As of Monday, Muslim women in Sri Lanka will no longer be allowed to wear face veils in public. All types of face coverings that could hide someone’s identity are now banned in the country under an emergency law. The measure was imposed a week after more than 250 people were killed in a series of bombings that targeted churches and hotels. “President Maithripala Sirisena took this decision to further support the ongoing security and help the armed forces to easily identify the identity of any wanted perpetrators,” read a news release from the president’s office.
Catholics in Sri Lanka, meanwhile, were not able to attend Sunday Mass as churches remained shut amid fears of further attacks. Many Catholics stayed home and watched a televised service given by the Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Ranjith from his home. In a sign of unity, President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, and former president and opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa attended the service in person.