Sobitha Thera weighs in on cremation issue
Former Leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thera says decisions pertaining to COVID-19 concerns should be taken only based on the advice of health authorities.
Commenting on recent media reports pertaining to the change of government’s stance on allowing burials instead of cremation of citizens who pass away due to COVID-19, Sobitha Thera said the matter should not be politicised.
Speaking to media in Embilipitiya, Sobitha Thera noted that decisions on COVID-19 cannot be taken based on religious beliefs or ideologies of a particular community.
The Thera said the government is attempting to distract the people by bringing up the matter concerning the cremation of bodies.
Venerable Omalpe Sobitha Thera said the government and the general public must follow the advice of health authorities to contain the spread of the virus.
The Sobitha Thera noted that the present administration should take direct decisions at this juncture and ensure the wellbeing of all communities in the country.
Meanwhile, earlier today, Deputy Registrar of the Asgiri Chapter Venerable Narampanawe Ananda Thera said followers of all religions must set aside their ideologies and work together amidst the Coronavirus pandemic.
(Source: News Radio)
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As well as advice of SL health authorities, the decision could be better made by looking at how majority other non-Muslim countries over the world dealing with this issue. While SL have the right to determine it locally, allowing for cultural sensitivities and good will, such approach will be better and has a solid basis.
Indra. Your comment is typically that of a politician !. “Thambige Thoppiya” !!! Of course. SL should have the right to determine on the cremation issue. I totally agree with the Ven. Sobitha Thera. This has nothing to do with politics or religion – it has to be determined by scientific facts by the medical authorities and the government should abide by the decision of the medical authorities and not make a political mis-judgement. Besides, SL has limited land mass and cremation should be considered the optimal method of disposal of dead bodies.
Unless you think Sri Lanka has the best science as well as the best medical brains in the world and medical research abilities, I don’t see any problem of looking at how the nations with better ability to understand the transmission of this virus from cadavers are dealing with those who have died from diseases who are Muslims. I don’t need you to remind me SL’s right to determine since I have already mentioned it in my post. But given that SL is made up of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslims mainly, unless it is ‘Majority Rules’ fits every body is the theme, given all the recent bad blood among the three major groups in the country, there is nothing wrong in looking at how the other countries with Muslim minority dealing with this issue, particularly because the Muslims in those countries appear to be content with whatever happening there. My posting does not contain anything to suggest that the SL authorities should let the Muslims to decide how the infected bodies should be dealt with, though every sensible person in power will do the utmost POSSIBLE UNDER THE PREVAILING SITUATION TO accommodate the wishes of family and and the wishes of the diseased person.
Unless you are an apothecary who is using title Dr. or have a Ph.D in something other than medicine or biological sciences, you should be able to understand COVID-19 spreads through breathing and a dead body poses no threat unless other people are going to be touching the body or moving it.
Given that the vast majority of the Medical Experts in SL are with Fellow of the Royal College of ………… degrees to claim their expertise, below are the guideline of the Royal College of Pathologists (www.rcpath.org) in the United Kingdom. I believe that those people are much better qualified and have the know how to decide what to do when one dies if COVID-19.
* Body bags are not required in terms of COVID-19 risk, but may be required for other, practical
reasons, such as maintaining dignity or preventing leakage affecting the mortuary environment.
Local, standard decontamination and disinfection procedures must be followed.
** There is a risk posed to mortuary staff from close contact with visitors and a small risk to visitors
from contact with the deceased. Local policy should be set that covers considerations such as
complying with social distancing procedures, complying with cultural requirements, ensuring
visitors are made aware that there is a risk, asking visitors to view through a window, asking
visitors to wear PPE, etc. Any decisions made by staff and/or refusals by visitors to comply with
requests should be documented in the deceased’s record.
Yes, I believe that SL has the best science and the best medical brains and medical research abilities – Yes,of course BEST FOR SRI LANKA. Nations with better ability to understand the transmission of the virus, as you put it, alas have RECORD NUMBERS of infected and deaths !!! SL has done quite well, so SL does not need to follow other nations. MAJORITY RULES, as you put it, is NOT the way how President Rajapaksa Government operates – possibly you are confused with the YAXAPALANA government of yester year, but note the current SL Government operates on ONE SL LAW FOR ALL. The Sinhala Buddhists, Sinhala Catholics and the Tamil Hindus have accepted the law without any political or religious issue.
You should read the following articles on the subject of disposal of Covid-19 deceased for your ENLIGHTENMENT.
1. Science behind bringing Covid-19 infected dead bodies – Lanka web of 11 Nov 2020
2. Burial of corona victims. Sabry denies giving assurances to CTJ – Island 12 Nov 2020
3Resumption of burial a high risk the country cannot afford to tale – MP Mazammil – Island 12 Nov 2020.
You say, every sensible person in power will do the utmost possible under the prevailing situation to accommodate the wishes of family and diseased person – I entirely disagree. The wishes and the well being of LIVING PEOPLE take PRECEDENCE.
A little advice. It will be better if you connect your organ between your ears to your mouth, before opening it. This is medical advice from a Medical Graduate of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.
1. Science behind burying covid-19 infected dead bodies – Lanka web of 11 Nov 2020