A critical human rights perspective on the Sri Lankan government’s forced cremation policy of COVID-19 deceased in the context of religious majoritarianism


  • Lakmali Bhagya Manamperi




religious majoritarianism, secularism, forced cremation of COVID deceased, religious rights


The State-sanctioned forced cremation of COVID deceased in Sri Lanka was a policy which blatantly discriminated the religious rights of certain minority communities – the Muslims, for whom cremation is forbidden by their religion, and certain sections of the Christian community who consider burial as the traditional way of farewell to the dead.

This paper analyzes how COVID-19 was used as a tool for State intervention in the religious matters in a Constitutional context where religious majoritarianism prevails. It is suggested that more secular features, would improve the respect for human rights of the country.

Author Biography

Lakmali Bhagya Manamperi

Lakmali Bhagya Manamperi is lecturer in Law at Law School of Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT) of Sri Lanka.