Representatives of the Hindu Community are calling upon Minister of Health, Terrence Deyalsingh and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Roshan Parasram, to immediately take all/any necessary steps to remove the ban on open pyre cremations for Covid-19 decedents.
In a statement Thursday, the representatives described the prohibition as culturally and religiously insensitive, harsh, oppressive and disproportionate.
The representatives claim the ban has imposed an arbitrary and disproportionate financial burden on persons who must spend an extra eight to ten thousand dollars per crematorium use, over and above the traditional cost of final rites.
They claim this prohibition was enacted without consultation and is directly repugnant to the collective conscience and identity of the Hindu Community.
The representatives say they accept and recognize restrictive measures may be necessary to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus, adding that they appreciate and thank all religious cohorts for the sacrifices which they have made to protect the health of all citizens and assured the Hindu Community will continue to do its part.
However, they say any measure which interferes with religious beliefs and entrenched cultural norms must be properly justified and supported with a compelling scientific basis.