The Honorable Antony Blinken
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520

Dear Secretary Blinken,

Egregious religious freedom violations are occurring in Sri Lanka. Muslims are being forced to cremate despite it being prohibited by Islam. To date, over 100 bodies have been cremated, and many more are languishing in morgues.

The Sri Lankan government has been referring to multiple, supposed, “Expert Committees” to deny burials on the grounds of containing the contamination and spread of COVID-19. Yet world-renowned virologists, epidemiologists, and the World Health Organization directly contradict Sri Lanka claims that COVID-related burials contaminate groundwater and sand. UN Human Rights experts have also urged the Sri Lankan Government to end its policy of forced cremation of the COVID-19 deceased, saying it ran contrary to the beliefs of Muslims and other minorities in the country and could foment existing prejudices, intolerance and violence.

In pursuing their cause as quickly as possible to deny Muslims their burial rights, Sri Lanka has now begun negotiations to transfer corpses to the Maldives thereby denying burial in their own country. Moreover, the State’s actions are creating despair and anguish. COVID testing protocols are being ignored while pushing through cremations. A twenty-day-old and a two-month-old baby were cremated without COVID testing protocols, and in one case, a woman’s COVID test came back negative after she had already been cremated.

Muslims are facing an existential threat. Urgent de-escalation measures from the United States are necessary. We have a moral obligation to call out these discriminatory acts against Muslim minorities. A silent, nonviolent, mass protest is taking place in Sri Lanka. However, if left unchecked, it can escalate into a serious catastrophe, and this would only be used as a pretext to continue denying religious freedom.                                                                                       


Soraya Deen – Muslim Women Speakers

Dr. Mike Ghouse – Center for Pluralism


M Zuhdi Jasser MD, President

American Islamic Forum for Democracy. Phoenix, AZ.

Anila Ali, Founder

American Multi Faith Women’s Empowerment Network – California

Ubaidur Rahmaan Mahmood JP, President

Austra-Lanka Muslim Association Inc

Imran Ali Cader, Director

Australasia Trade Pvt. Ltd.

Massimo Introvigne

Bitter Winter, an international magazine on religious liberty

Jeremy Ahamed Liyanage, Executive Director

Bridging Lanka Ltd. Australia.

CESNUR, Center for Studies on New Religions

Thierry Valle, President

Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience

Nehemiah Christie, Human Rights Defender

Global Christian Ministers Federation

Priyadharshanie Ariyaratne, President & Founder

Green Hats Foundation – Sri Lanka

Rehan Khan, MD, MA.

President, International Society for Peace and Justice

Dr. Mohamed Mohideen OAM, President

Islamic Council of Victoria

Shahim Mathaiz, Coordinator

Melbourne Human Rights Forum Australia

Dhilanthi Fernando, Music Director

Morgan Park Presbyterian Church Chicago

Raheel Raza, Founder

Muslims Facing Tomorrow – Canada

Roxana Rais, Chairperson

Muslim Women’s Advisory Council. United Kingdom.

Dharshana Dias

OCSL. Denmark.

Dr. Brian Jeganathan, President.

People for Human Rights and Equality (PHRE) Australia

Arun Arundavaraja, President

Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Australia

Mr. Mano Ganesan, MP, Leader

Tamil Progressive Alliance. Sri Lanka.

Falih Shums, President

United Sri Lankan Muslim Association of Australia

Dr. Lionel Bopage, Convenor.

Voice for Justice in Sri Lanka International Collective CDSL Australia

Shreen Saroor, Founder

Women’s Action Network Sri Lanka


with titles and organizations for identification purposes only

Ambika Satkunanathan

Human Rights Defender

Sri Lanka

Dr. Ameer Ali


Ameena Hussein


Sri Lanka

Amita Arudpragasam

Community Activist

Sri Lanka

Ayne-Marie Leitch


Sri Lanka

Carryl Perera

Environmental Activist

Sri Lanka

Darvis Carrim


Dileepa Manawadu


Sri Lanka

Faaiz Ameer

Attorney at Law

Sri Lanka

Faisal Buharie


Orange County California

Farajh Marikar Deen


Los Angeles, California

Farzana J. Khan

Small Business Consultant

Sri Lanka

Hilmy Marikar


Ifthikar Nissar


Palm Springs California

Imaan H. Deen


Diversity & Pluralism Club at Viewpoint School, Calabasas

Khadija Khan


United Kingdom

Lihini Fernando

Member Municipal Council

Attorney at Law

Sri Lanka

Menaka Indrakumar

Social activist

Sri Lanka

Mohammed Foumy Marikar



Mohamed Zinoon

Palm Springs


Nehemiah Christie

Human Rights Defender

Puni Selvaratnam

Justice of Peace

Sri Lanka

Pushpa Buddhadasa

IT Services

Sri Lanka & Russia

Reza Bongso


Sri Lanka

Rehan Khan, MD, MS


International Society for Peace and Justice

Dr. Richard L. Benkin

Independent Human Rights Activist, USA

Saheed Deen


Trinity College Kandy

Saroj Pathirana


United Kingdom

Sharmini Dias Nagahawatte


Sri Lanka

Shimaal Carrim


Tarzana, California

Sunila Mendis


Sri Lanka

Swarna Gunaratna

Social Justice Activist, former Consul General (LA)


Venerable Tenzin Lekhdron



Thanuja Navaratne

Attorney at Law

Sri Lanka


Thierry Valle


Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience

Tikiri Subhashini Wipfler

Human Rights Activist

Sri Lanka and Germany

Tina Mats

Social Justice Activist


Dr. Tush Wickramanayaka

Human Rights Activist

Sri Lanka and UK

Uvindu Kurukulasuriya

Sri Lanka

Vraie Cally Balthazaar


Sri Lanka

Zafar Iqbal


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