of the country's Constitution.
ISSN: 1757-9619
DOI: 10.1093/jhuman/huab030
Schools: Nanyang Business School 
Rights: © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:NBS Journal Articles

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