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  • හිජාස්ගේ පෙත්සමට විරෝධතා ගොනු කරන්න නියෝග
    පාස්කු ඉරුදින ප්‍රහාරය සම්බන්ධයෙන්  නීතීඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා සැකපිට  අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන රඳවා තබා ගැනීමෙන් ඔහුගේ මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් කඩ වී ඇති බවත් , ඔහුව මුදා හරින නියෝගයක් නිකුත් කරන්නැයි ඉල්ලා ගොනු කළ මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් පෙත්සම සම්බන්ධයෙන්  වන විරෝධතා සතියක් ඇතුළත ගොනු කරන්නැයි ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය අද (01) වැඩබලන පොලිස්පතිට...
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  • Hejaaz Hizbullah, The Shining Young Attorney Held Incommunicado By Mass L. Usuf
        The dreaded Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 (PTA) has been in public discussion ever since it was enacted. It was initially introduced in Parliament as ‘Temporary Provisions’ vide Section 29 of the Act which read: “The provisions of this Act shall be in operation for a period of three years from the date of its commencement.” Thereafter, this Temporary Provision paradoxically found a permanent abode, approximating four decades, by virtue of an amendment; “Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Amendment Act, No. 10 of 1982. It now reads: “Section 29 of the principal enactment is hereby repealed.” Widely condemned as an equivalent of Draco’s law, this statute was passed under the watch of the JR Jayewardene Presidency. It was specifically designed to confer on the police...
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  • ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ කොරෝනා වසංගතය, 'මුස්ලිම් ප්‍රජාවට එරෙහි වෙනස්කම්', ත්‍රස්ත විරෝධී නීතිය සහ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා
    Image copyrightTWITTER/ JUSTICE FOR HEJAAZ අදින් මාස කිහිපයකට පෙර ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය ඉදිරියේ පැවති විභාගයකදී තරුණ නීතිඥවරයෙක් පෑ වාග් පෙළහර එහි සිටි බොහෝ දෙනාගේ සිත් ඇදගැනීමට සමත්විය. රට පුරා මහත් ආන්දෝලනයකට ලක් වූ ඒ නඩු විභාගයේදී ඔහු මතු කළ තර්ක කෙතරම් අවධානයට ලක් වූයේ ද යත් ඔහුගේ මිතුරන් මතු නොව, අධිකරණයේ දී ඔහුගේ ප්‍රතිවාදීන් වූ සගයින්...
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  • NEC Chairman continuing as one-man commission: Hoole
    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...
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  • 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,...
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  • Respect Burial Rights; Stop Hate Speech Against Muslims: UN Tells Gota
    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....
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  • 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...
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  • ආදරණීය සිිංහල මිතුරන්ගෙන් කරන ‌ඉල්ලීම
      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...
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  • Coronavirus toll in New York state passes 1,000: Live updates
      00:50 GMT - Death toll in New York state surpasses 1,000 More than 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus outbreak in New York state, according to a tally by The Associated Press  (AP) news agency. On Sunday evening, New York City said its toll had risen to 776. The total number of statewide deaths is not expected to be released until Monday, but with at least 250 additional deaths recorded outside the city as of Sunday morning, the state's total fatalities was at least 1,026, AP said. 00:30 GMT - China reports 31 new cases in mainland The number of COVID-19 infections in China continues to slow with health authorities in Beijing reporting 31 new cases at the end of Sunday. The figure includes one locally transmitted infection and marks a drop from the 45 cases reported a day earlier. There were no new cases for a sixth consecutive...
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  • Iran urges US to free Iranian prisoners amid coronavirus pandemic
    Iran's government has urged the United States to release Iranians held in US jails on sanctions-related issues due to fears about the coronavirus outbreak. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Washington of holding a number of Iranians in its prisons and said under these circumstances they should be set free. Meanwhile, the death toll in Iran from the coronavirus rose to 2,378 on Friday, a jump of 144. Iran is one of the worst hit countries in the world. Zarif also referred to a report by The Guardian newspaper about Sirous Asgari, a science professor, who it said was still being...
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Wilpattu - Fact, fiction and reality - by Latheef farook

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sunday observerby Latheef Farook :

Musali South in the Mannar District has traditionally been a predominantly Muslim populated area for centuries. Their peaceful life was devastated in October 1990 when they were kicked out of their homes and lands within two hours by the LTTE when it ethnic cleansed the entire Northern Muslims.

Since then, they languished in refugee camps and temporary shelters in extreme hardships.

After the military defeat of LTTE in 2009, Muslims started to return to their lands to resume their devastated life. However racist forces with their own sinister agenda, hell bent on causing problems to Muslims, have falsely accused them of encroaching Wilpattu and triggered off a controversy to them from returning to their lands to which they have deeds and permits.

Document

Explaining the situation in her preface to a document on Musali South, Prof Sivamohan Sumathy of Peradeniya University said, "the return of the Displaced in Musali South has evoked a variety of responses and competing claims that have taken on national and nationalist proportions.

The returning population of Musali South have tried to eke out a living in the midst of harsh conditions, unaided by state forces for the most part. Yet, the region has become needlessly entangled in a controversy over environmentalism. While the Navy has claimed large acres of land for its own entrenchment in the region, environmentalists have accused settlers, the IDPs, who have returned and staked out a claim for their lands, as destroyers of forest.

wilpattu masjidThe displaced people of Musali South, account for some of the most marginalized sections of the population, but the debate that the putative return has spurred in the media and in political circles has cast them as adversaries of both nature and the state".

A six member team of academics led by Prof Shahul H. Hasbullah of Peradeniya University has prepared an extensive research document on the issue of Musali South Muslims returning to their lands under the title "Denying the Right to Return - Resettlement in Musali South and the Wilpattu Controversy." With a plea "Help Us Return Home" people of Musali South appeal to all to help them return to their lands and homes with dignity and self respect to end their more than three and half decade old sufferings.

Explaining the background in his author's note, Prof Shahul H Hasbulla stated that;

"When the "Wilpattu controversy" flared up, the turn of the debate surprised me. I knew for certain that the contested area in question was not located in Wilpattu. In a published newspaper article, I emphasized the issue of returnees, which in my view, is the crux of the matter. But the ongoing debate paid no attention to this issue. To the contrary, the public discourse continuously labelled returnees as 'criminals'.

Truth

"The bleak situation spurred me to take on the mission of uncovering the truth. I visited all corners of "Musali South" to get to know its history and its peoples, reflecting on the claims and counter claims of land ownership.

"I learned from the people who were paddy, chena and cattle farmers; sea, lagoon, river and tank fisher folk; teachers, religious dignitaries; men, women, young and children of all ethnic (Tamils, Muslims and Sinhala), religious (Catholic, Hindu, Muslims, Buddhist) and linguistic (Tamil and Sinhala) communities.

"According to our findings people have lived in the Musali Region for generations. They toiled on this land and roamed the region for various livelihood activities without any interruption, while keeping the tradition of protecting the forest and the environment.

"They are a part of the nature and culture of the region. For more than two decades, the people have been displaced - until today. They have a right to return to their homes". Thus concluded Prof Hasbullah.

Muslims, in fact, had nothing to do with the devastating ethnic war between successive governments and the LTTE. However sandwiched between the two they suffered immense and the plight of Musali South Muslims was no exception.

While Musali South Muslims were in refugee camps the Rajapaksa Government had acquired a major part of their traditional lands under various pretexts knowing very well that the owners would claim this land once the ethnic war ends.

Acquisition

First around 40% of their traditional lands in the Musali South was acquired. This was followed by the acquisition of another 30 percent of their land without any consultation or consent to establish security Establishments. Added to this Muslims owned lands were acquired to establish a naval agricultural project. Furthermore, a Navy Regional Commanding Office was established in two prominent villages and the Muslims were prevented from entering their lands, dwellings and other properties.

Thus, Musali South Muslims were deceived and deprived large extent of their traditional lands.

wilpattu bbsJudging from the subsequent anti Muslim campaign under Rajapaksa government aimed at virtually eliminating the Muslim community it is not difficult to realize now that Muslim owned Musali South lands were acquired deliberately to deprive Muslims of their lands.

Commenting on the controversy Prof Arjuna Parakrama of University of Peradeniya stated in the special document that;

"The issue of resettlement in Musali - Wilpattu has divided and destroyed relationships built up among "progressive" groups who hitherto shared similar positions on other national concerns. Environmental activists allowed this discourse to be narrowly ethnicised, and emulated populist majoritarian rabble rousers in their passion to "save Wilpattu" from what they saw as corrupt and opportunist minority politicians.

"A small band of human rights professionals and academics who took up the cause of the displaced were unable to disentangle themselves from the political leadership that was using the issue in at least of the ways that the environmental lobby claimed.

"The media exploited all of this - generally on the side of the single-issue environmentalists - to rekindle anti-Muslim sentiment among the Sinhala polity. As a result, those who had no interest in the preservation of wildlife became passionate campaigners, while dedicated eco-types transformed into ethno-nationalists overnight. In all of this the affected people remained voiceless - pawns in a series of chess games - and this denial of agency is as damaging as the continued deprivation of their rights".

Relations

Meanwhile, Prof M.A. Nuhman lamented that six years have passed since the war ended and the ethnic relations in the country further deteriorated because of the short sighted political leadership that encouraged ethnic tension and fear in the country to further their own agendas.

Resettlement of internally displaced people is one of the major issues today that demands an immediate solution in post war Sri Lanka. Hundreds of thousands of people from all three communities were displaced internally during the war, losing their houses, land and sources of livelihood; most of them are not resettled so far and they are longing for return to their own soil to live peacefully.

To this day, we have not been able to formulate a national policy of resettlement to resolve the problem of the displaced people justly and permanently. Therefore, resettlement programmes are being carried out in an ad hoc manner and have led to further problems and tensions among the communities. Resettlement in Musali South is a case in point.

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