The Maha Sangha appeals to President to allow burial of Covid-19 victims

(Akitha Wijayasinghe)
There is no danger of virus speeding due to the burial of Covid-19 victims, the Inter-religious Relations Committee of the Sri Lanka Amarapura and Ramanna Samagri Maha Sangha Sabha said.
The Maha Sangha stated this in an appeal written to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
The General Registrar of Sri Lanka Amarapura Maha Sangha Sabha, Pallekande Rathanasara thero and the General Registrar of Sri Lanka Ramanna Maha Nikaya, Attangane Sasanarathana thero and other committee members were signatories of the letter.
The letter emphasized that more than 8 months since the issuance of the Gazette Extraordinary No. 2170/8 on 11th April 2019, demanding the cremation of bodies who have died due to infection of Covid-19, research results regarding the nature of the Covid-19 virus indicate that there is no danger of the virus spreading due to the burial of its victims.
Maha Sangha Sabha is of the opinion that there is no longer a justification for the mandatory cremation of persons who have died due to Covid-19 and that burials of the victims to the virus should be allowed subject to certain conditions which would adequately protect the health of the people on one side and the religious practices of the Muslims, Catholics and other religious communities.
The Maha Sangha had suggested in  their letter to the President that the burials of Covid-19 victims could include the use of sealed coffins made of durable and impervious materials placed in water sealed concrete graves or prefabricated water sealed graves, in specified burial grounds, all such coffins, graves and burial grounds requiring the approval from a designated authority.
The President was urged in this letter of appeal to convene an urgent meeting of medical and virology experts, metallurgical science experts, geological science experts, public health officials, religious leaders and other relevant persons to review the mandatory requirement of cremating persons who have died due to infection of Covid-19.
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