Opposition MP Mujibur Rahman has asked the health minister to inquire into the wrong advice given to the then government for the forced cremation of the coronavirus dead.
He cited a claim by a minister that some in the Health Ministry gave him wrong advice in the issue of disposing of the bodies.
State minister Sisira Jayakody claimed the remarks by certain health experts led to communal disharmony.
Based on Jayakody’s admission, Rahman accused the then government of disregarding WHO recommendations and forcing mainly the Muslim minority to agree to cremations.
That had led to accusations of racial discrimination.
Attempt to escape blame
Minister Ali Sabri tried to save the Gotabaya Rajapaksa regime from blame by saying Meththika Withanage, a member of a committee led by Dr. Channa Perera, had told the media the virus could re-emerge and cause destruction even after millions of years if the bodies were buried.
Despite many months of local and international condemnations, the compulsory cremation of the covid-19 dead was reversed only in March 2021.
A committee appointed by the government claimed the burials will contaminate the underground water resources.
That was dismissed as being baseless by experts, but the government refused to listen to reason.
The present regime is yet to announce any form of relief for those who suffered as a result of this dispute.