Sri Lanka has banned face coverings in public. This is in light of the suicide attacks on Easter Sunday that killed at least 250 people and injured hundreds.
President Maithripala Sirisena used emergency powers in the wake of the Easter Sunday bombings.
“The ban is to ensure national security… No one should obscure their faces to make identification difficult.”
He took steps under the emergency regulation to prohibit the use of face coverings of all sorts. Which is an obstacle to ensure the identity of the people and a threat to national and public security.
The order clarifies that the key criterion for identifying a person is the need to clearly expose the face.
The President has taken this decision to establish a peaceful and cohesive society which does not inconvenience any community people as well as ensure national security.
Over the weekend, thousands of Sri Lankan troops stood guard on the streets, protecting churches and mosques.
Sunday church services were cancelled across the country as a precaution, but worshippers in the capital gathered to pray outside St Anthony’s Shrine, which was badly damaged in the attacks.
The number of people arrested in connection with the bloodshed rose to 150. Authorities are also hunting for around 140 followers of the jihadist group Islamic State. The group has said it was involved in the bombings, but has not given details.
According to Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry, the number of foreign nationals who have been identified as killed remained at 40, including 11 from India.
Sri Lanka has a population of 21 million which is a mix of ethnicity and religions.