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  • Why Sri Lanka jailed a Muslim lawyer without charge for 6 months
                                      The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, the EU and UN Human Rights Core Group on Sri Lanka have expressed their concerns on the arbitrary arrest and detention of Hizbullah [Photo courtesy: Family] Why Sri Lanka jailed a Muslim lawyer without charge for 6 months Rights groups and members of civil society have raised concerns over the continued incarceration of a Muslim lawyer in Sri Lanka, adding that his prolonged detention “had a chilling effect on anyone involved in peaceful dissent and advocacy”.

    Hejaaz Hizbullah, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested on “terrorism” charges in April and has remained in detention...
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  • Hejaaz Hizbullah case: CID misled public and Cardinal, says Counsel
    When the case of the arrest of Hejaaz Hizbullah was taken up yesterday, the Counsel alleged that the Criminal Investigations Department had misled the Cardinal and the public with regard to Hizbullah.

    “They lied to His Eminence the Cardinal and the public. The real culprits were never caught and they have instead found a scapegoat in Hejaaz,” the Counsel said.

    The CID submitting a report said that they were awaiting a Government Analyst report on three phones used by Hizbullah.

    “This is how they lied throughout. They said the investigations were to be completed and a Deputy Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Department said it would be by 16 September. The CID lied to the Attorney General’s Department as well and is now seeking further time.”

    The CID said that transactions of...
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  • Sri Lanka has locked up this Muslim lawyer without charge for nearly five months
    The prominent Sri Lankan Muslim lawyer, Hejaaz Hizbullah, is being described by human rights groups as the latest victim of Sri Lanka’s draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act.

    On April 14, Hizbullah, 40, got a call from the Ministry of Health saying they were worried he may have contracted COVID-19 and advised him to remain at home.

    A day earlier he and others had written to the Sri Lankan president about his government’s decision to ban Muslims from burying their dead, forcing them to cremate their remains instead – a violation of their right to freedom of religion, as protected by Sri Lanka’s constitution and its international obligations.

    Hejaaz Hizbullah was a lawyer at the Supreme Court and worked as a state counsel for the Attorney General’s department. Beyond his legal work, he was involved...
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  • “කවදා හෝ යුක්තිය ඉටුවේයැ’යි බලාපොරොත්තු සහගතව ජීවිතය ගෙවනවා විනා වෙන කිසිවක් කළ නොහැකි වීම ගැන මට ඇත්තේ නොදැරිය හැකි වේදනාවකි”: මගේ මල්ලි හිජාස්
    හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මගේ බාල සොහොයුරා ය. අගෝස්තු 25 වැනි දිනට එළඹුණු ඔහුගේ 40 වැනි උපන්දිනය ඔහුට ගත කිරීමට සිදු වුයේ පාස්කු ඉරිදා ත්‍රස්තවාදී ප්‍රහාරයට සම්බන්ධ බවට අභූත චෝදනා එල්ල කරමින් අයුතු ලෙස අත්තඩංගුවට පත්ව අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ රැඳවුම් භාරයේදී ය. හිජාස් පිළිබඳව මට ඇති පැරණිතම මතකයන් අතර බොහොමයක් කළුබෝවිල සිට...
    Read More...
  • Hejaaz Detention: Fort Magistrate Orders CID To Submit All Statements Obtained In Investigations


    Following submissions by Defence Counsel that the Criminal Investigations Department is selectively reporting facts to the Magistrate in order to malign Hejaaz Hizbullah, Fort Magistrate today ordered the Criminal Investigations Department to submit a report of all statements obtained by them from persons relating to the investigations of Hizbullah.
    When the case was taken up today. Counsel for the Defence informed Court that the Criminal Investigations Department had obtained statements from all persons of the Save the Pearls Charity and the Teachers and Board of Management of the Al-Zuhriya Madarasa.

    However, none of those statements had been produced to date.
    They said that the statements would reveal that all the allegations made by the CID are a fabrication and were made in order to malign Hizbullah and...
    Read More...
  • Hejaaz Hizbullah: Symptom and symbol
    What made him more enigmatic was that unlike most others in his profession who shield their lives beneath a calm facade, he taught exceptionally well Apparently he called the Easter attackers “fools who died as fools.” I can picture Hejaaz saying that   There’s an image of Hejaaz Hizbullah I return to over and over again. It’s an image of him holding a placard at a protest in 2018. The placard reads, “Asilachaara parliamenthuwak wenuwata seelachara parliamenthuwak” (“A cultured parliament in place of an uncultured parliament”). The reason why it resonates with me is that, even in the ecstatic way he holds it, he is quite unlike the Hejaaz Hizbullah I once knew. But then I realise that the Hejaaz I once knew couldn’t have been the real guy. 
    I first encountered the man in 2013 at my law school. He didn’t...
    Read More...
  • Niqab Ban In France Violates Human Rights Of Muslim Women: UN Human Rights Committee
    The United Nations Human Rights Committee said France’s niqab ban violates the human rights of Muslim women and risks “confining them to their homes.” Women in France can be fined up to 150 euros for wearing the niqab, a full-face...
    Read More...
  • Rathana At It Again; ACJU Is The Punching Bag For Everyone
    By Mass L. Usuf Mass Usuf Let this column begin with a Disclaimer. It is only an analysis and the writer is not holding a brief to defend or protect the All Ceylon Jamiyathul Ulema (
    Read More...
  • 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....
    Read More...
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Sri Lanka MPs hurl 'chilli powder' and chairs in fresh chaosLegislators allied to disputed PM Rajapaksa fight with rivals in second day of clashes

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Legislators allied to disputed PM Rajapaksa fight with rivals in second day of clashes


 

 

 

 

 

A clash between rival members of the Sri Lankan parliament, in Colombo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sri Lanka’s parliament has been disrupted for a second day, with legislators allied to the disputed prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, hurling chairs at police officers and allegedly throwing chilli powder at opposing MPs.

It was the latest violent incident in the crisis that erupted three weeks ago, when the president, Maithripala Sirisena, suddenly announced he had sacked the prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed Rajapaksa in his place.

Despite the violence, the pro-Rajapaksa MPs failed to prevent the assembly from passing a no-confidence motion in his leadership, dismissing his government for the second time this week.

Unlike the previous vote, however, Friday’s motion omitted any reference to misconduct on the part of Sirisena. The change indicates the president could recognise the motion this time and agree to terminate Rajapaksa’s leadership.

Rajapaksa’s forces have already said they will reject Friday’s vote. “We say Mahinda Rajapaksa heads the government,” said Dinesh Gunawardena, a Rajapaksa ally. “We shall agitate for elections. The country is in anarchy. The parliament is in anarchy.”

Security was heavy in parliament on Friday after the previous day’s session had to be abandoned when MPs scuffled inside the chamber, requiring one to be hospitalised. One MP, Palitha Thewarapperuma of the United National party, was seen wielding a knife in Thursday’s fray.

Before the session could start, MPs allied to Rajapaksa surrounded the Speaker’s ceremonial chair, shouting protests at the use of knives in Thursday’s brawl.

More than two dozen police officers entered the chamber with their arms linked, trying to escort the Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, inside along with parliamentary officials in white coats carrying a ceremonial mace.

Advised not to enter the chamber by his security staff, Jayasuriya, 78, responded: “I will enter the chamber for the future generations of Sri Lanka”, a witness to the scene told the Guardian.

As Rajapaksa watched from his chair, his MPs attacked the officers with chairs and books, injuring up to 11. Other legislators tipped the Speaker’s ceremonial chair to the floor and dragged it across the ground.

Taking refuge on a side bench and surrounded by officers, Jayasuriya called for a voice vote on the no-confidence motion in Rajapaksa. A roar erupted across the chamber and the Speaker declared the vote carried by a majority.

Jayasuriya must now formally communicate the result to Sirisena, which he is expected to do later on Friday.

Outside the chamber, MPs Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and Vijitha Herath could be seen rubbing their eyes, with splotches of chilli splattered across their robes.

“They have behaved as beasts, not as human beings,” Herath told reporters outside the chamber.

He wore a large bandage across his forehead, saying he was injured when an opposing lawmaker lobbed a copy of the Sri Lankan constitution at his head.

If recognised by Sirisena, who ultimately commands the country’s armed forces and police, Friday’s no-confidence motion would leave the country without a prime minister.

According to the constitution, Sirisena will need to name a prime minister who he believes can command a majority of parliament’s vote. Wickremesinghe would have the numbers, but the acrimony between he and Sirisena – one of the key factors in sparking the crisis – makes it doubtful he would be chosen.

Also uncertain is how Rajapaksa and his supporters will respond to the result. He tweeted after the vote: “The Speaker’s ad-hoc decisions are the main reason for today’s situation in parliament. The need is to go for a election and lead the way to a stable parliament.”

Wickremesinghe told a press conference on Friday evening it was “a black chapter in our history”.

“I’ve been there when a bomb was thrown … but this is the deliberate breaking up of parliament by a group of people claiming to be the government,” he said.

“Today Sri Lankans have again seen deplorable behaviour by some MPs, unbecoming of them and of their noble institution,” the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris, wrote on Twitter. “No parliament can perform its role when its own members stop it from doing so.”

 

 

 

 

More than two dozen police officers entered the chamber with their arms linked, trying to escort the Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, inside along with parliamentary officials in white coats carrying a ceremonial mace.
Advised not to enter the chamber by his security staff, Jayasuriya, 78, responded: “I will enter the chamber for the future generations of Sri Lanka”, a witness to the scene told the Guardian.
As Rajapaksa watched from his chair, his MPs attacked the officers with chairs and books, injuring up to 11. Other legislators tipped the Speaker’s ceremonial chair to the floor and dragged it across the ground.
Taking refuge on a side bench and surrounded by officers, Jayasuriya called for a voice vote on the no-confidence motion in Rajapaksa. A roar erupted across the chamber and the Speaker declared the vote carried by a majority.
Jayasuriya must now formally communicate the result to Sirisena, which he is expected to do later on Friday.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/16/sri-lankan-mps-chilli-powder-chairs-clashes-parliament

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