Monday 29 April 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

29 April  2019

Burqa Ban violates Sri Lankan Constitution

Article 14 (1) (e ) of the Sri Lankan constitution states:

[Every citizen is entitled to – the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching]

As per latest reports:
[Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has banned face coverings, invoking emergency law his office said, effectively outlawing attire like niqab and burqa following suicide attacks on churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.
President Sirisena said the regulation will come into effect from April 29.
Any face coverings which can be a threat to national or public security, and make it difficult to identify persons will be banned, the statement said.] Economy Next article - Sri Lanka bans burqa, niqab face coverings under emergency law.
This is highly reactive and is likely to push Muslim women into radicalization. It is disrespectful of the female relates of the bombers who gave evidence against their male relatives.
As per the above report :
[The office of Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said in a statement earlier in the day, he had asked the Justice Minister to prepare laws after consulting the Muslim community since Sri Lanka's main organization had passed a resolution endorsing such a ban. ]
The most affected by the ban are Muslim women. Where is their voice in this? Are they not being ‘told’? Shame on the men of Sri Lanka, including Muslim men.
In the name of emergency are we damaging the belief based support from these women? The lead woman against minorities – Ms Pauline Hanson demonstrated how such undue advantage by wearing the burqa to the Senate.
One has to be extremely cautious in meddling with fundamental freedoms and human rights. The right to practice one’s belief is a birth right. A law that in any way damages this would seriously damage the rights of the causal forces of such law. By using the law for a lower purpose, the parliamentarians have weakened the support of law that would come to them by all those who practice Equal Opportunity laws with faith. Now all of them are the opposition of the Sri Lankan Parliamentarians. It is for these reasons that supermajority such as two thirds majority is needed to alter fundamental rights of the citizen. I do not know whether this new law was processed as per these principles. If not and someone gets unjustly punished by an over-enthusiastic law enforcement officer  - the karmic return to the Parliamentarians would be exponential in value. Sri Lankan Parliamentarians are already suffering due to their previous excess – including through the Prevention of Terrorism Act.

In Democracy – the laws that facilitate  the People to regulate themselves need to be more than the laws that Parliamentarians use to regulate the people top-down.

India has not banned the burqa despite the terrorism experiences that Indians have gone through. That shows respect for the People and their personal rights.

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