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  • Democracy Threatened: Impunity, Political Patronage & Rollback Of Devolution
    By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole – R. Sasilan: Assistant Commissioner of Elections Today we are opening new living quarters for our Election Commission’s man-in-charge in Batticaloa. I am so glad because R. Sasilan is a man I am proud of. He stands up for what is right without fear or favor. When a minister distributed gifts in elections some years ago, he confiscated a gift pack and filed a complaint with the police. The police, as often happens, disappeared the evidence. Sasilan sent a report to the Commission and that too disappeared....
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  • Coronavirus funerals: Sri Lanka's Muslims decry forced cremation
      Image copyrightEPA Image captionSri Lankan Muslim women wait for a Covid-19 test. Some in the community are fighting cremation rules Sri Lankan authorities are insisting on cremation for coronavirus victims - a practice forbidden by Islam. The nation's minority Muslim community says they are using the pandemic to discriminate, writes BBC Sinhala's Saroj Pathirana. On 4 May, Fathima Rinoza, a 44-year-old mother of three from Sri Lanka's minority Muslim population, was admitted to hospital with a suspected case of Covid-19. Fathima, who lived in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, had been suffering from respiratory problems and the authorities feared she had caught the virus. On the day she was admitted to hospital, the family was "set upon" by the authorities, her husband Mohamed Shafeek said. "The police and military along with...
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  • ජිනීවා මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේදී රටවල් 5කින් ලංකාවට චෝදනා
    පාස්කු ප්‍රහාර සම්බන්ධයෙන් සැකපිට අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන සිටින නීතිඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා රඳවා තබාගැනීම, විශේෂ බළකායේ සැරයන් සුනිල් රත්නායකට ජනාධිපති සමාව ලබාදීම ඇතුළු කරුණු ගණනාවක් පදනම් කරගනිමින් එක්සත් රාජධානිය ඇතුළු රටවල් 5ක කණ්ඩායමක් එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේදී ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට චෝදනා එල්ල කර ඇතැයි ජිනීවා තානාපති...
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  • මුස්ලිම් නීතිඥයාට එරෙහිව 'ත්‍රස්ත සාක්කි' ගෙතූ රහස් පොලිසියට විනිසුරු විරෝධය

      පාස්කු බෝම්බ ප්‍රහාරයට සම්බන්ධ යැයි ජනමාධ්‍ය මගින් ප්‍රචාරය කරමින් ත්‍රස්තවාදය වැළැක්වීමේ පනත යටතේ අත්අඩංගුවට ගනු ලැබු මුස්ලිම් ජාතික නීතිඥවරයකුට එරෙහිව ව්‍යාජ සාක්ෂි ගෙතීමට රහස් පොලිසිය විසින් දරණ ලද උත්සාහයක් විනිසුරුවරයකුගේ මැදිහත්වීම නිසා ව්‍යර්ථ වී තිබේ.

    නීතිඥ හිජාස් ඕමර් හිස්බුල්ලාහ් රඳවා...
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  • Gnanasara Thero Once Again Inciting Sinhalese Against Muslims
    Malicious campaign pushing discriminated and frustrated Muslims to wall Few weeks ago Ven Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thero, known for inciting Sinhalese and unleashing violence against Muslims, said he would dissolve his organisation Bodu Bala Sena as it has achieved its target of setting up a Sinhala Buddhist government without minority support. Latheef Farook Following the election of the present government to power on 15 November 2019, he was rather quiet. Now that the parliamentary election is forthcoming, he has started his campaign once again pitting the Sinhalese against Muslims.There were reports that during the presidential elections in November 2019 Buddhist monks and temples were used to demonize Muslims to win Sinhala votes assuring security. As part of this campaign to win Sinhala votes, he attempted to brand as extremist, several...
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  • Hejaaz: A lawyer for all seasons

    A year has passed since the deadly Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka. Victims, survivors, and the general public still await answers. Amidst these desperate demands for accountability, Hejaaz Hizbullah, a prominent Muslim lawyer, is suddenly – and most unexpectedly – arrested and detained.

    I met Hejaaz during the first-ever debating tournament I participated in. He led the team from S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia, and I represented St. Joseph’s College, Colombo. Our teams made it to the finals that year. I recall Hejaaz as a fierce competitor with the rare gift for conveying an argument with charisma and conviction. He also had a great sense of humour, taking friendly banter in good spirit. The Thomians triumphed that year, and deservedly so.

    What strikes me now is...
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  • Muslim writer in jail for 60 days without "explicit evidence"
    A group of activists in Sri Lanka has called upon the government for the unconditional release of a Muslim writer who has been held in detention for more than
    sixty days without “explicit evidence being produced”.

    In a letter to the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim activists say that Ramzy Razeek arrested on April 09 for allegedly violating the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and Cyber Crimes Legislation has also been denied medical treatment and legal access in detention.

    “Despite orders from the Magistrate to allow him access to medicine, reliable sources state that his health condition is deteriorating due to lack of access to specific medicines of which he is in dire need. A lawyer attempting to visit Razeek this week, was also denied...
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  • அடையாள அணிவகுப்புக்கு முன் ஹிஜாஸின் அடையாளத்தைக் காட்ட சிஐடியினர் முயற்சித்தார்கள்
    இரு சிறுவர்களிடமிருந்தும் வாக்குமூலம் பெறுவதற்கு முன்னர் சிஐடியினர் தனது அறையில் வைத்து ஹிஜாஸ் ஹிஸ்புல்லாஹ்வின் புகைப்படத்தை அவர்களுக்குக் காண்பிப்பதற்கு முயற்சித்தார்கள் என கோட்டை நீதவான் ரங்க திசாநாயக்க தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

    புத்தளம் மத்ரஸாவொன்றின் மாணவர்களுக்கு தீவிரவாதத்தைப் போதித்தார் என சிஐடியினர்...
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  • CID attempted to show photograph of Hejaaz to children before ID parade: Fort Magistrate
    Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayaka said in open court that officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had attempted to show photographs of Hejaaz Hizbullah at his chambers prior to the recording of statements from two children.

    When the matter was taken up before Dissanayake on 24 June, he told Hizbullah’s lawyers that prior to the recording of the statements from the two children, this attempt had been made: “I want to reveal this. The CID officers tried to show pictures and I had to tell them to leave the Chamber.”

    Two children had made “voluntary statements” on 12 May to the Magistrate on camera regarding Hizbullah. An identification parade was to be held including Hizbullah with 10 children being summoned as witnesses to identify Hizbullah.

    Nawarathna Bandara PC, appearing with Harshana...
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  • Magistrate disallows ID parade for detained lawyer
    Counsel for Hejaaz Hizbullah objects to ID parade Says children lined up to identify suspect have been shown his photograph during questioning Magistrate uploads objections, fixes 1 July for next hearing Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday disallowed the Police from presenting detained attorney Hejaaz Hizbullah for an identification parade after counsel for the suspect objected to the move. Hejaaz Hizbullah   President’s Counsel Wasantha Navaratne Bandara, who appeared for Hizbullah, said that the 10 children lined up to identify the suspect have been shown his photograph by the Police when they recorded a statement from them, and hence objected to holding the identification parade.

    CID officers who appeared in Court however...
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News

What does the Egyptian election portend?

By Latheef Farook

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“Will it be the climax of a revolution, or will it tear the country asunder?”

Egypt is an ancient country with a recorded history of more than 7,000 years. Known for its pyramids and the River Nile this Mediterranean country linking the Middle East and Africa with Europe was the centre of a flourishing civilization, while most of the world, including the West, was steeped in darkness.

However, with the rise of European imperial powers and their manipulations, Egypt suffered a great deal, especially since the 15th century. Though an ancient country, Egypt had its first ever free and fair elections last month, to elect a president who would rule for the next four years.

The question is whether the forces which rule the world, such as the United States, Europe, pro Zionists Jews who control the US and Europe, Israel and their Arab stooges installed in power in the Middle East together with the Egyptian armed forces, will ever allow democracy to survive, leave alone flourish.

Egypt is often referred to in Arabic as Ummuth Duniya, ‘Mother of the Earth’ and the Egyptians known for their humour and easy going lifestyle proudly claim that “Anyone who tastes Nile water always returns to drink this water.”

 

Dambulla Kahiriya Jumma Mosque

By Latheef Farook

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Symbol of Muslims’ rights and dignity

By Latheef Farook

It is almost a month and half since a mob brought in from outside the area, led by a Buddhist monk, and vandalized Dambulla Khairiya Jumma Mosque on Friday 20 April 2012 in violation of all laws of the country and all known human decency.

The beleaguered Muslims await justice while the mob remains free backed by some undisclosed Buddhist Organizations.

The island is passing through one of its most difficult times in the independent history. There are numerous burning issues, both local and international, to be dealt with. The West in general has been very hostile since the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in May 29. On the other hand this is the time after 30 years of ethnic killings every effort needs to be made to bring communities together to move the country ahead.

 

Religious tolerance under scrutiny in Sri Lanka

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Vol - XLVII No. 22, June 02, 2012 | Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri

Nirmal Ranjith Dewarsiri is with the department of history, University of Colombo.

The recent attack led by Buddhist monks on the Khairya Jumma mosque located in the so-called “sacred zone” of the Dambulla rock temple in the central province is important even though it did not develop into a larger scale clash between the Buddhist and Muslim communities of Sri Lanka. The Dambulla Khairya Jummah mosque had been in existence for over 60 years and the mosque trustees have legal documents regarding its construction. On Friday the 20th of April 2012 a tense situation arose as regular Friday prayer at the mosque was prevented by a gang led by Buddhist monks who claimed that it was an illegal construction built on sacred Buddhist ground.

Many view this incident as an isolated event led by a group of extremists; an event which was easily quelled as it did not represent the sentiments of the majority Buddhist populace. Although this may be true, this line of thinking conceals some of the realities of the inter-religious relations in Sri Lanka within which the Dambulla incident could be located. In this short piece, I attempt to highlight existing problems in the religious setting in the Sinhala-Buddhist south of Sri Lanka giving special attention to the Dambulla incident.

 

Israeli presence in Colombo

By Latheef Farook

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Bound to aggravate communal tension?

By Latheef Farook

“Israel’s foreign policy is that the national interest of Israel is the ultimate test and that the Israelis pursue this with cold blooded calculation” - late eminent journalist Mervyn De Silva.

The Zionist Jewish entity of Israel which has been sneaking into Sri Lanka time and again only to have been expelled, found a firm foothold in Colombo now. The island’s growing ties with Israel have become cause for serious concern among many especially within the beleaguered Muslim community which fears that this may spell disaster for them.

This fear emanates from Israel’s long record of hostility towards Muslims and its crucial role in the United States led western global campaign against Muslims under the guise of fighting a so called war on terrorism. It becomes still worse because a small minority of nationalists who, openly call for the expulsion of Tamils and Muslims from the island, are now in influential positions while Muslims parliamentarian remain subdued and ineffective.

 

Beyond Dambulla mosque Attack - Part 2

by Dr Sulaiman Rifai, Naleemi (London)

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Dr Sulaiman Rifai, Naleemi

Today one in every six person is a Muslim. Out of approximately 6 billion people one billion or little bit more people are Muslims in the world. It is a universal duty and responsibility of International Muslim community to reach out to these 5 billion Non-Muslim people with the compassionate message of Islam.  Religion of Islam is not a monopoly of certain race or ethnicity rather it is a universal religion for humanity. Indeed, Islam is the culmination of monotheistic faith of all prophets on the earth. From the very first prophet Adam to the last Prophet Muhammad all prophets of God came with same message of Islam: literally to demand people to submit to the will of God. This universality of Islamic message is very clearly articulated and elaborated in the Holy Quran and Prophetic traditions and therefore, reaching out with the message of Islam should be number one priority of collective responsibility of international Muslim community.

 

[Protest in Dehiwala] Buddhists monks and villages protest

Local

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By Azra Ameen

Buddhist monks took to the streets yesterday again demanding the demolition of yet another Muslim community building in Colombo, claiming it was illegal.

Over 250 protestors led by Buddhist monks staged a demonstration yesterday in front of Galvihara Road, Dehiwala, calling for the demolition of the Madarasa ‘Darul- Qur’an lil Baranil Iman.

The protestors charged it is an illegal construction and a place where goats are scarified.

The Police was immediately deployed to avoid any clashes.

One of the monks leading the protest claimed the Madarasa should be demolished as the Muslims had constructed it illegally; a claim many Muslims in the area are disputing.

 

Reply to Dr Ameer Ali’s biased criticism of Islamism in Srilanka.

Opinion

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The primary purpose of this short review of Dr Ameer Ali’s subjective article (titled POINT OF VIEW: An aggressive brand of state religion vs. others) in Lakbima News paper (20/05/12) - which was also republished here - is to clarify some misperceptions about basic teaching of Islam. It is unfortunate today that many Muslim and Non-Muslim academics with their western educational training write about Islam and Muslim communities subjectively without proper Islamic educational background and trainings. These so called academics in Muslim names have learned about Islamic teachings and doctrines through the writings of western anti-Islamic scholarship. Consequently, these people’s writings and mentality reflect bias western prejudice against pure Islamic teachings and spiritual development of Muslim community. These people see Islam and its teaching through mere materialistic and secularist perception and consequently Islamic revivalism and activism is seen as a threat for their materialistic philosophy of life.

 

POINT OF VIEW: An agressive brand of state religion vs. others

Opinion

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The Dambulla mosque fracas engineered by the militant elements of Sri Lankan Buddhists, the reaction to it by local Muslim politicians and Muslim religious leaders, the former threatening to withdraw their inconsequential support to the government while the latter urging Muslim masses to pray to Allah to restore the status quo, and the conflicting messages from the nation’s prime minister and the president, both of them without condemning the perpetrators but trying to mollify the aggressor and the aggrieved, demonstrate yet again the toxic mix of militant Buddhism (perhaps a contradiction in terms) and national politics. The Muslim community is precariously placed between militant Buddhism and political ineptitude.

 

ISLAM & SCIENCE

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The power of science is so amazing that it pushes religious people to take one of two paths when it comes to their beliefs about the world and what their sacred texts have to say about it. Either one has to both reject what we learned through the scientific method and have faith that what they believe to be Revelation is the Truth and everything else is the devil’s deception, or they relegate what they see in their sacred texts to be allegories to teach us life’s lessons. Many followers of the Jewish and Christian traditions seem to have fallen entrapped into one of these two paths. We now have two main encampments: young earth creationists, or sacred scripture allegorists. There are even an increasing number of believers who have been taken by powerful scientific theories, such as that of evolution, and have now begun to reject the literality of the story of Adam and Eve as a real event. Unfortunately, Muslims are increasingly joining their Abrahamic brothers and sisters as they try to cope with how to deal with the seemingly outward contradiction between religion and science.

 

Tolerance for other faiths

Opinion

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By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

In response to my column on May 2 on the impending crisis in Sri Lanka as a result of the demand by Buddhist nationals to demolish or remove a mosque in Dambulla, a reader wanted to know whether I had written on this issue only because I am a Muslim and by inference the matter is of concern to me.

He wondered if I would be so quick to react if other faiths were being attacked, citing the bombing of a church in Alexandra, Egypt almost a year and a half ago.  It happened during a midnight mass on New Year’s Eve at a church in Alexandria.  A powerful bomb was set off killing 21 people in the blast mostly followers of the Coptic faith.  The powerful explosion was reportedly set off by a suicide bomber who had prepared his grim New Year package with nails and ball bearings which tore through a crowd of churchgoers as they left the church. In addition to the dead, the blast wounded 79 others and caused havoc in the neighborhood.

 

Beyond Dambulla Mosque Attack - Part 1

by Dr Sulaiman Rifai, Naleemi (London)

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By Dr. Sulaiman Rifai, Naleemi (London)

In this series of articles I will Insha Allah try to gauge the communal relationship between Muslim and Non-Muslim communities in Srilanka in recent times.  The primary objective of this article is not to make division between communities rather to   bridge the gap in deteriorating communal relationship between different communities. A multicultural nation like Srilanka should maintain a strong sense of social interactions between communities in the greater interest of country and each community.  Srilankan Muslim community as a matter of priority of Islamic obligations should play a vital role in this nation building process. Away from all dogmatic and sectarian differences, the entire Srilankan Muslim community should work hand in hand to enhance communal harmony and peace in this country.

 

Eastern provincial election soon; parties consulted

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Chief Minister agrees to dissolution; President in bid to revitalise SLFP

By Chris Kamalendran

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has directed members of the United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) to be prepared for an early election in the Eastern Province. Eastern Provincial Council Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan said he gave his consent on Thursday to dissolve the council earlier than scheduled.

Constitutionally, the consent of the Chief Minister is required to dissolve a provincial council.
Three years after the military defeat of Tiger guerrillas, the government wants to put its popularity to the test in the East by holding provincial council elections.

   

ACJU press release on Opening of Israel Embassy in Sri Lanka

Press Releases

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ACJU/MDA/013/1433

10-05-2012

ஊடக அறிக்கை

இஸ்ரேல் தூதரகம் திறக்கப்படுவது இலங்கைக்கு ஆரோக்கியமானதல்லஅகில இலங்கை

ஜம்இய்யத்துல் உலமா கண்டனம்

இஸ்ரேல் தூதரகம் திறக்கப்படுவது குறித்து அகில இலங்கை ஜம்இய்யத்துல் உலமா ஆழ்ந்த வேதனையை

தெரிவிக்கும் அதேவேளை
,இதனை மிக வன்மையாகக் கண்டிக்கிறது.

 

Extremists out to deepen schisms

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Qadijah Irshad (Colombo Courier) / 11 May 2012

Almost three weeks after the vandalisation of a mosque in the Dambulla district by a 2,000 odd mob led by some Buddhist clergy, a Buddhist organisation called the Buddhist Protection Foundation held a protest march and a campaign on Monday 
in Kalutara demanding 
the removal of the in Dambulla.

Addressing media, the Executive Director of the Foundation Priest Puliyadde Sudhamma Thero said that the protest was just “a beginning of a series of protests against the Muslim mosque in Dambulla.”

   

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