Sri Lanka residents support ban on face-covering veils

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2019   •   1778

Officers inspect one of the sites of a bomb blast that hit Sri Lanka on April 21, 2019 | Courtesy : Reuters

Authorities in Sri Lanka on Monday (April 29) banned women from wearing face veils under an emergency law put in place after deadly attacks on April 21 by Islamist militants.

The measure would help security forces identify people as the hunt for any remaining attackers and their support network continues across the Indian Ocean island, authorities said.

Residents of Colombo’s Muslim neighbourhood said they supported the ban on covering of faces as it would help make the jobs of security forces easier.

“This is for our good I think. Now at this moment, you know the problem in Sri Lanka, according to the problem – face covering – at the moment, it’s not good because they can’t find (if) it is a man or a woman, for that only President may have made this (decision),” said Nazar Mohammad who manages a store which sells headscarves.

“We have to cover our hair, that is compulsory, so wearing the abaya and covering the hair, that is fine,” Young muslim woman named Shahane Muzammil said.

But there are concerns within the Muslim community that a prolonged ban could fuel tensions in the religiously-diverse nation that emerged from a civil war with ethnic minority Tamil separatists a decade ago.

Officials have warned that the militants behind the April 21 suicide bombings on hotels and churches that killed over 250 people were planning more attacks, using a van and bombers disguised in military uniforms. (REUTERS)

Philippines to lift travel ban on 10 countries starting September 6

UNTV News   •   September 4, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to lift the current travel restrictions on travelers from 10 countries starting September 6, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced in a statement on Saturday.

These countries are namely:  India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Nonetheless, international travelers coming from the said countries shall comply with the appropriate entry, testing and quarantine protocols, depending on the country’s approved “listing,” Roque said.

He added that the IATF has adopted the “Yellow” and “Red” classifications, in addition to the “Green List” countries/jurisdictions/territories.

Roque said this is based on the countries’ respective incidence rates and case counts as primary criteria, and testing data as secondary criteria.  The incidence rate is the cumulative new cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population while case counts are cumulative new cases over the past 28 days.

The government first imposed the travel restrictions on India in April then later expanded to include more countries to stem the spread of Delta variant, the highly transmissible strain of COVID-19.

 

MMDA to re-impose ban on light trucks along EDSA beginning May 24

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will re-impose a ban on light trucks along EDSA and Shaw Boulevard starting May 24.

In a statement, the MMDA said trucks which have a gross capacity weight of 4,500 kilogram and below are prohibited to traverse along EDSA from Magallanes, Makati City until North Avenue, Quezon City, both northbound and southbound, from 5:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.

Meanwhile, the said trucks will be prohibited to traverse along Shaw Boulevard (Mandaluyong City and Pasig City) from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m. and from 5:00 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.

“The uniform light trucks ban shall be enforced from Monday to Saturday except Sundays and holidays,” the MMDA said.

Violators of the said truck ban, will face a fine of P2,000. AAC

PH extends ban on travelers from India to May 31; adds Oman, UAE in travel restrictions

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has extended its existing ban on travelers from India until May 31 to prevent the spread of a coronavirus variant first detected in the South Asian nation, Malacañang said.

In a statement on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said passengers coming from India are still not allowed to enter the Philippines until 2359H of May 31, 2021.

The Philippines also extended its travel ban for passengers coming from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka in the same period.

Roque also announced the expansion of the country’s travel restrictions to include travelers coming from Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or those with travel history to these countries within the last 14 days preceding arrival.

The entry ban on travelers from Oman and the UAE will take effect on May 15 until May 31.

Roque said the ban was recommended by the Department of Health and the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Passengers who are already in transit from the said countries or have been to the same areas within 14 days and arrived in the Philippines before May 15 will be allowed entry.

They will, however, be required to undergo stricter quarantine and testing protocols, notwithstanding a negative Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) result.

“The Department of Transportation should ensure that airlines are directed not to allow the boarding of passengers who are prohibited from entering the country pursuant to travel restrictions imposed by the Office of the President and IATF resolutions except if they are part of the repatriation efforts of the national government,” Roque said.

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