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  • විල්පත්තුව සහ පාස්කු ප්‍රහාරය: ජනපති ගෝඨාභය වෙත රිෂාඩ්ගෙන් ඉල්ලීමක්
    විල්පත්තු රක්ෂිතය හෙලි කර මුස්ලිම් ජනතාව පදිංචි කරවූ බවට තමන්ට එරෙහිව එල්ල වන චෝදනාවල සත්‍ය හෙළි කර ගැනීම සඳහා ස්වාධීන ජනාධිපති කොමිසමක් පත් කරන ලෙස පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී රිෂාඩ් බදියුද්දීන් ජනාධිපති ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂගෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටී.

    තවද පාස්කු ඉරු දින ප්‍රහාරය සිදු කළ "ත්‍රස්තවාදීන්" හා තමන් අතර සබඳතා නොවූ බව පරීක්ෂණ...
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  • Muslims expect positive overtures from President
    Muslims expect positive overtures from President
    November 26, 2019, 12:00 pm

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    by Latheef Farook


    Following the election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Dinesh Gunawardena said both "Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Bathiudeen will not be part of the new government." This was repeated by both Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila.


    The Muslim community is not concerned whether the government gives Rauf Hakeem and Rishard Badurdeen ministerial portfolios or not. What the Muslims need is for the new government to understand their plight, stop violence against them, and attend to their grievances.


    Time was when the Sri Lankan Muslim community was not interested in forming a separate party. As everyone knows, the Muslims were part and parcel of the two major national...
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  • ජනාධිපතිවරණය: "ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ මුස්ලිම් ජනතාවට කවදාවත් මේ තරම් අනාරක්ෂිත හැඟීමක් දැනිල නෑ"
    ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ජනගහනයෙන් 10% ක් පමණ වන මුස්ලිම් ජනතාවගේ මනාපය ලබා ගැනීම පිණිස ප්‍රධාන අපේක්ෂකයන් දෙදෙනා උත්සහයක නිරතව සිටිති. මුස්ලිම් ජනතාවගේ ඡන්දය ලබා ගැනීම පිණිස එක් අපේක්ෂකයෙකුගේ ප්‍රබල ආධාරකරුවෙක් ඔවුන්ට තර්ජනය කළ බවට ද චෝදනාවක් එල්ල වී තිබේ. එසේ තර්ජනය කළ බව පැවසෙන මුස්ලිම් ජාතික නීතිවේදියා එය ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කරන නමුත්...
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  • Will Sri Lanka elect A president by default?
    When ITAK, after a prolonged silence, decided to support Sajith in their last party meeting in Vavuniya, one of the mothers representing the families of disappeared tried to throw a slipper at the TNA Leader Sampathan   “We see only Muslim villages have been developed, but not the Tamil villages. The only way for Catholic and Hindu villages to get developed is to vote for Gota.” -Namal Rajapaksa in Mannar.
    “We have to act against Muslims. We Tamil youth have to think and act.” - leaflet by Kiran youth front for SLPP.
    Mannar voters who are living in Puttalam are banned to come in hired private buses to cast their votes – Assistant Election Commissioner, Mannar.
    If Muslims do not vote for Gota they will get it...
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  • Will usher in a golden era of development: Sajith
    New Democratic Front (NDF) presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa, who wound up his election campaign last night at Maradana, pledged to build an undivided nation and begin a golden era of development if he were elected president on November 16. “My party will not harass rivalries if I win the election. If elected to office on November 16, I will commence work immediately and appoint a young team to run the country,” he said addressing a rally held earlier in Hambantota. “I will appoint Ranjan Ramanayake as the minister in charge of the subject that deals with corrupted persons. We don’t need persons whose expiry date had lapsed. We will include the young and those who have a clean record to government positions,” he said. Minutes later, he called Deputy Minister Ramanayake to call over near the podium only to announce that...
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  • Rajapaksas are playing the Racist card - TNA
    All the political parties affiliated to the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) representing the Tamil community especially in the North and East, have pledged their full support to New Democratic Front Presidential candidate Sajith Premadasa. Five days ahead of the election, the Daily Mirror interviewed TNA MP and leading lawyer M. A. Sumanthiran who explained the reasons for the decision to support Premadasa and why the Tamil community would resist the return of Rajapaksas to power. Excerpts;   Q The Gotabaya Rajapaksa camp alleged that there are translation differences among Sinhala, Tamil and English versions of Sajith Premadasa’s manifesto with regard to the solution on ethnic issue. What is your view? There are no differences. Sajith has agreed for the same constitutional process that has now reached the draft stage. One cannot conclude...
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  • ඡන්දය ප්‍රකාශ කිරීමේදී 1 ඉලක්කම හෝ x සළකුණ යොදන්න
    ජනාධිපතිවරණයේදී ඡන්දය ප්‍රකාශ කිරීම සඳහා 1 ඉලක්කම හෝ x සළකුණ හෝ සටහන් කරන්නැයි මැතිවරණ කොමිසමේ සභාපති මහින්ද දේශප්‍රිය මහතා පැවසීය.

    ඡන්ද පත්‍රිකාවක 1 සහ x යන දෙකම සලකුණු කර තිබුණහොත් එම ඡන්ද පත්‍රිකාව අවලංගු කරන බවද ඔහු කීය.

    කිසියම් ඡන්ද දායකයෙකුට මනාප සළකුණු කිරීමට අවශ්‍යනම් අංක 1 යොදා ඡන්දය ප්‍රකාශ කළ හැකි අතර 2 සහ...
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  • Sri Lankan author attacked ahead of key presidential polls
    Attack comes a week after Lasantha Wijeratne published a book criticising the main opposition candidate. Armed men have stabbed and injured a Sri Lankan writer in the southern Galle district, a week after he published a book criticising the main opposition candidate in Saturday's presidential polls, police said. The attackers stormed the home of Lasantha Wijeratne on Thursday, who released his book Wasteful Development and Corruption last week and gave a copy to the ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa."Four men broke into the house and stabbed him in the arm after holding a pistol to his wife's head," Wijeratne's lawyer Tharaka Nanayakkara told AFP news agency by telephone. "They smashed furniture before escaping."
    Local media published a photo appearing to show Wijeratne in hospital with a bandaged arm, while Sri Lanka's Centre...
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  • Voting For 2019 Presidential Election
    Assalamu Alaykum W W,

    Please Note that 2018 Voters List is been used to Issue Polling Cards for 16th November Presidential Election and if you have not received your Polling Card please verify your details with below link : https://eservices.elections.gov.lk/myVoterRegistration.aspx Jazakallah Khair   Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
    Read More...
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Unconditional Muslim Support Facilitated Island’s Independence - By Latheef Farook

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Crucial Muslim support facilitated the process of Sri Lanka  gaining  independence from British in 1948 and help end almost four and half centuries of European colonial rule in the island. Many still remember the leading role played by Muslims leaders such as Dr T.B.Jayah, Sir Razik Fareed, Dr M.C.M.Kaleel and Dr Badiduddin Mahmud in the constitutional reforms of this country and their enthusiastic support for the demand of the Dominion Status and   independence. They never obstructed the political progress of the country.

For example when the demand for independence began gathering momentum World War 11 broke out in Europe. The British government urged all its colonies to support them assuring that they would be given independence after the war.

In the aftermath of the World War 11, agitation for political reforms and independence began to gather momentum. However the British government insisted that three quarters of the population should support the demand for independence to ensure the rights of minorities were protected. With the Sinhalese community as a whole constituting less than three quarters of the population this was an impossible demand to fulfill unless the minorities supported.

Tamil Congress leader G.G.Ponnambalam demanded equal representation, better known as fifty –fifty. However the Muslims stood fully behind the majority community and help to meet the British demand for the support of two third of the population despite past sufferings and disadvantages.

 

Addressing a gathering at Zahra College grounds under the chairmanship of Sir Mohamed Macan Markar to protest against the inadequate representation of Muslims in the Legislative Council Dr. Badiduddin Mahmoud, the Secretary of the All Ceylon Muslim Political Conference said on 5 March 1939;

“Let me assure my Sinhalese countrymen that I am one among them in demanding complete freedom for our country. They can count on me as one of the most ardent admirers of their legitimate national and cultural aspirations. In me and in my community, let them know that they find the most trusted friends and kind neighbors in this island. They would never find wanting in me or in my community that unflinching loyalty and patriotism that this little island would demand one day from its sons and daughters to carve out a niche of fame for itself as a self- respecting unit in a world federation. Let me also assure my Sinhalese friends that the brave community to which I belong shall never consider any sacrifice too great to make Lanka a happy, prosperous and glorious country in the world where not one section of its populationtbjayah but every son and daughter of her soil shall legitimately take pride in her glorious destiny”.

In keeping with this policy the three Muslim representatives in the State Council extended their whole- hearted support for the “Dominion Status Bill” – a Sri Lankan bill sponsored by the late Mr.S.W.R.D.Bandaranaike when it came for the vote on 9 November 1945.  T.B.Jayah and Dr M.C.M Kaleel spoke in favour of the bill while Sir Razik Fareed and Dr Kaleel voted in favour as Jayah was not present during the time of voting.

During his speech Razik Fareed said” “the All Ceylon Moors Association   pledge their support to the resolution of the Hon Leader under discussion today. Nothing  else would at the moment give me great pleasure to do so, and to express my whole hearted support to the Hon leader’s proposal. As my community and I have always stood by them, I must say that in the hour of his triumph we join hands with him in the forward march to the goal of the proposal to which he aspires”…

Supporting the Sri Lankan Bill despite its disadvantages to Muslims and defining the attitude of Muslims towards the bill Mr.T.B. Jayah said:” I am glad, Sir, that it has been stated that this is not the moment for jubilation or exultation or even for mutual recrimination. I certainly think that this is not the occasion to speak of the discomfiture of the minority communities’ or of the victory of the majority community”.

“As far as I am concerned, I speak with the full support of members of the Muslim community. I saw to it that the Ceylon Muslim League, representing the Muslim community of Ceylon, consulted Muslim representatives   in different parts of the  country on the important issues before the house and I am in a position to say that the Muslim members of this Council have the fullest backing of the Muslim community in this island”.

“When the Muslims of the Council decided to take a definite stand at the time the Sri Lanka –Bill was introduced, they did so for one and one reason only. The reason was that where the political freedom of this country was involved, they were prepared to go to any length, even to the point of sacrificing advantages and benefit as a result of such action”. As far as I am concerned, Sir, I do not consider any right greater than the right of political freedom and therefore, although I am fully conscious of those disadvantages of the Bill, looking at it from a narrow point of view, yet I am prepared to support this Bill”.

razikfreedExpressing his gratitude to the Muslim members on behalf of the Sinhalese community, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike assured that he would consider any reasonable request by the Muslim community. Bandaranaike said:” I say that if any member has brought closer the achievement of agreement among the various sections of the people of the country by an attitude of generosity where even those with whom he is concerned to differ, I say the fullest credit must go more than anyone else among us to the Honorable nominated Member, Mr. T.B. Jayah. He has made a speech today that will have a great effect in bringing unity among the people of this country in bringing some sense of reality to this struggle, however it may shape, that we are going to undertake to obtain a satisfactory measure of freedom”..

“ What have the three members,T.B.Jayah,Dr M.C.M.Kaleel and Razik Fareed, have done? There is provided in the Bill a Scheme of Representation under which the Muslim community in this country might suffer in the form in which it appears, but yet, he himself so sincerely determined to work for the main idea of freedom that he was prepared to vote for the principle embodied in the Bill”.

“But I can give the Hon Nominated member, Mr T.B.Jayah, this assurance on behalf of, I think, the vast majority, at least the Community that I represent, that in the struggle for freedom whatever may or may not be the recommendation of the Soulbury Commission on our representation, he may be rest assured that we will be quite prepared to consider any reasonable point of view that, might be put forward.

Thus the Muslim support provided the required support of two third majority of the population paving the way for the island’s independence on 4 February 1948 when Mr. D.S.Senanayake lowered the British flag and hoisted the Sri Lankan National Flag and declared the island’s independence.

Muslims have lived in harmony and peace with the Sinhalese and Tamils for centuries and they wanted to continue to do so. As stated by former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva rightly  that “Muslims have been a peaceful ethnic group interacting with other religious and ethnic groups, cordially interlinking those cultures with their own culture. They never organized themselves for armed insurrection or destruction”.

They were not party to the ethnic conflict. However their sufferings were immense.

What many conveniently forget is the crucial role played by the Muslims in preserving the territorial integrity of the island. For example, during the early days, Tamil militants' call for a separate state had the full backing of India and the island's armed forces were not equipped or trained, as they are today, to deal with them.

From the very inception, Muslims throughout the country   vehemently opposed calls for the division of the country and firmly stood for territorial integrity and unity. Nevertheless, they were entangled into this unfortunate and unwanted ethnic conflict only to face death, devastation, loss of properties and livelihood and displacement with no appreciation. Around 130,000 Muslims driven out from Jaffna have been still languishing in refugee camps in appalling conditions and their plight is nobody’s business for more than 20 years.

Had the Muslims joined the Tamil militancy during its early stage the island's fate would have been sealed and the history would have projected a new political landscape. It is unfortunate that   these sufferings and sacrifices have never been highlighted in its proper perspective. I am sure the Muslim community is prepared to take ten steps if the authorities take one-step to take them into confidence to pave the way for cordiality and communal harmony.

By Latheef Farook (published in www.latheeffarook.com)

 

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