Asia-Pacific

Sri Lanka bans face coverings after deadly Easter suicide bomb attacks

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Muslim women in Sri Lanka have been ordered to stop wearing veils and face coverings in public as the country imposes strict security measures, following the Easter suicide bombings.

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena  has announced a ban on face coverings, a week after Islamist militants carried out coordinated suicide bombings that killed 253 people.

Mr Sirisena said he was using emergency powers to ban any form of face covering in public.

Sri Lanka has banned face covering veils following the Easter suicide bombing attacks.
Sri Lanka has banned face covering veils following the Easter suicide bombing attacks.
AAP

The restriction will take effect from Monday, his office said in a statement.

"The ban is to ensure national security... No one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult," the statement said.

It came days after local Islamic clerics urged Muslim women not to cover their faces amid fears of a backlash after the bombings carried out by jihadists affiliated to the so-called Islamic State group.

Sri Lanka remains on high alert in the wake of the coordinated strikes.
Sri Lanka remains on high alert in the wake of the coordinated strikes.
SBS

Muslims in the majority Buddhist nation account for about 10 percent of its 21 million population. 

Most Sri Lankan Muslims practise a liberal form of the religion and only a small number of women wear the niqab.

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Two Muslim groups banned in Sri Lanka after Easter Sunday bombings
Two Muslim groups banned in Sri Lanka after Easter Sunday bombings

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