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NEC Chairman continuing as one-man commission: Hoole

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August, September dates  discussed for polls 
Bills from 2019 presidential  election not paid
My US citizenship oath nothing to  be ashamed of


National Elections Commission (NEC) member Ratnajeevan H. Hoole has not been in good terms with NEC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya in recent times and this has been evident in statements Hoole has made to the media. In an interview with Dailymirror, Hoole opens up on his issues with Deshapriya, concerns over the proposed dates for the parliamentary election and several other matters. Excerpts:

Q  There was a lot of debate with regard to the postponed parliamentary poll and now the NEC has picked June 20 to hold the election. Why June 20?


Many have asked why we chose the President’s birthday. I was not aware it is his birth date. Superstition is suggested because the President who did well on November 16 (1+6=7) had set April 25 (2+5=7) for the parliamentary election.
However, on the morning of April 20, as soon as I came to my commission office, Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya (MD) took issue with me over my letter to the commission which he claimed I had given to the press. I responded that a newspaper had it and asked me to confirm I had written the memo, which I did. I added that after that, since it was public anyway, I gave copies to a few who asked for it.
Fortunately, as the argument heated up, Nalin Abeyesekere, PC (NA), crashed in and he was upset that the chairman asked me to agree to May 28 and he knew nothing of it till he read my memo (I feel free to discuss this because a senior journalist who called me that noon recounted every detail of our conversations on the 20th, telling me “I have three good sources in the commission offices.”)
NA held, and I agreed, that we had postponed the April 25 date because of COVID-19 which as of the twentieth morning had got worse and there was no reason to go back on that. Both NA and I said the June 2 deadline for the new Parliament to meet was impossible and a new date should be as late as possible due to COVID-19. MD insisted on a rationale for a date. It was time for our 11 o’clock meeting but I insisted on finishing this matter before leaving my office. All three agreed it should be September 2 (five years after Parliament had met) or August 17 (five years after Parliament had been elected).


"The press too played a subservient role. You folk call the Chairman Head of the Commission. The Commonwealth Secretariat calls him Chief. Editors continue to call him Commissioner when there is no Commissioner. You thrive on sucking up"


After the meeting, MD reopened the date and wanted July 15 with no particular rationale. Then, after another meeting, as if to give a rationale, he had a handwritten paper on which he marked dates April 27 (curfew listed as stated by the government), May 2 to ensure COVID-19 was easing and then 7 weeks (5-7 weeks for campaigning as in the Act) taking us to June 20.
At the commission, he banged the table and said he owes his loyalty only to one country and he never went about swearing allegiance to another. Was he meaning Basil and Gotabaya Rajapaksa or me? I must note that my US citizenship oath “to support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States” has nothing for me to be ashamed of, and I can proudly do that for any democratic state. In contrast, MD was a member of the JVP in its most violent days, committed to overthrowing our democratically-elected government.At that point, I was so relieved to get away from the madness of a May election that I was happy to agree to June 20 and be done with it.
Then in the evening, medical experts met us and were emphatic that no one knew where COVID-19 was going. Dr. Paba Palihawardene, Deputy Director General of Health Services, said “it is highly likely” that COVID-19 would last at least for two years with ups and downs. Dr. Jasinghe was non-committal asking us to decide and that curfews are being lifted.
Later, the commission met again to draft the gazette. The chairman drafted it and gave it to NA who assumed it was as agreed. I had to study the Tamil draft which had the date May 30 for the election. It had to be redone with the right date.
As reported in Dailymirror, (22.4.2020), “the EC yesterday agreed to review [the poll date of 20.4.2020], Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya said.” There was no commission meeting from 20.4.2020 6:00 p.m. till now.
SLMC’s Rauff Hakeem and Nizam Kariapper have declared our decision unconstitutional. Not quite. Yes, Article 70(5) is violated. It is violated not by us but because it is impossible for the new Parliament to meet by 02.06.2020 given COVID-19. Even where curfew is relaxed, only 50% of the workforce is to be called. And then we must keep a one-meter distance. How when during elections we commandeer a workforce as large as 300% of the norm? Violation of 70(5) is a fait accompli. The doctrine of necessity justifies that violation. 

Q  With some restrictions likely to still be in place by June as a result of coronavirus, do you really think the environment will be conducive to hold an election or is it too soon?

New ways of bypassing these problems of restrictions are possible. But for innovative solutions, laws need to be amended. Examples are internet voting, multiple voting days to ease staff shortages, real powers to punish polls-law violators (at the commission no one knows of anyone who has been punished since the enactment of the 1981 Act, except for little boys who put up posters), making it necessary for the Attorney General to act within a timeframe when we refer a matter to him. And that requires Parliament to be back. 

Q  Should the old Parliament be convened, in your opinion, on or after June 2 since the election has been postponed from the original date?

It really is the easiest solution. To be a democracy, we need a Parliament of our representatives. Today itself if the President would cancel his gazette of 02.03.2020, everything that flowed from it – particularly the dissolution of Parliament and nomination papers filed – would be nullified. Parliament can then make right all unlawful measures like curfew declaration and the drawing of funds that have been drawn without Parliament.

Q  The election is likely to cost more than earlier estimated with election staff having to need protective gear. Has the commission done an estimate on this?

No. We need to decide on new measures. Our offices have been mostly shut during the pandemic. This is why the election to enable Parliament to convene by June 2 is impossible. Even our bills from the presidential election of November 2019 have not been paid.

Q  You have been very outspoken in recent times on matters related to the work of the commission. And this gives the impression that all is not well among the three members. Is that the case?

Nowhere do we have three people sitting down together and having the same ideas. But it is important to have trust and courtesy to be able to work together. My main issue is the chairman continuing as a one-man commission. As you know, he was commissioner before the 19th Amendment. After his retirement age, he was kept on extension till 19A was ready.
The intention, if you carefully read the law, is to have three members with one as chairman. The only difference was that the chairman had an extra vote if there is a tie, an unlikely event with three members. The commissioner with czar-like powers could not settle into being a co-equal chairman.
The press too played a subservient role. You folk call the Chairman Head of the Commission. The Commonwealth Secretariat calls him Chief. Editors continue to call him Commissioner when there is no Commissioner. You thrive on sucking up.
Then, the Cabinet messed up the commission. They gave a car to the chairman and only a travel allowance to the two members. This was hardly enough for a few meetings. So the other two members could not travel to the commission on a daily basis nor to faraway meetings. Only the chairman could order a commission car for us and we developed a dependent relationship. Nowadays to come during curfew and COVID-19, I need the chairman to arrange my transport. It seemed that the government and press preferred to deal with one man.
Almost all decisions were by the chairman. Staff who were used to a commissioner still treat the chairman as commissioner. He did their performance evaluations without showing us. He gives press conferences where there is no agreement as a commission on what is to be said and we two sit on either side like dummies.



"Nowhere do we have three people sitting down together and having the same ideas. But it is important to have trust and courtesy to be able to work together. My main issue is the chairman continuing as a one-man commission"


The association of all 25 regional assistant/deputy commissioners has been struggling with issues. Here is their email from August 2018 to the two members but we have not got the appointment they wanted:“This is to kindly inform you that we have made a written request to the Secretary - Elections Commission to get an appointment from two commission members. Even though we made the request to meet you, we did not receive any positive response up to now. Instead, we receive several calls from the chairman regarding this appointment and dictating terms for this meeting.  
“Mainly, we do not want to be governed by the chairman’s arbitrary decisions and unethical pressure. This pressure has penetrated our family lives as well. The communication and physical gaps we had with two members is the main reason for these issues according to our knowledge. We never wanted to maintain a gap but someone did.
“Even now, the chairman is trying to limit our representation which is going to meet you. At least we beg you to give us a reasonable time to talk freely. Almost all other District DCs and ACs are willing to express their views on this meeting.
“Our request letter with the Secretary, which we have a doubt whether it communicated to you sirs.”
A meeting was fixed in Colombo on a Sunday. I went there and found the chairman had moved it to Kandy and without transport I could not go.
“This gap” is to have selected subservient staff in Colombo. A minute was generated that the commission devolves its powers to the staff. Since corrected minutes are not given to us, my corrections never came back to me. These selected staff take decisions the chairman dictates. The worst manipulation was the appointment of the Commissioner General through manipulated selection criteria, a closing date advanced and sending the interview invitation late to a good candidate. But Mr. Abeyesekere who was on the interview team withdrew. The chairman now has suggested that the CG be allowed to run the elections.
Although MD denies it, I am informed by senior staff that the gazette dissolving Parliament in October 2018 was prepared by Director Channa de Silva, the two went together to the Presidential Secretariat up to the gate where de Silva alighted from the car and returned, leaving MD to proceed alone.

Q  Is NEC really independent as it is supposed to be or is there bias?


You be the judge.

Q  There had been calls in the past for the commission to be given more powers. Is that still a key requirement?


We do need more powers, but as writer Tisaranee Gunasekera told me, with independent commissions we also need independent members.

http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/NEC-Chairman-continuing-as-one-man-commission-Hoole/172-187114

 

Sri Lanka’s Muslim Coronavirus Victims Deserve Honorable Religious Funeral

While Sri Lankan government remains adamant on cremating bodies of Muslim coronavirus victims, despite an earlier decision to allow burials, doctors worldwide have come out with scientific facts to prove that   burials, now taking place in more than 180 countries worldwide, do not cause any harm to anyone.

Burial for Muslim corona virus dead victims, according to World Health Organization guidelines and local funeral laws, was agreed all over the world  

In a 16 minute video Dr Feroze M Mubarak, COVID-19 Practice Strategy Lead, Clinical Director, SAS North & Central London on scientific facts-Cremation of Covid 19 infected bodies, has explained clearly why in the case of Muslims, Christians and Jews burial should be permitted.

https://youtu.be/NQQxvmgRp08

 

However here in Sri Lanka the government, contravening its own previous guidelines, remains adamant on cremating bodies of Muslim corona victims. Third Muslim corona victim from Kalutara who died on Wednesday 8 April 2020   was cremated in complete secrecy though Muslims view it as desecration of the deceased.

This was not reported in the mainstream local media known for its hostility towards Muslims. Instead ,perhaps to justify the cremation, a section of the media published a fake news saying that the Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates has cremated Muslim corona virus dead.

This misleading report was categorically rejected by the UAE Embassy in Colombo.

There were also increasing reports from Human Rights Watch and numerous local organizations accusing the local media of undertaking a planned campaign to associate Muslims with corona virus, as it is happening in India, to poison the Sinhalese minds against Muslims.

The island’s helpless and voiceless Muslims community is seething with anger. 

In view of the growing pressure from the Muslim community, Muslim parliamentarians met Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to appeal to him to allow burial   as it is done in many parts of the world.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa met them after party leaders meeting at Temple Trees during the first week of this month. When the meeting was about to start Muslim parliamentarians pointed out they would like to meet separate. However the Prime Minister insisted on having the meeting there itself in the presence of others.

Muslim parliamentarians felt uncomfortable with the presence of parliamentarians Wimal Wirawansa and Udaya Gammanpila whose hostilities towards Muslims were common knowledge.

During the meeting SLMC Chairman Rauf Hakeem pleaded not to cremate Muslim corona victims as it violates the religious principles. He supported his plea by citing the World Health Organization circular, government’s own circular and the decision taken by numerous European countries to allow burial of Muslim corona dead bodies.

But, as expected, both Wimal Wirawansa and Gammanpila, opposed and read out statements insisting on cremating Muslim corona victims. This was backed by health ministry officials and the prime minister, insisted on cremating.

Muslims feel that this decision was to punish them for not voting for the government and please the Sinhalese hardliners. They also pointed out that Rajapaksa governments were responsible for Muslims not voting for their governments as memories of their sufferings   under them remain fresh.

There were appeals from Muslims and non-Muslims alike to allow the burials of Muslim corona victim’s dead bodies. 

For example in a statement issued on 7 April 2020  a collective of citizens and organizations comprising leading civil society members, academics and activists, has written to President Gothabaya to follow WHO guidelines and allow burial.

They urged to consider the MOH Circular of April 1, 2020 and amendments dated March 31, 2020 to the MOH Provisional Clinical Practice Guidelines, and instead follow WHO Guidance on the disposal of bodies. They also called upon the president to address the country’s greatly distressed Muslims and put to rest their fears that they are somehow being punished, or that the country has little respect for their concerns.

The letter has been copied to Health Minister Pavithra Waniarachchi, Director General Health Services Dr. Anil Jayasinghe, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera, Director of the Infectious Diseases Hospital Dr. Hasitha Attanayake, Chief Judicial Medical Officer Dr. Ajith Tennakoon, Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission Dr. Deepika Udagama and WHO Sri Lanka Representative Dr. Razia Pendse.

They pointed out worldwide, including the Chinese province of Wuhan where the disease was first reported, corona victims were buried,

For example The British government assured Muslim and Jewish communities that they will have their religious burial rights respected and there will not be mandatory cremations.

French President Emmanuel Macron assured that Muslims who die in France during the coronavirus pandemic will be buried in accordance with their religious beliefs and traditions.     

In Italy Muslim Covid-19 victims were accorded an honorable Islamic burial and up to ten family members and friends were allowed to attend the funeral prayer from a distance.

In India the Mumbai civic body’s order – that bodies of coronavirus patients can only be cremated, was withdrawn within hours after the state government intervened in the matter.

Urging governments and political leaders not to politicize corona virus issue World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned against using Covid-19 to “score political points”, stating that that he had received deaths threats and has been subjected to racist abuse.

Meanwhile Mariam Ardati, funeral and cemeteries advisor to the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC), said in a statement that Coronavirus cremations would be ‘horrific’

for Muslims, but it was permissible for bodies to be buried in leak-proof plastic bags. This measure was approved by the Islamic body known as the Fatwa Council. 

She said” For Muslims, cremation is not only prohibited, it’s viewed as a desecration of the deceased.

“There remains a connection between the body and soul even in death, so this is something that is quite metaphysical, and it’s a very strongly held belief,” explains Mariam Ardati.

“To inflict that type of treatment on the body in death, it’s quite horrific to even consider.” And, according to Ms Ardati, it’s causing panic, “because these are rights that are afforded to people in death, just as someone has rights afforded to them while they’re alive”.

When a Muslim person dies, their body is honoured with four rituals.

First, the body is washed — with soapy water, clean water, then camphor-infused water — then it is wrapped in a funeral shroud, perfumed with incense.

“Then there’s a communal prayer that’s offered for the deceased, and that’s when the whole community comes together,” explains Ms Ardati.

The fourth rite is that the deceased is buried, not in a coffin, but laid directly onto the earth  

Meanwhile in an appeal to Director General WHO, Organization of Islamic Countries, OIC, and the United Nations, Furkan Careem from Beruwala has appealed to prevail on Sri Lankan government to allow burial of Muslim corona victims.

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lankas-muslim-coronavirus-victims-deserve-honorable-religious-funeral/

 

Respect Burial Rights; Stop Hate Speech Against Muslims: UN Tells Gota

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The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief has urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to follow WHO guidelines on the disposal of deceased persons.

Writing to the President, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion said: We would like to encourage your Excellency’s Government to reconsider the provisions in the MoH Guideline by taking into account of the key considerations provided by WHO Guideline for the disposal of the bodies of human beings deceased from the COVID-19, and revise the circular accordingly. In view of the challenges posed by the pandemic it is important that the Government avoids any unnecessary measures that are likely to raise tension and are running contrary to the respect of the fundamental human rights of the persons belonging to different communities that exist in Sri Lanka. Arbitrary decisions concerning the disposal of bodies of victims of the COVID-19 may also have the opposite effect to provoking the reluctance of families and communities to report COVID-19 cases in fear that they may be unable ensure proper funeral or burial rites for their loved ones. Ideally, such provisions should be revised in consultation with all the concerned ethnic and religious communities and other relevant health experts and stakeholders.

“We respectfully reiterate the importance that the Government continues to uphold the right of freedom of religion or belief as well as the right of the minorities even during this challenging time. The protection of the privacy and identity of the patients or deceased without identifying their ethnicity or religious background in public would prevent their stigmatisation as individuals or member of a specific community.

“We are taking the opportunity to stress that it is equally important that your Excellency’s Government firmly condemn any attempt by anyone, irrespective of status, to issue or spread hate messages that are of a nature to instigate ethnic or religious tensions or violence, including through accusations or blame that any particular ethnic or religious community is responsible for the pandemic of COVID-19.”

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief also ask the President to;

* Clarify the rationale for the decision to limit the method of the disposal of the dead bodies to cremation. Has any consultation been held with relevant health experts, civil society and community members in order to ensure that the decision to prohibit the burial of COVID-19 victims is non-discriminatory, necessary and proportionate to the objective pursued?

* The information if relevant personnel dealing with the disposal of bodies of victims of the COVID-19 have been trained or informed to ensure that the close family member of the deceased get to see the body before it is sealed and that they are informed of the cremation of the body well in advance.

* The measures undertaken to ensure that ethnic and religious minorities, are not discriminated against in the implementation of this MoH Guideline and that their right to freedom of religion or belief with regard to burial rites and practices is upheld and respected.

* The information on the steps taken to tackle potential rise in hate speech against Muslims and other ethnic or religious minorities in Sri Lanka, including by protecting the identity of the COVID-19 patients or deceased?

We publish below the letter in full:

PALAIS DES NATIONS • 1211 GENEVA 10, SWITZERLAND

Mandates of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; the Special Rapporteur on minority issues; and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism

REFERENCE: AL LKA 2/20208

April 2020

Excellency,

We have the honour to address you in our capacities as Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief; Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health; Special Rapporteur on minority issues; and Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolutions 40/10, 42/16, 34/6 and 40/16.

In this connection, we would like to bring to the attention of your Excellency’s Government information we have received concerning the circular by the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka providing standard guidance on the autopsy practice and the disposal of COVID-19 related dead body.

According to the information received:

In March 2020, the Ministry of Health published Provisional Clinical Practice Guidelines on COVID-19 suspected and confirmed patients (MoH Guideline). This circular includes a chapter on the autopsy practice and the disposal of dead bodies.

Up till the third version of the MoH Guideline published on 27 March 2020, it was provided that a body related to death either confirmed (Category I) or suspected (Category II & III) of COVID-19, should be disposed within 24 hours (preferably within 12 hours) according to the guidance listed below:

• The body should never be washed under any circumstance.

• Cremation or burial is allowed. However, burial is allowed provided that all steps to prevent contact with body [are] ensured.

• The body has to be placed in an airtight sealed body bag and a sealed coffin.

• The grave should have a depth of 6 feet (deep burial). It should not contaminate with ground water.

• The grave should be identifiable and traceable.

• The disposal of bodies must be monitored by police, Ministry of Health and Public Health Inspector.

• The police and other government agencies must follow the legal aspect and their procedures.

However, on 31 March 2020, the Ministry of Health amended the Guideline and the fourth version with the amendments provided that a body related to death either confirmed (Category I) or suspected (Category II & III) of COVID-19, should be cremated within 24 hours (preferably within 12 hours) according to the guidance listed below:

• The body should never be washed under any circumstance.

• The body has to be placed in a sealed body bag and a coffin.

• Exclusive cremation.

• The disposal of bodies must be monitored by police, Ministry of Health and Public Health Inspector.

We understand that this fourth amendment of the MoH Guideline came following the cremation of a COVID-19 victim of a Muslim community on 31 March 2020 in Negombo, without consultation with and against the wishes of his family. We are concerned that the amendment is inconsistent with the Infection Prevention and Control for the safe management of a dead body in the context of COVID-19 guideline provided by World Health Organisation (WHO Guideline). Furthermore, we are concerned of the lack of consideration provided and the lack of sensitivity in the MoH Guideline to different communities and their religious and cultural practices.

We recognize that the pandemic of COVID-19 has posed serious public health challenges and that there is a need to take various factors into consideration in making sure the spread of COVID-19 is contained. While the reasons for the decision of the Ministry of Health to make such amendment have not been communicated, and do not seem to have been decided with any consultation with the relevant communities, we would like to stress that the legitimacy for such amendments should be based on the principles of legality, necessity, proportionality and non-discrimination. Indeed, when cultural or religious sensitivities are involved, an inclusive and participatory dialogue or consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the civil society and different ethnic or religious communities must be conducted before a decision is taken. Such a participatory approach and clear communication to all stakeholders of the steps taken and the reasons for taking such steps, are also more likely to increase public confidence in such measures and minimise public disquiet over such restrictions.

In this regard we would like to bring specific attention to the following:

1. Method of the disposal of dead body- Under the section on Burial, WHO Guideline provides that people who have died from COVID-19 can be buried or cremated. Under the section on Burial by family members or for deaths at home, it further indicated that in contexts where mortuary services are not standard or reliably available, or where it is usual for ill people to die at home, families and traditional burial attendants can be equipped and educated to bury people under supervision. Besides, the WHO Guideline clearly outlined that one of the key considerations is to avoid hasty disposal of a dead from COVID-19.

2. Handling of the dead body- MoH Guideline instructed that the dead body should never be washed under any circumstance and that the body has to be placed in a sealed body bag and in coffin. WHO Guideline does not preclude that a person such as family member or religious leader can prepare the deceased that involved washing, cleaning or dressing body, tidying hair, trimming nails or shaving. It only instructed the necessary safety and health precautions to be taken when any person decided to do so according to their customs or religious rites. It also allows for cloth wrapping.

3. Viewing of body- WHO Guideline also provided that the family wishes only to view the body may do so, as long as the family is given clear instructions not to touch or kiss the body and to use standard precautions at all times. It was furthermore indicated that family and friends may view the body after it has been prepared for burial, in accordance with customs.

By contrast, the MoH Guideline allows the viewing of the body only by close relative/s in a pre-designated area in hospital and it forbids viewing after the body is sealed. Even with this provision in place, some family members of deceased allegedly did not get to see the body before the cremation took place. This has reportedly created a lot of stress to the deceased’s family.

4. Sensitivity to local, customary and religious practices – WHO Guideline has highlighted that the dignity of the dead, their cultural and religious traditions, and their families should be respected and protected throughout. It was advised the need to apply principles of cultural sensitivity or to handle the burial or dead body in accordance with customs while ensuring standard precautions are followed at all time.

We recommend that attention be given in the MoH Guideline to existing cultural and religious sensitivity or traditions in the country. Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) protects everyone’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. The Human Rights Committee in its General Comment 22 paragraph 4 advises that the freedom to manifest religion or belief may be exercised “either individually or in community with others and in public or private”. It elaborates that the freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching encompasses a broad range of acts and the concept of worship extends to ritual and ceremonial acts giving direct expression to belief, as well as various practices integral to such acts, including ritual formulae or ceremonial acts.

While the manifestation of religion or belief may be restricted as per Article 18(3) of the ICCPR, to protect public safety, order, health, morals and the fundamental rights and freedoms of others any such limitation must fulfil a number of obligatory criteria including being non-disriminatory in intent or effect and constituting the least restrictive measure. Even in the face of overwhelming public necessity that falls on one or more of the five grounds for permissble limitations noted in Article 18(3), if there is a less restrictive measure, a greater interfernce with the right to manifest one’s beliefs will not be permissible. Given that the WHO Guideline does not discard burial, albeit under specific conditions for the preparation of the body, as one of two means for the disposal of the body, prohibiting burial would not be permissible according to the ICCPR.

Article 27 of ICCPR provides that “In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise their own religion, or to use their own language.” The 1992 Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities also emphasised that persons belonging to minorities have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, and to use their own language, in private and in public, freely, without any interference or any form of discrimination (article 2.1), and persons belonging to minorities have the right to participate effectively in cultural, religious, social, economic and public life (article 2.2). Moreover, States are required to ensure that persons belonging to minorities may exercise their human rights without discrimination and in full equality before the law (article 4.1) and create favourable conditions to enable persons belonging to minorities to express their characteristics and to develop their culture, language, religion, traditions and customs (article 4.2).

In conclusion, we would like to encourage your Excellency’s Government to reconsider the provisions in the MoH Guideline by taking into account of the key considerations provided by WHO Guideline for the disposal of the bodies of human beings deceased from the COVID-19, and revise the circular accordingly. In view of the challenges posed by the pandemic it is important that the Government avoids any unnecessary measures that are likely to raise tension and are running contrary to the respect of the fundamental human rights of the persons belonging to different communities that exist in Sri Lanka. Arbitrary decisions concerning the disposal of bodies of victims of the COVID-19 may also have the opposite effect to provoking the reluctance of families and communities to report COVID-19 cases in fear that they may be unable ensure proper funeral or burial rites for their loved ones. Ideally, such provisions should be revised in consultation with all the concerned ethnic and religious communities and other relevant health experts and stakeholders.

We respectfully reiterate the importance that the Government continues to uphold the right of freedom of religion or belief as well as the right of the minorities even during this challenging time. The protection of the privacy and identity of the patients or deceased without identifying their ethnicity or religious background in public would prevent their stigmatisation as individuals or member of a specific community.

We are taking the opportunity to stress that it is equally important that your Excellency’s Government firmly condemn any attempt by anyone, irrespective of status, to issue or spread hate messages that are of a nature to instigate ethnic or religious tensions or violence, including through accusations or blame that any particular ethnic or religious community is responsible for the pandemic of COVID-19.

The full texts of the human rights instruments and standards recalled above are available on www.ohchr.org or can be provided upon request.

As it is our responsibility, under the mandates provided to us by the Human Rights Council, to seek to clarify all cases brought to our attention, we would be grateful for your observations on the following matters:

1. Please provide any additional information and any comment you may have on the above-mentioned allegations and concerns.

2. Please provide the rationale for the decision to limit the method of the disposal of the dead bodies to cremation. Has any consultation been held with relevant health experts, civil society and community members in order to ensure that the decision to prohibit the burial of COVID-19 victims is non-discriminatory, necessary and proportionate to the objective pursued?

3. Please provide information if relevant personnel dealing with the disposal of bodies of victims of the COVID-19 have been trained or informed to ensure that the close family member of the deceased get to see the body before it is sealed and that they are informed of the cremation of the body well in advance.

4. Please indicate the measures undertaken to ensure that ethnic and religious minorities, are not discriminated against in the implementation of this MoH Guideline and that their right to freedom of religion or belief with regard to burial rites and practices is upheld and respected.

5. Please provide information on the steps taken to tackle potential rise in hate speech against Muslims and other ethnic or religious minorities in Sri Lanka, including by protecting the identity of the COVID-19 patients or deceased?

This communication, as a comment on pending or recently adopted legislation, regulations or policies, and any response received from your Excellency’s Government will be made public via the communications reporting website within 48 hours. They will also subsequently be made available in the usual report to be presented to the Human Rights Council.

Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of our highest consideration.

Ahmed Shaheed

Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/respect-burial-rights-stop-hate-speech-against-muslims-un-tells-gota/

   

Anguish as Sri Lanka forces Muslims to cremate COVID-19 victims

Rights group and activists accuse gov't of forcing cremation of Muslim COVID-19 victims in disregard to WHO guidelines.

The forced cremation of two COVID-19 infected Muslims in Sri Lanka has sent shock waves among the minority community, which accused the authorities of violating Islamic burial rites.

Bishrul Hafi Mohammed Joonus, a 73-year- old  man from the capital Colombo who died of COVID-19, was the second Muslim to have been cremated in the Indian Ocean island nation, which has registered 151 cases so far.

Bishrul's son Fayaz Joonus, 46, said his father who had a kidney disorder tested positive for the virus about two weeks ago. He died on April 1 and was cremated the following day.

Fayaz said they could not perform congregational funeral prayers, called the Janazah, for his father due to fear of infections.

"My father was taken in a vehicle under the supervision of the police force and was cremated. We did some prayers outside the morgue, but it was not a Janazah that us Muslim typically do," Fayaz told Al Jazeera.

"The government needs to make arrangements for us Muslims to be able to bury our loved ones in accordance with our Islamic burial rites."

 

"If there is an option of burial, our government should accommodate. Cremation is not the only option, we want to bury our loved ones as per the Islamic way," he told Al Jazeera.

Sri Lanka's Ministry of Health on Tuesday issued COVID-19 guidelines saying the standard procedure of disposing bodies should be cremation. It reversed an earlier guideline that allowed traditional Muslim burial.

It also said the body should not be washed and placed in a sealed bag and a coffin, as against the Islamic practice of washing the body.

Amnesty calls on authorities to stop forced cremation

Muslim leaders and activists have pointed out that the World Health Organization (WHO) allows both burial or cremation for people dying due to the pandemic.

Prominent lawyer Ali Sabry said in a Facebook post that he was disappointed with authorities' decision to cremate bodies of Muslims, as it was in disregard to the WHO guidelines, which say that a body can be either buried or cremated.

Out of the four people who died due to COVID-19, two were Muslims. The cremation of Muslims has caused anguish in the community.

"The Muslim community sees this as a racist agenda of extremist Buddhist forces that seem to hold the government to ransom," Hilmy Ahamed, vice president of Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, told Al Jazeera.

"The guidelines issued by the WHO is practised by Britain, most of the European countries, Singapore, Hong Kong and all the Muslim nations [except for Sri Lanka]," he told Al Jazeera.

Amnesty International has also called on authorities to "respect the right of religious minorities to carry out the final rites" according to their own traditions.

"At this difficult time, the authorities should be bringing communities together and not deepening divisions between them," Biraj Patnaik, South Asia director at Amnesty International, said in a statement.

"Grieving relatives of people who have died because of COVID-19 should be able to bid farewell to their loved ones in the way that they wish, especially where this is permissible under international guidelines."

Muslims account for 10 percent of Sri Lanka's 21 million population. But their relationship with the majority Sinhala Buddhists deteriorated in the years after the end of civil war in 2009 during which hardline Buddhist groups were blamed for several attacks against Muslims' businesses and places of worship.

Following the deadly attacks in April 2019 that killed more than 250 people, Muslims have faced increased hostility from the Sinhala majority.

A little-known Muslim organisation was blamed for the island nation's worst attack since the civil war fought between the government forces and the Tamil separatist fighters.

"This is just to hurt the feelings of the minority," Azath Salley, leader of the National Unity Alliance political party and the former governor of Western province, told Al Jazeera.

'Anti-Islamic sentiments'

The method of the disposal of the body has become a big talking point in the country, with a section of the media accused of running "anti-Muslim hysteria" and pointing fingers at Muslims for the spread of the virus.

Nalaka Gunawadenne, a media analyst said amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is very disturbing and disheartening to see anti-Islamic sentiments and anti-Muslim hate speech "raise their ugly head again in Sri Lanka".

“This is national and global emergency shared by all humans, and not a time highlighting our cultural divisions. The coronavirus does not care about our ethnic or religious differences. We need to fear the virus - not each other - and unite in containing and battling the disease." he told Al Jazeera.

Government officials from the health services department did not respond to repeated calls from Al Jazeera for comment.

Meanwhile, Fayaz, who is in a makeshift quarantine centers in Punani in the eastern province, said he did not inform his mother of his father's death and cremation.

"She has heart disease and we don't want to risk it. She won't be able to bear it."

Both & racism are killer contagions, that sicken anyone who catches them. Ironically, we lock down on one, but open floodgates to the other. Only way to save us is to improve immunity to them, as individuals and a nation. media should responsibly help the recovery.

207 people are talking about this

Now 's Hon. Politicians are trying to protect their baby rather than trying to protect the country or nations from .

This is very clear, this is only the option to sustain their career if they protect baby.

Shame!

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SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS


https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/anguish-sri-lanka-forces-muslims-cremate-covid-19-victims-200403053706048.html

 

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ඊයේ දින ‌කොරෝනා නිසා මරණයට පත් වූ මීගමුවේ පුද්ගලයාගේ මිනිය භූමිදානය කිරීමට කළ උත්සාහයන් අසාර්ථක වීම ගැනත් ඒ පිළිබඳව රවූෆ් හැකීම් වැනි ‌අය නිකුත් කළ මාධ්‍ය නිවේදනය ගැනත් විවිධ අදහස් සමාජ මාධ්‍යය ඔස්සේ ඉදිරිපත් ‌වෙමින් පවතී. ඒ අය නීතියට පටහැනිව කිසිවක් ඉල්ලුුුුවේ නැත. ‌‌‌‌ලෝක ‌‌‌සෙ‍ෳඛ්‍ය සංවිධානයේ මාර්ගෝපදේශය සහ ඒ අනුව ‌‌‌සෙ‍ෳඛ්‍්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශය නිකුත් කළ ‌‌‌චක්‍ර ‌ලේඛනය අනුව ආදාහනය ‌‌‌නොකර භූමිදානය කිරීමට අවසර දී ඇත. සමස්ථ මුස්ලිම් සමාජයම ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ එම විධිවිධාන අනුව භූමිදානය කිරීමට පමණයි. අනිත් හැම රටකම පාහේ ඒ අනුව කටයුතු කිරිමට අවස්ථාව ලබා දී ඇත. නමුත් අවාසනාවකට ‌‌‌‌‌‌මෙන් අපේ රටේ ජඩ මාධ්‍ය එය ‌ප‌ෙන්වා දී, අසාධරණයට ලක්වූ ජන ‌කොටසේ හැඟීම්වලට ගරු කර රජය නිවැරිදි මාර්ගයට ‌‌‌‌ග‌ෙන ඒමට කටයුතු කරන්නේ නැත. ඔවුන් කරන්නේම එම සිදුවිම හරහා අසාධරණයට ලක් වූ ‌ජන ‌ක‌ොටසට එරෙහිව ජාතිවාදයක් ‌ගොඩ නැඟීමයි. ඒ අය නීතියට පටහැනිව කිසිවක් ඉල්ලුුුුවේ නැත. ‌‌‌‌ලෝක ‌‌ස‌ෙ‍ෳඛ්‍ය සංවිධානයේ මාර්ගෝපදේශය සහ ඒ අනුව ‌‌‌ස‌ෙ‍ෳඛ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශය නිකුත් කළ ‌‌‌චක්‍ර ‌ලේඛනය අනුව ආදාහනය ‌‌‌නොකර භූමිදානය කිරීමට අවසර දී ඇත. සමස්ථ මුස්ලිම් සමාජයම ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ එම විධිවිධාන අනුව භූමිදානය කිරීමට පමණයි. අනිත් හැම රටකම පාහේ ඒ අනුව කටයුතු කිරිමට අවස්ථාව ලබා දී ඇත.නමුත් අවාසනාවකට ‌‌‌‌‌‌මෙන් අපේ රටේ ජඩ මාධ්‍ය එය ‌ප‌ෙන්වා දී, අසාධරණයට ලක්වූ ජන ‌කොටසේ හැඟීම්වලට ගරු කර රජය නිවැරිදි මාර්ගයට ‌‌‌‌ග‌ෙන ඒමට කටයුතු කරන්නේ නැත. ඔවුන් කරන්නේම එම සිදුවිම හරහා අසාධරණයට ලක් වූ ‌ජන ‌ක‌ොටසට එරෙහිව ජාතිවාදයක් ‌ගොඩ නැඟීමයි. එවැනි ‌‌‌‌ද‌ේවලින් උසිගැන්‌ව‌ෙන පිරිසක් සිදුවීම්වල පිටුපස තිබෙන කූට අරමුණු සහ ‌‌ද‌ේශපාලනය ‌තේරුම්‌ග‌ෙන ‌හ‌ෝ ‌‌නොගෙන ඒ පිටුපස යමින් ජාතිවාදය වපුරයි. සෑම ජන‌‌කොටසකම ජාතීවාදීන් සිටියි. අන්‍ය ආගමිකයින් ‌කෙරෙහි ‌අකමැත්තක් දක්වන අය සිටියි. ‌‌කලින් කලට ඔවුන් විවිධ සිදුවීම පදනම් කරගෙන එක් එක් ප්‍රශ්න ඇති කිරීමට සහ එමඟින් විවිධ ප්‍රයෝජන ලබා ගැනීමටත් උත්සාහ කරයි. එවැනි අවස්ථාවක ඒවා පාලනය කිරීම සඳහා රජයේ වගකීම ‌‌‌වේ. එම තත්ත්වය පාලනය කිරීමට, ජන ‌‌කොටස් අතර ‌බෙදීම් ඇති කරන මතවාද පතුරවන විට ඒවාට එරෙහිව කියාමාරග ගැනීම රජයේ වගකීමයි. රජය එය නිසි ‌ලෙස සිදු ‌‌‌නොකරන අවස්ථාවක සමාජ මතවාද ‌ගොඩ නඟමින් තත්ත්වය ‌හොඳ පැත්තකට හරවීමට බද්ධිමත් උගත් පිරිස කටයුතු කළ යුතුයි. නමුත් ලංකාවේ සිදුවන්නේ එයට හාත්පසින් ‌‌වෙනස් ‌දෙයකි. ‌‌බොහෝ උගතුත් ද, උසස් නතතුරු දරන අය ද, ඒ රැල්ලට හසු වී ‌ඒවා තව තවත් වර්ධනය වීමට දායක වීමයි. එබැවින් මා කාරුණිකව ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ ආගමෙන් ‌‌වෙනස් වුනත් අපිත් ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයෝ ‌වෙමු. ඔබට තිබෙන සෑම අයිතියක්ම සෑම අයුරකින්ම අපටත් ඇත. අපේ හැඟීම්වලටත් ගරු කරන්න. අපි බුදු රජානන් වහන්සේට බුද්ධාගමට බනින්නේ නැත. අගෙ‍ෳරව කරන්නේ නැත. ඒ වගේ අපි අදහන අල්ලාහ් ‌‌දෙවියන්ට අපි අනුගමනය කරන නබි තුමාට අපහාස කරන්න ‌එපා. එවැනි අදහස් ඇති පළකිරීම් සමාජ මාධ්‍ය ඔස්සේ ‌බෙදා ගන්න එපා. අපි කිසිවිටක සිංහල සමාජයත් එක්ක තරහ නැත. අපි හැමවිටම උත්සාහ කරන්නේ සිිංහල සමාජයත් එකට ජීවත් වීමටයි. ‌ගත වූ දශකය තුළ සිදුවූ සිදුවිම්වලින් පසුව මුස්ලිම් සමාජයේ සිටින විද්වතුන් මුස්ලිම්වරු අතර පවතින ආකල්ප ‌ව‌ෙනස් කිරීමටත් සැබෑ සංහිදියාවක් ඇති කිරීමටත් උත්සාහ කරමින් සිටියි. අතිබහුතර සිංහල සමාජය තුළ ජාතිවාදය නැත. නමුත් ‌මෙවැනි මාධ්‍ය සහ පළ කිරීම නිතර නිතර ඇසෙන විට ඔවුනුත් ‌‌මොහොතකට ‌හෝ දැනුවත්ව ‌හෝ ‌නොදැනුවත්ව ජාතිවාදීන් වීමේ ප්‍රවණතාවය වැඩිව‌ෙමින් පවතියි. නති සිංහල පතන ‌ගෙන ආ ‌‌වේලාවේ රැල්ලට හසුව් උගත් නුගත් සියලුදෙනා සහාය පළ කළා. නමුත් අන්තිමට සිදු වුනේ කුමක් ද? එයින් සිංහල සහ ‌දෙමළ ජනක ‌කොටස් අතර ඇති වූ පරතරය දශක කිහිපයක් තිස්‌සේ ටික ටික වර්ධනය වී රට ‌බෙදීමේ යුද්ධයක් දක්වා වර්ධනය විය. අන්තිමට ‌දෙපැත්තේම විශාල පිරිසක ජීවිතය අහිමි වුනා.එවැනි තත්ත්වයක් ඇති කිරීමට 1980 අසූව දශකයතුල අප‌ේ

ඊය‌ේ ‌කොරෝනා නිසා මරණයට පත් වූ මීගමුවේ පුද්ගලයාගේ මිනිය භූමිදානය කිරීමට කළ උත්සාහයන් අසාර්ථක වීම ගැනත් ඒ පිළිබඳව රවූෆ් හැකීම් වැනි ‌අය නිකුත් කළ මාධ්‍ය නිවේදනය ගැනත් විවිධ අදහස් සමාජ මාධ්‍යය ඔස්සේ ඉදිරිපත් ‌වෙමින් පවතී. ඒ අය නීතියට පටහැනිව කිසිවක් ඉල්ලුුුුවේ නැත. ‌‌‌‌ලෝක ‌‌ස‌ෙ‍ෳඛ්‍ය සංවිධානයේ මාර්ගෝපදේශය සහ ඒ අනුව ‌‌‌ස‌ෙ‍ෳඛ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශය නිකුත් කළ ‌‌‌චක්‍ර ‌ලේඛනය අනුව ආදාහනය ‌‌‌නොකර භූමිදානය කිරීමට අවසර දී ඇත. සමස්ථ මුස්ලිම් සමාජයම ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ එම විධිවිධාන අනුව භූමිදානය කිරීමට පමණයි. අනිත් හැම රටකම පාහේ ඒ අනුව කටයුතු කිරිමට අවස්ථාව ලබා දී ඇත. නමුත් අවාසනාවකට ‌‌‌‌‌‌මෙන් අපේ රටේ ජඩ මාධ්‍ය එය ‌ප‌ෙන්වා දී, අසාධරණයට ලක්වූ ජන ‌කොටසේ හැඟීම්වලට ගරු කර රජය නිවැරිදි මාර්ගයට ‌‌‌‌ග‌ෙන ඒමට කටයුතු කරන්නේ නැත. ඔවුන් කරන්නේම එම සිදුවිම හරහා අසාධරණයට ලක් වූ ‌ජන ‌ක‌ොටසට එරෙහිව ජාතිවාදයක් ‌ගොඩ නැඟීමයි.
ඒ අය නීතියට පටහැනිව කිසිවක් ඉල්ලුුුුවේ නැත. ‌‌‌‌ලෝක ‌‌ස‌ෙ‍ෳඛ්‍ය සංවිධානයේ මාර්ගෝපදේශය සහ ඒ අනුව ‌‌‌ස‌ෙ‍ෳඛ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශය නිකුත් කළ ‌‌‌චක්‍ර ‌ලේඛනය අනුව ආදාහනය ‌‌‌නොකර භූමිදානය කිරීමට අවසර දී ඇත. සමස්ථ මුස්ලිම් සමාජයම ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ එම විධිවිධාන අනුව භූමිදානය කිරීමට පමණයි. අනිත් හැම රටකම පාහේ ඒ අනුව කටයුතු කිරිමට අවස්ථාව ලබා දී ඇත.

නමුත් අවාසනාවකට ‌‌‌‌‌‌මෙන් අපේ රටේ ජඩ මාධ්‍ය එය ‌ප‌ෙන්වා දී, අසාධරණයට ලක්වූ ජන ‌කොටසේ හැඟීම්වලට ගරු කර රජය නිවැරිදි මාර්ගයට ‌‌‌‌ග‌ෙන ඒමට කටයුතු කරන්නේ නැත. ඔවුන් කරන්නේම එම සිදුවිම හරහා අසාධරණයට ලක් වූ ‌ජන ‌ක‌ොටසට එරෙහිව ජාතිවාදයක් ‌ගොඩ නැඟීමයි. එවැනි ‌‌‌‌ද‌ේවලින් උසිගැන්‌ව‌ෙන පිරිසක් සිදුවීම්වල පිටුපස තිබෙන කූට අරමුණු සහ ‌‌ද‌ේශපාලනය ‌තේරුම්‌ග‌ෙන ‌හ‌ෝ ‌‌නොගෙන ඒ පිටුපස යමින් ජාතිවාදය වපුරයි.

සෑම ජන‌‌කොටසකම ජාතීවාදීන් සිටියි. අන්‍ය ආගමිකයින් ‌කෙරෙහි ‌අකමැත්තක් දක්වන අය සිටියි. ‌‌කලින් කලට ඔවුන් විවිධ සිදුවීම පදනම් කරගෙන එක් එක් ප්‍රශ්න ඇති කිරීමට සහ එමඟින් විවිධ ප්‍රයෝජන ලබා ගැනීමටත් උත්සාහ කරයි. එවැනි අවස්ථාවක ඒවා පාලනය කිරීම සඳහා රජයේ වගකීම ‌‌‌වේ.
එම තත්ත්වය පාලනය කිරීමට, ජන ‌‌කොටස් අතර ‌බෙදීම් ඇති කරන මතවාද පතුරවන විට ඒවාට එරෙහිව කියාමාරග ගැනීම රජයේ වගකීමයි.
රජය එය නිසි ‌ලෙස සිදු ‌‌‌නොකරන අවස්ථාවක සමාජ මතවාද ‌ගොඩ නඟමින් තත්ත්වය ‌හොඳ පැත්තකට හරවීමට බද්ධිමත් උගත් පිරිස කටයුතු කළ යුතුයි.

නමුත් ලංකාවේ සිදුවන්නේ එයට හාත්පසින් ‌‌වෙනස් ‌දෙයකි. ‌‌බොහෝ උගතුත් ද, උසස් නතතුරු දරන අය ද, ඒ රැල්ලට හසු වී ‌ඒවා තව තවත් වර්ධනය වීමට දායක වීමයි.
එබැවින් මා කාරුණිකව ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ ආගමෙන් ‌‌වෙනස් වුනත් අපිත් ශ්‍රී ලාංකිකයෝ ‌වෙමු. ඔබට තිබෙන සෑම අයිතියක්ම සෑම අයුරකින්ම අපටත් ඇත. අපේ හැඟීම්වලටත් ගරු කරන්න. අපි බුදු රජානන් වහන්සේට බුද්ධාගමට බනින්නේ නැත. අගෙ‍ෳරව කරන්නේ නැත. ඒ වගේ අපි අදහන අල්ලාහ් ‌‌දෙවියන්ට අපි අනුගමනය කරන නබි තුමාට අපහාස කරන්න ‌එපා. එවැනි අදහස් ඇති පළකිරීම් සමාජ මාධ්‍ය ඔස්සේ ‌බෙදා ගන්න එපා.
අපි කිසිවිටක සිංහල සමාජයත් එක්ක තරහ නැත. අපි හැමවිටම උත්සාහ කරන්නේ සිිංහල සමාජයත් එකට ජීවත් වීමටයි. ‌ගත වූ දශකය තුළ සිදුවූ සිදුවිම්වලින් පසුව මුස්ලිම් සමාජයේ සිටින විද්වතුන් මුස්ලිම්වරු අතර පවතින ආකල්ප ‌ව‌ෙනස් කිරීමටත් සැබෑ සංහිදියාවක් ඇති කිරීමටත් උත්සාහ කරමින් සිටියි. අතිබහුතර සිංහල සමාජය තුළ ජාතිවාදය නැත. නමුත් ‌මෙවැනි මාධ්‍ය සහ පළ කිරීම නිතර නිතර ඇසෙන විට ඔවුනුත් ‌‌මොහොතකට ‌හෝ දැනුවත්ව ‌හෝ ‌නොදැනුවත්ව ජාතිවාදීන් වීමේ ප්‍රවණතාවය වැඩිව‌ෙමින් පවතියි.
නති සිංහල පතන ‌ගෙන ආ ‌‌වේලාවේ රැල්ලට හසුව් උගත් නුගත් සියලුදෙනා සහාය පළ කළා. නමුත් අන්තිමට සිදු වුනේ කුමක් ද? එයින් සිංහල සහ ‌දෙමළ ජනක ‌කොටස් අතර ඇති වූ පරතරය දශක කිහිපයක් තිස්‌සේ ටික ටික වර්ධනය වී රට ‌බෙදීමේ යුද්ධයක් දක්වා වර්ධනය විය. අන්තිමට ‌දෙපැත්තේම විශාල පිරිසක ජීවිතය අහිමි වුනා.
එවැනි තත්ත්වයක් ඇති කිරීමට 1980 දශකයතුල අප‌ේ යුද හමුදාවටත් ‌කොටි සංවිධානයටත් එකම කඳවුරක් තුළ පුහුුණුව ලබා දුන් උදවිය ඉතා උවමනාවෙන් බලා සිටියි.
එවැනි ‌දෙයක් කිසිවිටක ‌නොවේවා.

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