Saturday, November 28, 2020
   
Text Size

Follow SLMuslims on


 

Latest News

  • හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා: ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ අවනීතියේ ජීවමාන සංකේතය – සුනන්ද දේශප්‍රිය
    මානව හිමිකම් නීතිඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා අත්අඩංඟුවට ගැනුණේ පසුගිය අලුත් අව්රුදු උත්සවය මැද අප්‍රෙල් 14දාය. කොව්ඩ් 19 සම්බන්ධ ප්‍රශ්ණයක් උඩ ඔහු හමුවීමට අවශ්‍ය යැයි ඔහුට දුර කථන පණිවඩයක් දුන්නේ සෞඛ්‍ය බලධාරීන් යැයි පෙනී සිටි පිරිසකි. නමුත් නිවසේ දොර හැරිය විට පැමිණ සිටියේ රහස් පොලිස් නිලධාරීන්ය.

    එනයින් මුල් දුරකථන පණිවිඩයේ...
    Read More...
  • Compulsory cremation of Covid-19 dead bodies of Muslims: Science, human decency and racism
    Contingencies and the human response to them are also a test of fundamental values of humanity Thus, dangerously and disturbingly a good deal of Islamophobia is being made into the mainstream This general sense of backwardness is amplified when the saner voices of professors, specialist doctors and other professionals fail to speak up   When your country is doing something totally different from  what the rest of the world does, literally in exact opposition to the common sense practised and adopted by 194 countries in the world,  things aren’t just right.
    That is what the government should reckon of its flawed policy of compulsory cremation of dead bodies of Muslims. According to the religious belief of Muslims, the burning of the dead is tantamount to desecration. And the rest of the...
    Read More...
  • 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...
    Read More...
  • 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...
    Read More...
  • 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...
    Read More...
  • “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...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

Fear, shock among Sri Lankan Muslims in aftermath of Buddhist mob violence

Latest

User Rating: / 0
PoorBest 

By Iqbal Athas and Tim Hume, CNN

June 20, 2014 -- Updated 0337 GMT (1137 HKT)

Aluthgama, Sri Lanka (CNN) -- In the areas surrounding the southwest Sri Lankan town of Aluthgama, an idyllic coastal settlement popular with tourists, Muslims and Buddhists have lived side by side peacefully for generations.

But a wave of deadly communal violence that followed a rally Sunday by hardline Buddhist nationalist monks has changed that.

"The house I owned was burnt down. My family has nowhere to go," Muhsin Shihab, a father of eight children, told CNN Tuesday.

His family, which has been sheltering at a local mosque since being displaced by the rioting, hadn't eaten for a day and a half, he said.

The rally, organized by the far-right Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Power Force), was called after an alleged altercation in the area between a group of young Muslims and a Buddhist monk and his driver on an important Buddhist religious holiday days earlier.

Addressing the crowd of thousands Sunday, the BBS's leader, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara, gave an inflammatory speech.

Video footage from the event shows the orange-robed monk using derogatory terms for Muslims and, to approving roars from the crowd, vowing that if any Muslim laid a hand on a member of the Sinhalese majority -- let alone a monk -- that would "be the end" of them.

After the rally, Buddhist mobs marched through Muslim neighborhoods, torching and destroying dozens of homes and shops, witnesses told CNN.

Following consecutive nights of violence, in which local medical staff say at least four people were killed and sixteen seriously injured, those made homeless by the rioting were sheltering in the town's main mosque Tuesday, shell-shocked and fearful of what may come next.

'A nightmare'

Among them was Fasniya Fairooz, an 80-year-old grandmother of three, who was at home when the mob stormed into her house in Seenawatte, a local village comprised of Sinhalese and Muslims.

"We pleaded with the attackers not to harm us. They used abusive language," she said. "They took the Holy Quran and burnt it outside... Then they looted the house."

I have lost all my belongings. My house was burnt down. All I own today are the clothes my children wear
Ahmed Rahamatulla, made homesless by the riots

Her family had nowhere to go, she said.

Ahmed Rahamatulla, a father of four from Seenawatte, was also made homeless by the riots.

"I have lost all my belongings. My house was burnt down. All I own today are the clothes my children wear," he said.

"I don't know where to go from here. My children are all frightened and in a state of shock."

The surrounding area is in lockdown in the aftermath of the rioting, the country's worst communal violence in years. Soldiers on armored troop carriers watch over once bustling streets; shutters are drawn on the charred remains of arson-hit stores.

In a nearby house, U.S. citizen Rameeza Nizar, 47, found herself unexpectedly stranded in her bedridden mother's home during a visit from Washington D.C. for a family event.

"Every night has been a nightmare," she told CNN. "We have not slept for fear there would be attacks. We kept our lights switched off but remained together inside the house."

'Cycle of fear'

Ayoob Saja, a doctor at a local hospital and a Muslim, said his community was in a "cycle of fear" as a result of the violence, in which the vast majority of those treated for injuries were Muslims.

Every night has been a nightmare. We have not slept for fear there would be attacks
Rameeza Nizar

He said three of the dead were Muslims, two of whom were fatally shot during the rampage on Sunday, and another who died of his injuries Tuesday.

The fourth fatality was a Tamil who worked as a watchman on a Muslim-owned farm in the nearby town of Welipenna, and was attacked during continued violence on Monday night.

Sixteen people had been seriously injured, he said, including a young man whose leg was amputated Wednesday, while hundreds of others sustained lesser injuries. More than 80 homes were also destroyed in the rioting, he said.

While a heavy military presence has been brought in to enforce a curfew and prevent further violence, it has given little comfort to the community, he said.

"The armed forces are supporting the majority," he said, referring to the mostly Buddhist Sinhalese who account for about three-quarters of Sri Lanka's population. About 10% of the country is Muslim, according to the 2011 census.

"They are guarding the majority people who attack our people."

The group blamed for inciting the violence, the Bodu Bala Sena, has denied any responsibility.

Contacted by CNN, Gnanasara said he was unavailable to comment. But Dilantha Vithanage, the BBS's chief executive, told CNN "we categorically deny any involvement by our membership in reported attacks."

He said the earlier assault on the monk on a Buddhist holy day had upset people in the Sinhalese community.

Referring to Gnanasara's speech, he said: "It is true our priest spoke in strong words. He blessed the people after chanting verses. He preached to them to conduct themselves peacefully."

It is true our priest spoke in strong words... He preached to them to conduct themselves peacefully
Dilantha Vithanage, Bodu Bala Sena chief executive

The allegations against BBS, he said, were "an attempt to bring disrespect to Buddhist clergy and Buddhism."

Tacit political approval?

Buddhist radicalism has been on the rise in Sri Lanka, much as in Myanmar, where a monk-led Buddhist nationalist movement has been blamed for drumming up deadly mob violence against minority Muslim groups.

Many in Sri Lanka, including President Mahinda Rajapaksa's own political allies within government, are critical of the authorities for allowing the violence to occur.

Mangala Samaraweera, an opposition lawmaker for the southern Matara District, told CNN that he believed the Bodu Bala Sena has the tacit support of the Rajapaksa government, a view shared by many Sri Lankans. Rajapaksa has publicly denied any link.

The Bodu Bala Sena has largely been able to operate with impunity, with previous attacks attributed to the organization going unpunished.

Rauff Hakeem, Sri Lanka's Minister of Justice and the leader the country's largest Muslim political party, said in parliament that police had been asked to stop the rally but had failed to heed the request.

He also blamed BBS for inciting the "orgy of attacks against Muslims," and told CNN he was weighing his party's future in the government -- made up of an alliance of parties -- pending the official response to the violence.

The Bodu Bala Sena roused religious sentiments. Mobs went on the attack. The police looked the other way
Mohamed Aslam, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress lawmaker

Mohamed Aslam, the local lawmaker for Hakeem's Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, also blamed police for allowing the rally to take place, and said he had nearly been shot in the aftermath.

"Muslims and Sinhalese in this area have been leading peaceful lives helping each other. This is the first time police have allowed such a meeting, where mobs were incited, to take place," he told CNN.

"The meeting on Sunday by the Bodu Bala Sena roused religious sentiments. Mobs went on the attack. The police looked the other way."

Police: We took precautions

But police Senior Superintendent Roshan Silva, in charge of the district where the violence took place, denied any police responsibility for the violence. "We took all precautions. The allegation that we were inactive is false. We had deployed police all around."

Police said 47 arrests have been made over the violence, while probes by the criminal investigation department and Colombo crimes division look into larger questions around criminal culpability for allowing the rally to proceed.

A group of more than 300 concerned Sri Lankans, including academics, lawyers and journalists, signed an open letter condemning the BBS's "hate speech," saying they believed the violence was directly linked to the inflammatory comments by Gnanasara.

"We therefore call upon the authorities to take immediate steps to arrest and charge him for the deaths and destruction in the area," read the letter.

Returning to the country after a G77 meeting of developing nations in Bolivia, Rajapaksa visited an affected Muslim town and vowed that an "impartial inquiry would be held and those responsible punished." He made no reference to the BBS.

Many Muslim businesses in Sri Lanka's capital were shut Thursday in protest at the violence.

3 Muslims killed in Buddhist mob attacks in Sri Lanka

Iqbal Athas reported from Aluthgama and Colombo. Tim Hume reported and wrote from Hong Kong.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/19/world/asia/sri-lanka-muslim-aluthgama/index.html?hpt=hp_c4

 

Login Form