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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...
    Read More...
  • 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...
    Read More...
  • 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...
    Read More...
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Why Did Not The Muslims Attack?

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By Mass L. Usuf

Mass Usuf

Very unexpectedly a close Sinhalese friend of mine asked me why did not the Muslims retaliate when they were attacked? I was perplexed. Firstly, because he is a Sinhalese and, secondly, the thought of attacking people never occurs in the mind of a practising Muslim. Out of curiosity, I asked him “What do you mean by retaliate?” He said, “You all should have attacked business premises of the Sinhalese people in areas where you all are in majority.” Now, I became curious, since this is a Sinhalese speaking about attacking the Sinhalese. I asked him “What the hell is wrong with you and why are you talking like this?” He replied, “I am disgusted with these fellows. Believe me, after university I have never stepped into a temple.” Him mentioning ‘temple’ reminded me of our youthhood. I humorously reminded him how both of us used to hang around in the temple compound to catch a glimpse of his girlfriend. I said “Machan api bodhi pooja atha gaanawa mathakada, hebai esdeka wena kohedo neda.” He replied, “Those days are now gone. I really feel sorry for our growing up kids”

The question as to why the Muslims did not retaliate by attacking Sinhala houses or business premises requires an explanation. I have to distinguish here between a practising Muslim and a non-practising Muslim. The majority are generally, practising Muslims. In fact, the only religion in the world which has the largest number of practising followers is Islam. Anyway, we have our quota of black sheep like in any other community. A realistic comparison would be the Sinhalese racists who perpetrated the recent violence. They do not represent the majority of the respectable Sinhalese people. In fact, their criminal behaviour has embarrassed many Sinhalese people who feel ashamed.

Be Just Even To The Enemy

Self-defence is a religious obligation in Islam. Also, retaliating when attacked or repulsing an attack form part of this obligation. However, this obligation is restricted by several conditions. According to Islamic teachings, it is strictly prohibited for a Muslim to harm another innocent person for no reason. It is, also, strictly prohibited for a Muslim to wantonly take the life of another human being, whether Muslim or non-Muslim. Therefore, in response to the attack on Muslims in Digana, one cannot attack an innocent Sinhalese person in the streets of another part of Sri Lanka. Just because that person happens to be a Sinhalese. In the same manner, a Muslim cannot burn a house or a shop of an innocent Sinhalese person elsewhere. He would be committing a grave sin according to the teachings of Islam. Even at times like this Islam teaches equity and justice to be applied to all including the enemy. This partly explains why there were no such reprisals. The Quran states:

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Well Acquainted with what you do.”   (Chapter 5 Verse 8).

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor,…” (Chapter 4 Verse 135).

‘Islam’ Means ‘Peace’

Islam also enjoins the Muslims to respect the law of the country in which they live so long as it does not violate the teachings of Islam. On that basis, Muslims as citizens of this country would expect the law enforcement authorities to establish law and order, prevent violence against persons and property and provide protection to the public. The requirement of taking the law into one’s hand does not arise under these circumstances.

The meaning of the word ‘Islam’ is ‘Peace’. Islam teaches several moral and ethical values which guides human beings towards living in society with peace and tolerance. Muslims believe that Allah is the Most Merciful; that Allah is the Most Forgiving; That Allah is the Pardoner of sins. Therefore, a good Muslim is never revengeful, is never unforgiving or is never unpardoning. On the contrary, a Muslim goes on the premise that when Allah, the Almighty is the Most Forgiving and the Most Merciful why should not I be merciful and forgiving towards another human being. After all, according to Islam it is our belief that Allah is the Creator of all mankind which obviously includes the Sinhalese people too.

“O mankind, worship your Lord who created you and those who lived before you, so that you may become righteous.” (Chapter 2 Verse 21)

Patience An Exalted Quality

A practising Muslim always strives to be patient to the best possible extent in any given situation. This also constitutes the part of the Islamic ethics which exalts the conduct of patience in a Muslim. The behaviour of the Muslim is what it is because of the act of forgiveness, mercy and the practise of patience at times of trials and tribulations. The Quran states:

“We shall test you through fear, hunger, loss of life, property, and crops. Give glad news to the people who have patience.”   (Chapter 2 Verse 155)

There is a misconception amongst the Sinhalese racists who always alleges especially, in the social media that the Muslims act innocent and harmless when they are weak but will not hesitate to kill someone if they are in power. Therefore, the Muslims cannot be trusted. This is an utterly false statement and by this these racists are deceiving the Sinhalese people. They want to sow the seed of hatred in the minds of people and to this end would not stop at anything good or bad, right or wrong, moral or immoral. Shameless creatures, aren’t they?

Boastful Cowards

A distinction has to be drawn between being a coward and being an individual who practises patience. It is not an act of bravery but absolute cowardism to come in organised groups, armed with weapons and then attack innocent men, helpless women and traumatised children. Not only that, to solicit the support and complicity of the Police and the Special Task Force, to set alight closed shops, places of religious worship and houses of people who have not done any wrong to anyone. The lack of conscientiousness in these sick people is further amplified by their claim of heroism or boast as seen in Venerable Gnanasara Thero recent statement for example.

On the other hand, a person practising patience should not be misunderstood as being cunning or pretentious or as being a coward. The Muslims have shown great maturity on the face of the puerile behaviour of the ‘grown up’ racists and some self-deluded racist politicians, who think that they are smarter. The Muslims would not want to exacerbate a given situation by acting on their own. These are some of the virtues and values that restrains the practising Muslims from retaliating. As peace loving and law-abiding citizens, I think the Muslims are a great asset to this island, as part of a community showcasing multi-cultural, multi religious and multi ethnic diversity in unity.

“O you who believe! have patience, help each other with patience, establish good relations with one another, and have fear of God so that you may be successful..”   (Chapter 3 Verse 200)


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