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  • MR to resign tomorrow - Namal
    Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was recently appointed as the Prime Minister by President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to resign from the premiership tomorrow after a special statement, MP Namal Rajapaksa tweeted a short while ago.  
    http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/MR-to-resign-tomorrow-Namal-159811.html Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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  • SC leaves grant to proceed with Mahinda’s appeal
    The Supreme Court has decided to take up the appeal of Mahinda Rajapaksa against the interim order of the Court of Appeal on the premiership on the 16th, 17th and 18th of January 2019. However, the request of the petitioners for a stay order on the interim order restraining Mahinda Rajapaksa from holding office of Prime Minister and his Cabinet from functioning has been unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has also ordered the Appeal Court not to hear the petition against Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Cabinet holding office, until the Supreme Court hearing is over. The Court informed the parties that if they wish the petition to be heard before a five-member judge bench, they should refer the request to the Chief Justice. Justice Eva Wanasundera, who was a part of the three-judge panel which considered the appeal...
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  • මහින්ද හෙට ඉල්ලා අස්වන බව නාමල් කියයි
    මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා හෙට (15) විශේෂ ප්‍රකාශයක් සිදුකර අග්‍රමාත්‍ය ධුරයෙන් ඉල්ලා අස්වන බව නාමල් රාජපක්ෂ මහතා සිය නිල ට්විටර් ගිණුමේ පණිවිඩයක් සටහන් කරමින් කියයි. ජාතියේ ස්ථාවරත්වය සළකා මෙම තීරණය ගන්නා බව ද එහි සඳහන් වේ. එම ට්විටර් පණිවිඩය පහත දැක්වේ.   http://www.lankadeepa.lk/latest_news/%E0%B6%B8%E0%B7%84%E0%B7%92%E0%B6%B1%E0%B7%8A%E0%B6%AF-%E0%B7%84%E0%B7%99%E0%B6%A7-%E0%B6%89%E0%B6%BD%E0%B7%8A%E0%B6%BD%E0%B7%8F-%E0%B6%85%E0%B7%83%E0%B7%8A%E0%B7%80%E0%B6%B1-%E0%B6%B6%E0%B7%80-%E0%B6%B1%E0%B7%8F%E0%B6%B8%E0%B6%BD%E0%B7%8A-%E0%B6%9A%E0%B7%92%E0%B6%BA%E0%B6%BA%E0%B7%92/1-542221 Please...
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  • ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දේශපාලන අර්බුදය: මහින්ද "සෙනසුරාදා ඉල්ලා අස්වෙයි"
      Image copyrightPMD ඔක්තෝබර් 26 වන දින ජනාධිපතිවරයා විසින් පත් කළ අග්‍රාමාත්‍ය මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ සෙනසුරාදා (දෙසැම්බර් 15) තනතුරෙන් ඉල්ලා අස්වන බව නාමල් රාජපක්ෂ මන්ත්‍රීවරයා පවසයි. දින 50 ක පමණ කාලයක් පුරා දිව ගිය ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දේශපාලන අර්බුදය නිර්මාණය වූයේ ජනාධිපතිවරයා විසින් මහින්ද රාපක්ෂ අගමැති ධූරයට පත් කිරීමත් සමගය. මේ අතර, ජනාධිපතිවරයා...
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  • 18-hour water cut in Rajagiriya and surrounding areas
    Water supply to Rajagiriya and surrounding areas will be disrupted for 18-hours commencing from tomorrow 12 a.m. and until Sunday 6 p.m., the following day, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board said.
    Accordingly, water supply to Moragasmulla, Rajagiriya, Athulkotte, Obeysekarapura, Bandaranayakepura, Nawala, Koswatte, and Rajagiriya to Open University of Sri Lanka Nawala, and surrounding areas.   http://www.dailynews.lk/2018/12/14/local/171393/18-hour-water-cut-rajagiriya-and-surrounding-areas Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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  • SC refuses to vacate CA’s interim order against MR
      The Appeal was also granted special leave to proceed. The proceedings of the Court of Appeal with regard to the case were stayed until the Supreme Court hearing is concluded. The appeal is to be taken up for further hearing on January 16, 17 and 18, 2019. (Shehan Chamika Silva)   http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/SC-refuses-to-vacate-CA-s-interim-order-against-MR-159809.html Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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  • මහින්දට එරෙහි අභියාචනාධිකරණයේ අතුරු තහනම දිගටම
    අගමැති ධුරයේ කටයුතු කිරීම අත්හිටුවමින් අභියාචනාධිකරණය ලබා දුන් අතුරු තහනම් නියෝගයට එරෙහිව මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා ගොනු කළ අභියාචනා පෙත්සම විභාගයට ගැනීමට ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණ තීන්දු කළේය. අභියාචනාධිකරණය ලබා දුන් අතුරු තහනම් නියෝගය අවලංගු කරන ලෙස කළ ඉල්ලීම ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කළ ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය මෙම පෙත්සම විභාගයට ගැනීම සඳහා දින නියම...
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  • තීන්දුව කුමක්ද? - ජනපතිගේ තීරණය වැරදියි ආණ්ඩුව දිගටම
    5.04pm Update
    රටේම අවධානය යොමුවූ අධිකරණ තීන්දුව මීට ටික වේලාවකට පෙර ලබාදුන් අතර එයට අනුව ජනපතිගේ තීරණය වැරදි බවත් ව්‍යාවස්ථාව අනුව පාර්ලිමේන්තුව විසිරවීමට...
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  • SC rules dissolution of parliament illegal
    The Supreme Court today ruled that President Maithripala Sirisena's decision to dissolve Parliament was unconstitutional and illegal. Chief Justice Nalin Perera delivering the verdict said that if President wants to dissolve Parliament before four and half years, there must be a resolution passed by two-thirds majority in Parliament. The verdict was announced unanimously. Court also decided that the petitioners fundamental right, under article 12(1) has been violated by this executive act.   http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/SC-rules-dissolution-of-parliament-illegal-159742.html Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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  • ජනපතිගේ ගැසට්ටුව අධිකරණයෙන් අවලංගු කරයි
    පාර්ලිමේන්තුව විසිරුවා හැර මහ මැතිවරණයක් කැඳවමින් ජනාධිපතිවරයා 2018 නොවැම්බර් මස 09 වැනි සිකුරාදා නිකුත් කළ අංක 2096/70 දරණ අති විශේෂ ගැසට් නිවේදනය අහෝසි කරන ලෙස ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය අද (13) නියෝග කළේය.

    ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය එම නියෝගය කළේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට විසිරුවා හැරීමට එරෙහිව ගොනු කළ මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් පෙත්සම්හි තීන්දුව ප්‍රකාශයට පත්...
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Sri Lanka's road to peaceful co-existence

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The intent to demolish Dambulla mosque tears at wounds of ethnic violence which are in the process of healing

By Tariq A. Al Maeena
Following a protracted and violent civil war that lasted for more than 26 years costing thousands of lives and destruction of property, it would have been natural to assume that Sri Lanka would set itself on the path of healing through national reconciliation with all its peoples; Buddhists, Tamils and Muslims.

Yet, within many Tamils there exists a widespread belief that the Sri Lankan government is trying to wipe out their Tamil culture and religious identity by constructing Buddhist temples in Tamil areas. Now many of another ethnic minority feel recent moves have taken another dimension.

In a dangerous precedent reminiscent of another time and place, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Dayaratne ordered the demolition of a 65-year-old mosque in Dambulla stating that the area was sacred to Buddhists. He tried to appease local sentiments by saying that the mosque would be relocated to another area. This public statement followed events recently when Buddhist agitators stormed the mosque and vandalised it, threatening its destruction.

The incident undoubtedly angered the island's Muslim community who have seen enough suffering and were severely victimised during the civil war for which they had paid a heavy price. During the civil war, caught in the crossfire between the government and the Tamils, they were attacked and slaughtered in village after village, even while offering prayers in the sanctity of their mosques. Their paddy lands were looted, businesses closed and had their very means of survival taken away. The entire Jaffna Muslim population was booted out of their homes and their belongings and property were stolen from them.

They are shocked and hurt that the demolition order strikes at the very core of religious freedom in a country attempting to heal itself. Muslim Congress Secretary and parliamentarian Hassan Ali said the "community will not accept a mosque in another place even if it was built of gold".

He also added that "If the places of religious worship of the minorities are being attacked while the police and army are idly watching, it implies that they are
supporting the marauders and providing security to them, instead of the law abiding people". Faced with the initial opposition, the prime minister claimed that this decision was taken after consultations with Muslim politicians. However, it was immediately debunked as a ‘blatant manufactured lie' and strongly rejected by leading Muslim politicians: Senior Minister A.H.M. Fawzie, Deputy Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbulla, Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana and Parliamentarian Abdul Khader, all of whom categorically reject the prime minister's claims. They assert that the mosque was built on land legally bought in 1964 and simply dismiss the allegations of militant Buddhists who claimed this area was sacred just two years ago.

Misleading people

Asad Sally, chairman of the Islamic Solidarity Front (ISF) and former deputy mayor of Colombo, stated that "it is misleading to say that the mosque was in existence for two years as it has been there for more than 65 years. We have all the documents to prove that it is a legally constructed mosque under the Waqf Act. Therefore the statement by the prime minister claiming that the unauthorised construction of the mosque has been stopped is totally false. The land on which the mosque was located was bought by a Muslim lady in Jaffna from Englishmen. This mosque has existed since then.

"Later the adjacent land too had been bought by mosque authorities in 1995. This statement by the prime minister is misleading the Buddhists in the country. The prime minister should not make such irresponsible statements as the Waqf Board comes under him and he is contradicting his own statement. Besides statements like Muslims will not have a place to urinate are not only irresponsible but very dangerous too."

Though the leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremasinghe is yet to make a public statement on the tense situation, his deputy Sajith Premadasa described the prime minister's order as "law of the jungle and nothing to do with Buddhism". Sajith wondered "how could we develop the country when the prime minister's
office issues such false statements?"

Some public figures deplored the political pandering of the prime minister to a few Buddhist thugs, stating that in any civilised society one would expect unruly elements who vandalise places of worship to be arrested and brought to justice. Instead they have been rewarded in violation of all principles of human decency.
Following Sri Lanka's recent and turbulent past, Tamils, Muslims and others had been looking forward to a period of peace and harmony. However the intent to demolish the Dambulla mosque tears at the wounds of ethnic violence still in the process of healing, and only serves to prove that reconciliation, peace and progress are nothing but distant dreams. The historical co-existence of Tamils and Muslims among the Buddhist Sinhalese people for more than 1,000 years is under threat.

Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Courtesy: Gulf News

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