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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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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 (
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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...
    Read More...
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News

Sri Lanka has locked up this Muslim lawyer without charge for nearly five months

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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 in interfaith and reconciliation work, tackling the rising tide of Islamophobia that is now a key concern for human rights groups when it comes to Sri Lanka.

The health officials never visited him after the call, but he did get a knock on the door from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police. They handcuffed him and placed him under arrest without explaining why. When Hizbullah’s relatives asked if the police had an arrest warrant, they were warned not to ask any questions.

Hejaaz Hizbullah is currently serving a detention order under the notorious Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), where any “suspect” can be placed in detention without charge and without being produced before a judge. The detention order can continue to be renewed for up to 18 months.

The PTA has long been criticised as an abusive law that has been used to crush dissent and forcibly disappear people, along with other violations. The Sri Lankan authorities have even acknowledged the inherently abusive character of the PTA but have failed to repeal it as promised.

Amnesty International says the authorities have plunged Hizbullah in this predicament on the basis of nothing more than his legitimate associations with Mohamed Ibrahim, the father of the bombers who perpetrated attacks on churches in Sri Lanka over Easter 2019.

The authorities have publicly stated that the reason for his arrest were his interactions with the bombers and their family. Mohamed Ibrahim’s sons, Inshaf and Ilham, were two of the seven bombers who set off six explosions across Sri Lanka on 21 April 2019, striking three churches and three five-star hotels on Easter Sunday and killing more than 250 people.

The detention order says that Hejaaz Hizbullah is being investigated for allegedly “aiding and abetting” the Easter Sunday bombers and for engaging in activities deemed “detrimental to the religious harmony among communities.”

Amnesty says Hizbullah was connected to Mohamed Ibrahim in two ways. For the past five years, he had served as his lawyer, handling legal cases related to his business. He and Mohamed Ibrahim were also part of the “Save the Pearls” organisation, a charity that supports the education of underprivileged children, hoping to lure them away from criminal activities and drug abuse.

Amnesty International says it is extremely concerned that the case and evidence against Hejaaz Hizbullah may now be subject to fabrication.

“A new allegation has emerged that a school supported by the Save the Pearls charity was responsible for preaching extremism’ and even providing the children weapons training,’ Amnesty said. “These charges lack credibility because nearly three months since his arbitrary arrest, authorities have so far been unable to substantiate their claims with evidence…

“Hejaaz has been subject to an unfair character assassination in local media by the authorities in an environment where anti-Muslim sentiment is rife, and prominent Muslim professionals have been unfairly targeted in the recent past.

“The Sri Lankan government must immediately restore Hejaaz’s due process rights, including producing him before a judge, allowing him to challenge the grounds of his detention, ensuring that he has unfettered access to his family and lawyers, and, in the absence of any charges of credible evidence of a crime being committed, release him.”

Hizbullah’s brother, Hefraz, added: “Having been to a Christian school with a multicultural environment, he integrated well with people from all faiths, with no leanings towards extremism whatsoever. Hejaaz is someone with a spotless track record. He worked hard and excelled at what he did.

“Knowing how he was arrested and how he’s being portrayed as an extremist connected to the terror attacks under the allegation of apparently aiding one of the perpetrators and worse is an absolute shock… Hejaaz had a lot of plans for his family’s future together but right now all that is up in the air. Everyone is just praying and hoping for the best. And it pains me that we can’t do more than just proclaim his innocence and hope that justice, eventually, is served.”

https://5pillarsuk.com/2020/09/08/sri-lanka-has-locked-up-this-muslim-lawyer-without-charge-for-nearly-five-months/?fbclid=IwAR3rWoZmjoBtEhc6xK8xhRucAZYApbSzaHDG32M6YbVpUeQUEdMsqe5WL3s

 

“කවදා හෝ යුක්තිය ඉටුවේයැ’යි බලාපොරොත්තු සහගතව ජීවිතය ගෙවනවා විනා වෙන කිසිවක් කළ නොහැකි වීම ගැන මට ඇත්තේ නොදැරිය හැකි වේදනාවකි”: මගේ මල්ලි හිජාස්

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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 වාසස්ථානය මාරු කර පැමිණීමෙන් පසු අපි පදිංචිව සිටි ගල්කිස්සේ පිහිටි නිවස හා බැඳී ඇත. හිජාස් දරුවන් තිදෙනෙකුගෙන් යුත් අපේ පවුලේ බඩපිස්සා විය. අපි තිදෙනා අතර වයස් පරතරය ඉතා අවම වූ බැවින්, අපි අපේ ගෙඋයනේ පැයගණන් සෙල්ලම් කරමින් කල්ගත කළෙමු. අපේ වැඩිමල් සොයුරිය ආදර්ශයට ගෙන කටයුතු කළ ඔහු, ඇය සඳහා කළ එක් උපන්දින සුබපැතුමක දී ඇයව නිහඬ වීරවරියක් ලෙස නම්කර තිබූ බැව් මට මතක ය. කොල්ලන් වූ නිසාවෙන්ම, හිජාස් සහ මම එකිනෙකා හා සහයෝගයෙන් හවුලේ කටයුතු කළෙමු.

අපේ සෙල්ලම් බොහෝවිට රොබින් හුඩ් පිළිබඳ කථාන්තර ආභාෂයට ගත් අතර, ගෙඋයන පුරා දිවයමින්, දුනු-ඊතල විදිමින්, සෙල්ලම් කළෙමු. මා සමඟ බොහෝ අවස්ථාවල දී කරට කර සිටිය නොහැකි වුවත්, නිතර තාප්ප උඩට නගිමින්, එහාමෙහා පනිමින් සිටි මගේ හවුල්කාරයා සහ අත්උදව්කාරයා වූයේ හිජාස් ය. නමුත් තවදුරටත් සිය උත්සාහය ඊට යොදවනවා විනා, ඒ කිසිවක් නිසා ඔහු සැලුනේ නැත, එම ගුණාංගය ඔහු තුළ තවත් වසර ගණනාවක් පුරාවට අඛණ්ඩව පැවතුණි. හිජාස්ට සිය අරමුණු ඉටුකරගැනීම සඳහා වේදිකාවක් වූයේ රොබින් හුඩ් හරහා ඔහු ලබාගත් ඒ ආභාෂයයි. ඔහු හැදුනේ – වැඩුණේ ඔහු වටා සිටි මිනිසුන්ට උදව්-උපකාර කළ යුතු බවට දැඩි චේතනාවක් සිතෙහි දරමිනි (එපමණක් නොව, සතුන්ටත් ඔහුගේ උදව් ලැබුණි – මෑතකදී ඔහු අනතුරට පත්ව සිටි බළලෙකුව බේරාගත් අතර, ඉන් ඔහුගේ බළල්-ලෝලිත්වය ද තහවුරු විය). අපේ පාසල් කාලයේ එක්තරා අවදියක දී අපි දෙදෙනාම පරිසරය සංරක්ෂණය කිරීම ගැන උනන්දුවෙන් ඒ සඳහා දායකත්වය දැක්වීමට පටන් ගත්තෙමු. කොස්ගොඩ මුහුදු තීරයෙන් කැස්බෑ බිත්තර සොයාගන්නා අපි, ඒවා ආරක්ෂිතව ශා. තෝමස් විද්‍යාලයේ බිජු සුරැකුම් මධ්‍යස්ථානයට රැගෙන ආවෙමු. ඒ වන විට හිජාස්ගේ වයස වැඩිම වුවහොත්, දහයක් හෝ එකොළහක් වන්නට ඇත. ඒ කුඩා වයසේ දී ම ඔහු ඔහුගේ වගකීම් පිළිබඳව බරපතල ලෙස සැලකූවේය. සති අන්තයේ දී කැස්බෑ පැටවුන්ට ආහාර ලෙස නැවුම් මාළු ද රැගෙන ඔහුගේ පාපැදියෙන්ම පාසල වෙත ගමන් කිරීම සහ පසේ තෙතමනය හොඳින් රැඳී ඇති බව ද, ජලයේ ලවණතාව නියමිත ප්‍රමාණයට ඇති බව ද තහවුරු කරගැනීම ආදිය ගැන ඔහු අතිශයින්ම සැලකිලිමත් විය.

පරිසරයට, ඔහුගේ පාසලට සහ සමස්තයක් ලෙස ජීවිතයට ඔහු දැක්වූ ආදරය ක්‍රමක්‍රමයෙන් වැඩුණේය. පාසල් දිවියේ දී ම තමා අනාගතයේ දී කවරෙකු විය යුතුදැ’යි ඔහු අවබෝධ කොටගෙන තිබුණි. සාමාන්‍ය පෙළ විභාගය උසස් ලෙස සමත් වූ ඔහුට ඉතාම පහසුවෙන් ජීව විද්‍යා හෝ ගණිත විෂය ධාරාව තෝරාගත හැකිව තිබුණද, ඔහු කලා විෂය ධාරාව තෝරාගත්තේය. අපේ මුල්ගුරුතුමා අපගේ නිවසටම පැමිණ ඒ තීරණය ගැන ඔහුට බැණවැදුණු අතර, වෙනත් විෂය ධාරාවක් තෝරාගැනීමට පෙළඹවූවත්, ඉන් වෙනස් වූයේ හිජාස්ගේ තීරණය නොවේ. ඒ, තමන් නීතිඥයෙකු විය යුතු බව ඔහුගේ සිතට තදින්ම කාවැදී තිබුණු නිසා ය. අපේ පවුලේ කිසිවෙකුත් ඔහුව අධෛර්යමත් නොකළේ ඔහු සිය තීරණයට පදනම් වූ පසුබිම් අධ්‍යයනය නිවැරදිව සිදු කර ඇති බවට අප සතු වූ විශ්වාසය නිසාය. ඔහු සැමවිටම තීරණ ගත්‍තේ හොඳින් සිතාමතා, දැඩි අධ්‍යයනයක් කළ පසු ය. විවාද සහ කථන තරග සඳහා දැඩි ඇල්මක් දැක්වූ හිජාස්, තමන් සතු සහජ ප්‍රබල හැකියාවන් ඒවා බව හඳුනාගෙන සිටියේය; එම හැකියාවන් නීතිඥයෙකුව තවත් මුවහත් කරගතහොත් මිනිස් ජීවිතවලට දැඩි බලපෑමක් කළ හැකි අයෙකු ලෙස තමන්ට මං විවර වන බව ඔහු දැනසිටියේය. බාලදක්ෂයෙකු, ඉන්ටරැක්ට් සමාජයේ ක්‍රියාකාරී සාමාජිකයෙකු (එහි සභාපති ලෙස 1997 දී පත්විය) සහ ශිෂ්‍ය නායකයෙකු ලෙස හැකි සෑම අවස්ථාවකදී ම කෙනෙකුට උදව් කිරීමට හිජාස් දෙවරක් සිතුවේ නැත. සමාජීය ක්‍රියාකාරකම් සහ ක්‍රීඩාවලට ද සිය නොමසුරු දායකත්වය සැපයූ ඔහු, වෝටර්පෝලෝ ක්‍රීඩාවේ ශූරයෙකු විය. මා මෙන්ම ඔහු ද ප්‍රාථමික පාසල් අවදියේ සිටම පාසල නියෝජනය කරමින් පිහිනුම් කණ්ඩායමේ සාමාජිකත්වය දැරීය. 1994 වසරේ දී වයස අවුරුදු 14ක්ව සිටි හිජාස් පාසලේ වෝටර්පෝලෝ කණ්ඩායමට එක් වූ අතර, 2000 වසරේ හොංකොංහි පැවැත්වුණු තුන්වැනි ආසියා පැසිෆික් වෝටර්පෝලෝ ශූරතා තරඟාවලියට ශ්‍රී ලංකාව නියෝජනය කරමින් සහභාගී වීමට ඔහුට හැකියාව ලැබුණි. එම වසරේදීම වෝටර්පෝලෝ ක්‍රීඩාව සඳහා ශ්‍රී ලංකා වර්ණ දිනාගැනීමට හිජාස් සමත් වීම අප සියල්ලන්ටම මහත් ආඩම්බරයක් ගෙනදුන් බව මගේ මතකයේ ඇත.

හිජාස් යනු ඔහුගේ වැඩකටයුතු සහ ඔහුගේ අරමුණු පිළිබඳව පමණක් අවධානය යොමු කළ අයෙකු නොවේ. ඔහු විනෝදකාමී, තමන් කැමති දේවල් කරන්නට උත්සුක වන පුද්ගලයෙකි, එමෙන්ම ළමා කාලයේ දී මෙන්ම තමන් කරන-කියන දෑට අවධානය ලබාගැනීමට කැමති අයෙකි. පාසල් කාලයේදී ඔහු අසංග වැලිකල (වර්තමානයේ ආචාර්ය) වැනි සිසුන් ආදර්ශයක් ලෙස ගෙන කටයුතු කළේය. නමුත් ඔහුටම කියා වෙන් වූ තත්ත්වයක්, සම්මතයන් පවත්වාගෙන යාමට ඔහුට හැකිවිය. ඔහු සතු වූ එවැනි ඉහළ සම්මතයන්, සදාචාරයන් සහ සිතිවිලි නිසාම පවුල තුළ ඔහුට “අංකල් ජෝජ්” ලෙස නමක් ද පටබැඳුණු අතර, ඒ නම කියැවෙන වාරයක් පාසා ඔහු කේන්ති ගත්තේය. එලෙස අධි සම්මතයන් සහිත වීම නිසා අපි ඔහුව විහිළුවට ලක්කළද, බිම් මට්ටමේ මිනිසුන් සඳහා විය යුතු දේ නොපමාව, හැකි උපරිමයෙන් ඉටුකිරීමට ඔහු නොපැකිලි හා නොපසුබට විය. නීතිපති දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ අනුරාධපුර රජයේ නීතිඥ ධුරය භාරගත් වහාම, වසර ගණනක් තිස්සේ ඇදි-ඇදී තිබුණු අව-වරප්‍රසාදිත ගොවියන්ගේ නඩුකටයුතු වේගවත් කිරීමේ සිට, අපවත් වී වදාළ පූජ්‍ය මාදුළුවාවේ සෝභිත හිමිගේ ආදාහන පූජෝත්සවය සඳහා පැමිණ සිටියවුන්ට වතුර බෙදා දීම දක්වා, තමන්ට යමක් කළ හැකි සෑම අවස්ථාවක දී ම ඒ සඳහා ඉදිරිපත් වීමට ඔහු පැකිලුනේ නැත. අපේ මිතුරන් සමඟ සෑම නව වසර උදාවන සැන්දෑවකම විශේෂ දිව්‍ය පූජාවක් විහාරමහාදේවි උද්‍යානයේ පැවැත්වූ අයුරු මගේ මතකයට එයි. එහි විශේෂත්වය නම් උදෑසන අපට පිරිනැමෙන අතිශයින්ම රසවත් ආහාරවේල යි. 2019 සිදු වූ කුරිරු ත්‍රස්ත ප්‍රහාර මාලාවෙන් පසු උදා වූ මැයි මාසයේ දී සහෝදරත්වය පිළිබඳ පණිවිඩය බෙදාහැරීමේ වුවමනාවෙන් සිව් ආගම් නියෝජනය වන ලෙස ආගමික නායකයන් ද ගෙන්වා, රාමදාන් මාසයේ විශේෂ ඉෆ්තාර් සංග්‍රහයක් සිය පන්ති සගයන් සඳහා පැවැත්වීමට හිජාස් තීරණය කළේ ද ඒ ආභාෂයෙන් වන්නට ඇත. හිජාස් යනු එවැනි පුද්ගලයෙකි. බහු-සංස්කෘතික වටපිටාවක් සහිත වූ ක්‍රිස්තියානි පාසලක අධ්‍යාපනය ලද හිජාස්, සියලුම ආගම් නියෝජනය කළ පුද්ගලයන් හා සම්බන්ධතා පවත්වාගෙන ගිය අතර, ඒ කිසිවිටෙක ඔහු අන්තවාදී මතවාද නොදැරූ බව සහතිකය.

හිජාස් යනු නිකැලැල් වාර්තාවක් ඇත්තෙකි. ඔහු ස්වෝත්සාහී, එමෙන්ම තමන් කළ දේ නිවැරදිව සහ උපරිමයෙන් කළ කෙනෙකි. සිය මිතුරන් ද සමඟ නීති විද්‍යාලය නියෝජනය කරමින් නවසීලන්තයේ, ඇමරිකා එක්සත් ජනපදයේ සහ ඉන්දියාවේ පැවති මූට් උසාවි තරග සහ සේවාදායකයන් සඳහා උපදේශනය සැපයීම සම්බන්ධ තරගවලට සහභාගී වී, නොයෙක් සම්මානවලින් පිදුම් ලැබ, රටේ නම දිදුලවන්නට ඔහුට හැකියාව ලැබුණි. එමෙන්ම, නීති විද්‍යාලයේ දී හොඳම දක්ෂතා සඳහා වූ වෝල්ටර් ලද්දුවහෙට්ටි රන් පදක්කම මෙන්ම ජූරිය ඇමතීම සඳහා වූ හෙක්ටර් ජයවර්ධන අනුස්මරණ රන් පදක්කම ද දිනාගැනීමට ඔහු සමත් විය. නීතිඥයෙකු ලෙස දිවුරුම් දුන් පසු ඔහු නීතිපති දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ සේවයට බැඳුණේය. ඔහු චිවනිං ශිෂ්‍යත්වලාභියෙකු ද වූ අතර, නීතිය පිළිබඳ ශාස්ත්‍රපති උපාධිය ලන්ඩන් යුනිවර්සිටි කොලීජියෙන් හැදෑරුවේය. පුණ්‍ය ආයතන වෙනුවෙන් අරමුදල් රැස්කිරීම සඳහා සිය කථන හැකියාව පාවිච්චියට ගත් ඔහු, අව-වරප්‍රසාදිත ජනයා වෙනුවෙන් සිය හඬ අවදි කිරීමට ද එම හැකියාව යොදාගත්තේය. සිය නිජබිම වෙනුවෙන් ඔහුට ඇත්තේ අප්‍රමාණ ආදරයක් සහ ගෞරවයකි, එමෙන්ම රටේ ප්‍රතිසන්ධාන වැඩකටයුතු සඳහා ද ඔහු සිය දායකත්වය නොමසුරුව සැපයුවේය.

නිරන්තරයෙන්ම උද්‍යෝගීමත් චරිතයක් වූ හිජාස්, සැමවිටම පාහේ ‍යම් දෙයක් ගැන සැලසුම් කරමින් සිටි අයෙකි. සුළු නමුත් සිත ආනන්දයෙන් පුරවන උදාහරණයක් ලෙස පෙන්වාදිය හැක්කේ, නිවසේ ඊද් සැමරුම් සිදුකරන ආකාරය ඔහු විසින් සැලසුම් කරන ආකාරයත්, එය සියල්ලන්ටම විනෝද විය හැකි, සතුටුදායක දිනයක් බවට තහවුරු කිරීම සඳහා ඔහු දරන උත්සාහයත් ය. ඔහු සහ ඔහුගේ බිරිඳ එක්ව, මගේ වයස අවුරුදු 1 1/2ක් වූ බාලම දරුවාගේ සිට අපේ වයස අවුරුදු 19ක් වූ ඥාති දියණිය දක්වා වූ පවුලේ සියලුම දරුවන් වෙනුවෙන් විශේෂ තෑගි මිලට ගෙන කදිමට අසුරා තිළිණ කරති. ඒවා තෑගි දෙන විට ඔහු කදිමට හැඳපැළඳගෙන, නටමින් ගයමින් සියල්ලන් සතුටු කරයි. මෙවැනි සුළු දේවල් නිසාය අපි ඔහුගේ වියෝවෙන් තවමත් තැවෙන්නේ – විශේෂයෙන්ම මේ ඔහුගේ ජීවිතයේ සන්ධිස්ථානාත්මක උපන්දිනයක් වීම නිසා ය. මේ දිනය සතුට සහ විනෝදය පිරුණු දිනයක් විය යුතු වුවත්, දැන් අපේ පවුල නිරන්තරයෙන් දුකෙන් තැවෙන්නන් වී හමාරය. වයෝවෘද්ධ අපේ දෙමාපියන් දුක නිසාම අසනීපයට පත්ව ඇති අතර, මේ ගත වූ කාලය තුළ අදහාගත නොහැකි තරම් වයසට ගොස් ඇති බවක් පෙනේ.

මගේ නෑනා තව සති කිහිපයකින් සිය දරු ප්‍රසූතිය සඳහා මුහුණදීමට සූදානම් වන අතර, ඔහු අත්තඩංගුවට පත් වූ ආකාරයත්, සිදු වූ ත්‍රස්ත ප්‍රහාරයට සම්බන්ධ බවට හා එහි එක් මහමොළකරුවෙකුට උදව්-උපකාර කිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් චෝදනා ලබා, අන්තවාදියෙකු ලෙස හංවඩු ගසනු දකින්නට ලැබීමත් නිසා ඈට ද ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් සෘණාත්මක බලපෑමක් ඇතිව තිබේ. සිය පවුලේ අනාගතය වෙනුවෙන් හිජාස් සතු වූ සැලසුම් අපමණකි, නමුත් ඒ සියල්ලම දැන් කාල නියමයක් නොමැතිව ඇණහිට තිබේ. සියල්ලන්ම දැන් දෙවියන්ට යාඥා කරමින්, සියල්ල හොඳින් සිදුවිය යුතුයැ’යි අපේක්ෂා සහගතව සිටිති. ඔහුගේ අහිංසක බව ගැන කියාපෑමත්, කවදා හෝ යුක්තිය ඉටුවේයැ’යි බලාපොරොත්තු සහගතව ජීවිතය ගෙවනවා විනා වෙන කිසිවක් කළ නොහැකි වීම ගැන මට ඇත්තේ නොදැරිය හැකි වේදනාවකි.

හිෆ්‍රාස් හිස්බුල්ලා | HEFRAZ HIZBULLAH

සංස්කාරක සටහන : මෙහි මුල් ලිපිය හිෆ්‍රාස් හිස්බුල්ලා විසින් “My Brother Hejaaz” මැයෙන් ඉංග්‍රීසි බසින් රචිත අතර, 2020 අගෝස්තු 27 වැනි දින ග්‍රවුන්ඩ්වීව්ස් වෙබ් අඩවියේ පළ කෙරුණි.

https://www.vikalpa.org/?p=38446&fbclid=IwAR1I1xxb12co2-uRvvNF0JckbN_ktepBpzrGiX6ClwSh-r8OrEei6ZnFtiA

 

My Brother Hejaaz

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My Brother Hejaaz


 

 

Hejaaz Hizbullah is my younger brother, and this week, on August 25, he spent his 40th birthday in detention at the Criminal Investigation Department, having been wrongfully arrested and portrayed as being connected to the Easter Sunday terror attacks.

My earliest memories of Hejaaz are from our home in Mt. Lavinia, where we had moved to from Kalubowila. Hejaaz was the youngest of three siblings. The three of us, being very close in age, would spend many hours playing together in our garden that surrounded the house. Hejaaz looked up to our elder sister, referring to her as an unsung hero in a birthday wish. Hejaaz and I, being two boys, were often in cahoots.

Our play times were inspired by Robin Hood, where we would take our bows and arrows and run around the garden. I would climb walls and jump around and Hejaaz would follow me around being my partner and sidekick, even though most of the time, he couldn’t keep up. But that never stopped him from trying, for many years to come. Robin Hood set the stage for Hejaaz’s aspirations and he grew up with a keen interest to help people (and animals – he recently rescued a cat and is now a confirmed cat person) around him. There was a period when we were in school where we were both involved in environment conservation.  We would pick up turtle eggs from Kosgoda and bring them safely to our hatchery at St. Thomas’. Hejaaz was just ten or 11 then and he took his responsibilities very seriously from making sure that the soil was well watered, to cycling to school over the weekend to feed the turtle hatchlings with fresh fish and ensuring that the water had the correct level of salinity.

His love for the environment, his school and life in general continued to shine through. He knew what he wanted to be very early in his school career. Despite passing his O’Levels with flying colours and being able to get into the Science or Math streams, he opted to join the Arts stream. Our headmaster came home to scold him and tried to convince him to join one of the other streams. Hejaaz just stuck by his decision because he knew he wanted to become a lawyer, and that’s what he was going to do. No one in our family tried to discourage him as we all knew that he would have done his background research. He would always make informed decisions. Hejaaz had a knack for debating and public speaking and he knew that those were his strong points; he  knew he would be able to make more of an impact in helping people by honing those skills as a lawyer. Being a Scout, an active member of the Interact Club (taking over as President in 1997) and a prefect, Hejaaz never turned down an opportunity to help anyone. He was involved in a number of social activities and sports, excelling in water polo. He, like myself, had been representing the school in swimming since primary school. In 1994, at the age of 14, he joined the school water polo team and eventually represented Sri Lanka at the Third Asia Pacific Water Polo Championships in Hong Kong in 2000. Hejaaz being awarded Sri Lanka Water Polo Colours the same year was a proud moment for us.

All this meant he barely spent time at home. I remember how he would get a hundred calls every evening when he used to be at Law College – quite a lot of them from girls. He was very popular with the ladies and everyone at home got tired of answering the landline because we just knew it was for him and would let the phone ring itself out.

However, Hejaaz wasn’t someone who focused only on his causes and his work. He’s a fun loving, spontaneous man and still loves attention as much as he did when he was a child. He looked up to people like Dr. Asanga Welikala back in school. He was in a league of his own. The family used to tease him about his high ideals, nicknaming him Uncle George – something that annoyed him no end. Despite being teased by us for being too posh, he never backed down when it came to getting work done on the grassroots – from speeding up court cases for the underprivileged farmers in Anuradhapura that had been dragging on for years when he first started practicing as a State Attorney to distributing water for mourners at Ven. Sobitha Thera’s funeral, he involved himself in everything. I recall how we used to participate in a special New Year’s Eve mass held at Vihara Mahadevi Park with our friends, the highlight of the occasion for us being the delicious breakfast that was served on in the  morning. This was probably what gave Hejaaz the idea to convey a message of solidarity by organising a special Ramadan Ifthar for his classmates, along with the attendance of clergy from all four faiths, in May 2019, a few weeks after the Easter Attacks. This is the kind of person that Hejaaz is. Having been to a Christian school with a multicultural environment, he integrated well with people from all faiths, with no leanings towards extremism whatsoever.

Hejaaz is someone with a spotless track record. He worked hard and excelled at what he did. Along with his peers, he represented his law college across the world in New Zealand, the United States and India in Moot Court and Client Counselling competitions, winning several awards for his country. At Law College, Hejaaz won the Walter Laduwahetty Gold Medal for Excellence for the best performance, as well as the Hector Jayawardene Memorial Gold Medal for the Address to the Jury Contest. Upon graduating he joined the Attorney General’s Department. He was also a Chevening Scholar and pursued his Master’s in Law at University College London. He used his skills as an orator to canvass for charities and speaking on behalf of the less fortunate. His love for his country is immeasurable and he also played a part in contributing towards reconciliation efforts.

Forever brimming with enthusiasm, Hejaaz was always making plans for one thing or the other. A small but heart-touching example is how he would plan out Eid celebrations at home, and make sure it was a fun-filled, joyous event for everyone. He and his wife would buy and beautifully pack presents for each child in the family from my one-and-a-half-year-old to our 19-year-old niece. Then he would dress up and jig around when handing them out. It’s little things like that which make us miss him most – especially on his birthday. It’s a day for joy and happiness but right now our family is shattered. Our elderly parents are sick with worry and have aged incredibly during this period.

Knowing how he was arrested and how he’s being portrayed as an extremist connected to the terror attacks under the allegation of apparently aiding one of the perpetrators and worse is an absolute shock. My sister-in-law is due to give birth in a few weeks and this is taking its toll on her as well. Hejaaz had a lot of plans for his family’s future together but right now all that is up in the air. Everyone is just praying and hoping for the best. And it pains me that we can’t do more than just proclaim his innocence and hope that justice, eventually, is served.

https://groundviews.org/2020/08/27/my-brother-hejaaz/

 

Hejaaz Detention: Fort Magistrate Orders CID To Submit All Statements Obtained In Investigations

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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 that the suppression of those statements is because it would vindicate Hizbullah of the charges against him.

Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake ordered to submit a comprehensive report containing all statements made by persons in the investigations related to Hizbullah.

Earlier the Magistrate also ordered the CID to submit a report on the investigations into how confidential statements were leaked to the media. Two confidential statements made by children had been leaked to the media and the Magistrate ordered an investigations as to how these statements were leaked when they were made only to him.
The Western Province DIG failed to submit any report on the investigations today after which the Magistrate made order to submit the report.

Hejaaz Hizbullah a prominent Lawyer was arrest on the 14th of April 2020, under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. The Criminal Investigations Department filed reports stating that children of the Al-Zuhriya Madrasa to whom Save the Pearls – a charity in which Hizbullah was the President – had said that they were given weapons training.

The Children with their parents filed Complaints to the Human Rights Commission and the Supreme Court alleging that they were coerced into giving statements after being taken alone without their parents throughout a period of 3 days, from dawn to dusk.

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/hejaaz-detention-fort-magistrate-orders-cid-to-submit-all-statements-obtained-in-investigations/

 

Hejaaz Hizbullah: Symptom and symbol

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  • 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 lecture us until two years later, in our third year. It would be quite unbecoming of me to say he exuded a critical, even dispassionate, distance between himself and his students. But say it I will. Hejaaz never seemed to get emotionally involved with what he taught. He came, he lectured, he made sure we understood what he said, and he left. I never saw him thereafter, not even at the many functions and events organised by my law school. At first, and for years afterwards, I assumed he was too busy with his practice to think of life outside lecture halls and chambers and courts. I couldn’t have been more wrong about a person.  


Hejaaz was the most enigmatic lecturer I ever came across. 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. Lecturers resort to secrecy because they know they’re not good enough, and know that their students know. Not this lecturer. That could mean only one thing. He was so deeply committed to his other lives that he couldn’t let those other lives interfere with this one. Underneath that dispassionate smile and frown, then, there was another man. A good man.  
I gradually realised that in addition to his practice and his activism, he was also a writer. At the time I was sitting for my A Levels in 2011, he wrote a particularly well thought out piece on the issue of the burka ban in France. Bizarrely enough, his stance on the problem – back when burkas and the identity of Muslim women and men were spreading like wildfire throughout Europe – coincided with the views of the very same Sinhala Buddhist nationalist crowd that demonises him as a terrorist sympathiser today. No less an articulator of this ideology than Professor Nalin de Silva said that the burka ban made clear the identity crisis in Western civilisation: in its quest to balance the demands of a White Christian majority and the reality of multiculturalism, Europe was imposing restrictions on displays of Muslim identity under the convenient excuse of “emancipating” Muslim women
When burkas and the identity of Muslim women and men were spreading like wildfire throughout Europe – coincided with the views of the very same Sinhala Buddhist nationalist crowd that demonises him as a terrorist sympathiser today


Hejaaz underscored this point a year later in a piece on the controversial anti-Islamic short documentary, Innocence of Muslims: “Even in the way the West defines free speech, it is not an unfettered, untrammelled absolute right. It is pegged in and restricted. Under the standard narrative, in deciding whether to decree something as free speech or not, there is a need to balance competing considerations but when it comes to Muslims, what we see is not a balance but really a bias. There are examples a plenty.” Now this is just about the same point Nalin de Silva and the Jathika Chintanaya have been making in column after column. It is a point I agree with and it couldn’t be any more correct.  
All that, however, is peripheral to my main point. More than Hejaaz’s arrest, which raises concerns that I, as a mere law student, am neither qualified nor able to address or assess, what distresses me is that infamous “court of public opinion” which automatically deems him a terrorist supporter and financier. When did “innocent until proven guilty” jump out of the window, reduced to an empty, meaningless phrase?  


I would dare to call Hejaaz a reminder of a generation of educated, progressive Sri Lankan Muslims, whose stand on communalism of all forms attracts ire from extremists and praise from moderates. Apparently he called the Easter attackers “fools who died as fools.” I can picture Hejaaz saying that. It was in him. It couldn’t have been anyone else. Certainly not any of the mainstream Muslim MPs we have today.  


I have seen the moderate Muslim, and I know in retrospect that he or she is a more complex human being than what either side of the divide prefers to see. The moderate Muslim is not necessarily opposed to burkas, but neither is he or she with those who wish to radicalize the Muslim population in the country by emphasising on Muslim-ness as opposed to Sri Lankan-ness. The moderate Muslim is opposed to the little Arabias that sprang up in the East of this country, under the watch NOT of a minority party but of a UPFA Muslim MP, but he or she is just as fervently opposed to those who try to make it out that this, somehow, represents the entirety of the Muslim race in the country. The moderate Muslim is seen as fitting a specific stereotype: he or she is invariably English educated, middle class, fluent in Sinhala and not just in Tamil, and outspoken against Islamisation. In many cases, this is true. Certainly, it is true of the St.Thomas’ educated, bilingual, and outspoken Hejaaz Hizbullah. But even then, they are not willing to concede to their own stereotype.  
Indeed, you’d be surprised to know that the same man demonised as a terrorist today wrote the following at the height of the halal (non-)issue in 2013:  


‘Who needs ‘halaal’ certification? It’s certainly not the Muslim consumer, but the businesses that crave for halaal recognition. I say this because there was a time before [the] halaal certification. Even then there were brands that had established consumer goodwill and trust to the effect that their products were ‘halaal’... To those thinking only in religious terms, ‘new’ translates often to ‘non-Muslim’ as Muslim businesses find it easier to establish consumer goodwill even without [the] certification.So as a Muslim consumer, the future of halaal certification does not trouble me.”


Extremist? Jihadist? Al-Qaeda supporter? Hardly.  


I think Hejaaz’s arrest is a symptom and symbol, of a great many among us who are ready to throw stones, swords, knives, and daggers at anyone suspected of something, anything. But even a cursory examination of the man’s record should, as it will, confirm that the values he has purported to stand for are at odds with their image of him.  



I think Hejaaz’s arrest is a symptom and symbol, of a great many among us who are ready to throw stones, swords, knives, and daggers at anyone suspected of something, anything


It is pointless, as certain commentators tend to do, to throw stones at and cast aspersions on this administration. Hejaaz Hizbullah’s arrest was made under the present regime a year after Dr Shafi’s arrest under a regime led by the now Opposition. Who’s kidding who here, if all we do is trace the contours of racism to a particular government without realising, and of course conceding, that this is an institutional (and institutionalised) problem? These arrests have already been validated, by a crowd only too eager to portray even the most moderate of moderates as villains of the piece. It’s all scripted. The players need only take their places. Hejaaz certainly has. And so have many of us.  


It didn’t have to be this way.


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http://www.dailymirror.lk/news-features/Hejaaz-Hizbullah-Symptom-and-symbol/131-194468

 

Niqab Ban In France Violates Human Rights Of Muslim Women: UN Human Rights Committee

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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 veil with an opening for the eyes, under a law that came into effect in 2011.

The committee said two women fined for wearing the full-face Islamic veils should be compensated and it called on France to review its controversial 2010 law banning the garment.

“The French law disproportionately harmed the petitioners’ right to manifest their religious beliefs,” the committee said in a statement, adding that France had not adequately explained the need for the ban.

“The Committee was not persuaded by France’s claim that a ban on face covering was necessary and proportionate from a security standpoint or for attaining the goal of ‘living together’ in society,” they said.

They added that the ban, “rather than protecting fully veiled women, could have the opposite effect of confining them to their homes, impeding their access to public services and marginalizing them.”

 

Rathana At It Again; ACJU Is The Punching Bag For Everyone

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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 (ACJU). The ACJU has been functioning as an organisation for nearly 100 years. It was established circa 1924. As such it is not just another mushroom religious body and it consists of erudite persons with Islamic scholarship. It is interesting to note that there is no priesthood as such in Islam. Therefore, overlordship of man over man, in any form, be it religious or otherwise, is never a part of the teachings of Islam.

The ACJU has been targeted in two different ways. Firstly, by some members within the Muslim community. The Muslim bashing is mostly aimed at its leader. In the generic sense no human is perfect. The varying values of imperfection applies to a Leader too. After all a Leader is also a human and logically, cannot be perfect. We have seen how leaders conduct themselves, the levels of efficiency, the extent of corruption and so on. Having said that, it is also important to highlight that every Leader carries certain responsibilities that defines a good leadership. Moreover, a leader is burdened with the task of delivering on the expectations of those who accept him as a leader. Anyway, this is a personal matter and outside the scope of this column.

The second attack is mounted against the organisation itself. This is mainly spearheaded by the extreme right politicians and racist elements with the support of monks in many instances. Their ‘offensives’, unfortunately so called, since they are indeed offensives, are not aimed at achieving some principled objective or to advocate a cause via rational argument. Far from these, the apparent aim is to intimidate, create a fear psychosis, hatred and through this inculcate violence.

ACJU Is Fair Game

Democratic institutions among others are based on the epithet ‘Equality’. This equality is in relation to the citizens of the country. When equality is offended or disturbed by whatever force, it naturally results in conflict. The force that is guilty of violating this principle will continue doing so and those who had been deprived of equality will struggle to reinstate it. The imbalance caused by this inequality reflects on all strata of societal life.

In this context, when examining the effect of the vitriolic diatribe against ACJU, the hallmarks of a divisive society is clearly exposed. In fact, no other religious organisation has been abused in this country in the way ACJU has been battered. Each offensive rains down on ACJU spurious, unsubstantiated and unfounded allegations. The ACJU has been accused at different times as extremists, supporters of terrorism, striving to make Sri Lanka a Muslim country, surreptitiously introducing sharia law and such other fanciful and highly imaginative allegations. These are well timed and choreographed with a careful selection of words and terminologies which appeal to the feelings of the people and combining these with phrases which can easily excite their sensitivities.

The recurrence of this exercise at intervals exposes one more thing and that is the character of the people who engage in this vanity. Such people are not patriots, true nationalists and in the context of monks, the impression is that they have deviated from the teachings of Buddha.

Free Entertainment


Without any prejudice compare the noise that was made by the media, politicians and monks over the statement of Mr. Harin Fernando, former Member of Parliament about His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith. Even the Auxiliary Bishops of Colombo together with the Catholic Clergy of the Archdiocese of Colombo issued a statement expressing their grave concern.

Let us examine another perspective. Whether one likes it or not Mr. Mangala Samaraweera former Member of Parliament is one person who does not hypocritically mix words when he articulates his disgust towards the conduct of certain monks. Irrespective of the veracity of what he says about some notorious monks the media, politicians and monks all have a field day casting aspersion on him and defending the monks.

Empirical observation reveals that most of the times it is the ethno-nationalists, extreme right politicians and politically bankrupt monks who engage in this game. They are providing free entertainment to many who are able to differentiate the chaff from the grain. The danger is that the majority of the people buy into these accusations and develop within them indoctrinated fear. This fear can easily be transformed into developing hate and resulting violence.

Enter The Dragon

Recently Athuraliye Rathana Thero appears to have had a bout of verbal diarrhoea which figuratively stinks. According to the general perception of the public, the government is not interested in him and therefore, he has been marginalised. The talk of the town is that he has passed the political ‘expiry date’ and is now desperately struggling to maintain his presence in the arena. Given the political climate the best choice for him is to throw a few punches at the ACJU. After all, anything against the Muslims is fair game these days especially for the racist monks.

I am reminded of a scene in the picture ‘Enter the Dragon’ (I assume) where an opponent of Bruce Lee, in the tournament ring, holds a wooden board and breaks it with a karate stroke in a display of power. Bruce Lee calmly responded saying, “Wooden boards do not hit back”. Venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thero knows very well that his punching bag (ACJU) also will not hit back. Moreover, unlike for His Eminence The Cardinal and for certain monks there is no media, politicians and monks who would come forward to speak on behalf of ACJU.

Polowa Pelena Boru

The fourth precept (sila) in Buddhism involves falsehood “musāvāda,”. More broadly it encompasses all forms of wrongful or harmful speech. As explained by the respected venerables, this would mean speech that is harsh, untruthful, motivated by greed or hatred, or otherwise connected with harm. Misleading arguments, verbal bullying, incitements to violence, rage, outbursts, malicious ridicule, and poorly worded statements that cause pain without benefit.

The recent statements of Rathana Thero against the ACJU which are unfounded or unsubstantiated can be connected with most of the above extensions of the pali word, “musāvāda”. What lies? Or, in Sinhala the common adage, “Polowa pelena boru”. Worst of all coming from the mouth of a monk violating the precept that he utters; wonder how many times for a day. This time the accusation, among several others, is that the ACJU has advised all Muslims to boycott Sampath Bank. Liar! Liar! Pants On Fire. The ACJU had never given any such advice and promptly issued a statement refuting this heinous accusation. See ACJU letter below:




 


 

The Most Abused Sila

The extent to which the fourth sila is abused is abominable. Especially, in a country where the five precepts are repeated so many times each day over the radio, on TV, in the temples, in every junction of the roads. And, that too, when the utterers of such lowly abuse are the monks the abomination becomes simply unbearable. It is unpleasant and it is unbecoming of anyone who has enrobed himself to indulge in lies. The monks are supposed to be the paragons of virtue. It is them that the laity looks upon with veneration since they have adopted the path of the buddha. It is the monks who teach the lay people the way of the buddha. When they fail to stand up or do not put into practice what they preach it is disappointing. Of course, this does not include the respectable monks.

The curse of pseudo religious and racist rhetoric most of the times fuelled by a false sense of nationalism are the enemies of this country. They are a threat to national security. These deceivers have to be stopped and they can be stopped only by the civic minded citizens of this country. This means you and me. Thank God, there still remains a large contingent of those who detest the dramatics of these opportunistic and pretentious patriots.

Abandoning false speech

Abandoning divisive speech

Abandoning abusive speech

Abandoning idle chatter

“This is how one is made pure in four ways by verbal action.”

— Anguttara Nikaya 10.176

Is it not time that the law-abiding citizens make the voice of their dissatisfaction be heard over this continuing state of affairs? What moral values are we going to leave behind for our children?

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/rathana-at-it-again-acju-is-the-punching-bag-for-everyone/

 

Democracy Threatened: Impunity, Political Patronage & Rollback Of Devolution

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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. When I inquired, I was told untruthfully that he never reported it. Sasilan has what it takes to be a good officer. His experience also shows the challenges of office: fear of and the need to please the political authorities who recently just ahead of elections transferred new GAs to key electoral districts.

Our franchise is safeguarded by people like Sasilan. May these quarters give comfort to those who come to live here, safeguarding our franchise instead of to promote themselves by service to political authorities.

SLAS: SL Administrative Service or SL Association of Schemers?

Sasilan’s experience shows the triple challenges faced by election officials: impunity (on which I have written much and will not touch on here), political pressure, and threats to distributed power. As for political pressure, as you know the COVID curfews were mysteriously announced lifted on 19 April to clear the way for elections, a day after Defence-Secretary Kamal Gunaratne stated firmly that until COVID is curbed, curfew cannot be lifted. Now the 100 limit on political meetings is increased. The relevant gazette is delayed. Science services political authority.

When the Colombo Returning Office had a Facebook post calling a Presidential candidate the son of a donkey, an inquiry was held. The inquiry was scheduled for 5 pm, I left the Commission after 5:30 pm when the meeting was not convened. The delay was that one officer was drunk. They met very late and declared that the RO had a new telephone, he was reading someone else’s post, his finger slipped on the polished screen, and that got posted as his. Not even a child would believe what the SLAS officers and an IT expert proffered as an excuse. I perceived a need not to find anything against a fellow SLAS officer. After the elections, the man retired and sought nomination from the ruling party. Impunity!

Today we have a situation where an RO was brought at the last minute to a big district. Gifts given for those without work under COVID came to the Kachcheri. These went to an MP who distributed them as if they are from him. There is a photo from his Facebook where his youth leader gives the package from a GS office. The furniture stock marks identify the office. An inquiry had to be launched.

SLAS officers were the inquirers. The pickup from the Disaster Management Service was tracked by the GPS showing that the vehicle running charts are cooked up. It had stopped at a home for long periods where the contributions were offloaded on the relevant days (13-19 April). It had not gone to the Divisional Secretary’s office as claimed. The GA/District Secretary claimed he had given the goods to an Additional GA with correct instructions and certified that the distribution was perfectly done. The Additional GA claimed he had distributed the goods as instructed by the GA. The Accountant of the Divisional Secretariat where the gifts were claimed to have been given, testified that nothing was given there. The beneficiary list given by the GA’s office was clearly cooked up and duplicated pages with beneficiary signatures not matching the signatory’s names.

 

The inquirers did not dare to question the driver who asked him to go to the unauthorized places. They claimed to lack the capacity to ask the alleged beneficiaries who they were told the donor is. They claimed to lack the capacity to check the Facebook photo claiming the goods were from an MP. No one asked the GA how he certified distribution as he instructed.

The SLAS inquiry team cleared the GA claiming there was no evidence against him (although he certified that the distribution was properly done) and that he had handed over everything properly to the Additional GA. The Inquirers did not want to let down a political corrupt RO on whose reputation the electoral system hangs.

Democracy in Danger: Threat to Distributing Power

Our franchise is in danger. One source is the SLAS itself whose structure upholds authority and impunity. The other is rolling back devolution of powers from which we have all benefitted, including the Election Commission where three members have replaced the one Commissioner. This permits greater role for dissent and alternative voices. I will focus on the distribution of power for lack of time.

Imagine Sri Lanka is one electorate. The majority will win most of the seats. It is in recognizing that different peoples have different needs to articulate, that we have several electorates to send different representatives knowing the needs of each electorate. Similarly, we have multi-member seats to allow, say Muslims to be able to return a Muslim MP in a Tamil majority electorate. The Provincial Councils are a boon to truly representative democracy. What has happened to them is like what happened to a friend’s Volkswagen Beetle when I went with him to a mechanic’s. The foot board was rusty. The mechanic kicked it hard and broke it. Then he said, “See. It needs fixing.”

Likewise, the Provincial Councils have problems. We need to fix them without breaking them.

In my LLRC testimony, I argued for a united but federal Sri Lanka. I have three daughters and a son. They are all equally my children and equally loved. But the girls have different shared bedrooms in our house because their needs are different. Under one roof we are one family but with different living quarters. The arrangement does not make my son with his own bedroom unequal to my daughters.

Indeed the arrangement gives them greater freedom to lead fuller lives, one room with boy toys and comics and the others with dolls, wall posters, and a library with books like Pride and Prejudice. Giving us, Tamil people, different space where we can give expression and life to our peculiar needs is not separation but true happy integration.

Let me also paraphrase another family-based argument that my daughter who worked for Dr. Jehan Perera heard from him. If I were to have a voting system among my children every time we go out as a family, the three girls would outvote my son and we would always end up shopping or eating at a restaurant. My son, who would prefer Casuarina Beach, would get outvoted. In time, he would want to break off from the family and go to the beach with his friends. Majority vote would lead to separation but sharing leads to integration.

That is, the wishes of the majority cannot be forced on minorities in the name of democracy and must be mediated through a federal arrangement. Yes, a good society must allow those who wish to be different to be different.

Women

Women also are a minority in terms of power. They have different needs and sensibilities. Getting some 95% male Parliament to be their representative is not democracy. The Mannar Women’s Development Federation has said “Give one of your votes to a woman.” I endorse this. As they say, women’s rule uplifts our democracy.

There is some confusion, however. At the Presidential Elections, when MWDF urged you to vote for at least one woman, you could choose any of the female candidates. Now, however, in the Parliamentary elections, you must first choose a party, whatever it may be, and then vote for a woman from that same party. If you chose a woman from a party that you did not choose, your vote will be spoilt.

We must give choices to everyone in how our lives are run. Women especially must have a greater choice in running their lives. Vote for at least one woman from your party.

*Text of speech on 5 July, 2020 at the Election Commission’s Grand Opening of the New Quarters Building, Saravana Road, Kallady, Batticaloa

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/democracy-threatened-impunity-political-patronage-rollback-of-devolution/


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Coronavirus funerals: Sri Lanka's Muslims decry forced cremation

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Sri Lankan ethnic Muslim women wait in a queue for the Covid-19 blood test in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 04 May 2020

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 officials arrived at our door," he said. "We were kicked out and they sprayed [disinfectant] everywhere. We were all scared but they didn't tell us anything. Even a three-month-old baby was tested and they took us like dogs to the quarantine centre."

The family was held for a night but released the next day and told to quarantine for two weeks, Mohamed said. By then, they had received news that Fathima had died, at the hospital, on her own.

Fathima's adult son was asked to go to the hospital to identify his mother's body. He was told that her body could not be returned to the family, he said, as her death was linked to Covid-19.

Instead he was forced to sign papers authorising her cremation, the family said - even though under Muslim law cremation is considered a violation of the human body.

"He was told that her body parts needed to be removed for further tests. Why would they need body parts if she had corona?" said his father Shafeek, who feels the family were not fully informed about what happened.

Fathima Rinoza and husband Mohamed Shafeek with their two daughtersImage copyrightMOHAMED SHAFEEKImage captionFathima and her husband Mohamed with their two daughters

Fathima's family and others in Sri Lanka's Muslim community say the authorities are violating their rights by forcing them to cremate victims even though coronavirus victims can be buried.

They argue it's the latest step in a pattern of discrimination by the majority Sinhalese population. A petition against the cremation rule has been accepted by the country's Supreme Court, which will begin hearing the case on 13 July.

Many Muslims in Sri Lanka feel they have been demonised since April 2019, when Islamists linked to little-known local groups targeted high-end hotels and churches in Colombo and in the east of the country, killing more than 250 people in a spate of devastating attacks.

Since the death of the first Sri Lankan Muslim from coronavirus on 31 March, some media outlets have openly blamed the Muslim community for spreading the disease, even though only 11 deaths have been officially recorded in the country.

All 11 bodies, including Muslims, were cremated.

A Muslim priest prays during Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Dewatagaha Mosque in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 24 May 2020Image copyrightDINUKA LIYANAWATTEImage captionRituals associated with burial in Islam are designed to give the body dignity in death

Dr Sugath Samaraweera, the government's chief epidemiologist, told the BBC it was government policy that all those who die from Covid-19, as well as those suspected of dying from it, are cremated, as burials could contaminate ground drinking water.

Dr Samaraweera said the government was following expert medical advice, and applying the rule to anyone suspected of dying from coronavirus, regardless of religion.

"The WHO offers guidelines for the whole world. It is our responsibility to adopt or customise those guidelines suitable to our country," he said.

But Muslim activists, community leaders and politicians have asked the Sri Lankan government to reconsider the decision.

Ali Zahir Moulana, a former minister and senior leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress party, said the Muslim community was prepared to accept the rule "if there is evidence or scientific backing to prove that burial is dangerous to public health". But he questioned the science behind it, and accused the government of pursuing a "dark political agenda".

Interim guidance published by the WHO in March says victims of coronavirus "can be buried or cremated", and does not mention dangers to groundwater.

Sri Lankan lawyers walk past the Supreme Court complex in Colombo, Sri Lanka, 20 May 2020Image copyrightEPAImage captionA petition against the cremation rule has reached the country's Supreme Court

On the same day that Fathima died, 64-year-old Abdul Hameed Mohamed Rafaideen passed away at his sister's house in Colombo. The labourer and father of four had been suffering from breathing difficulties.

His youngest son, Naushad Rafaideen, told the BBC that a neighbour from the majority Sinhala community died the same day.

Because of lockdown travelling restrictions, local police asked the family to take the body of the neighbour, together with their father's body, to the hospital.

At the mortuary, the doctor told Naushad he was not allowed to touch his father's body because of the risks of Covid-19, even though it wasn't clear whether the virus was the cause of death.

A family photo of the Rafaideen familyImage copyrightNAUSHAD RAFAIDEENImage captionHappier times in the Rafaideen family. Naushad is in the middle, and his father on the right

Naushad, who cannot read, was asked to sign some papers which gave permission for his father's body to be cremated.

He said he wasn't sure what would happen to him if he didn't sign, but he feared a backlash against his family and community if he refused. He said the Sinhalese family was treated differently, and allowed to pay respects to their relative at a funeral parlour, though the BBC could not independently verify this. Only Naushad and a handful of relatives were allowed to attend the cremation of his father, he said.

Meanwhile, nearly six weeks after the death of his wife, Shafeek is unsure whether she ever tested positive for coronavirus, and he is struggling to come to terms with not being able to bury her body. One thing he was sure of, he said. "We Muslims do not cremate our dead."

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53295551?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/world/asia&link_location=live-reporting-story

 

ජිනීවා මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේදී රටවල් 5කින් ලංකාවට චෝදනා

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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 ආරංචි මාර්ග සඳහන් කර සිටී.

ජිනීවා මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ 44 වැනි සැසිවාරයට සහභාගි වෙමින් එක්සත් රාජධානිය, ජර්මනිය, කැනඩාව, මැසිඩෝනියාව සහ මොන්ටිනිග්‍රෝව යන රටවල් පහේ කණ්ඩායම පසුගිය 30 වැනිදා මෙලෙස ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට එරෙහිව චෝදනා ගොනු කර ඇත.

මාර්තු මාසයේ සිට කොවිඞ් 19 වසංගතය පාලනය නිසා කලාපයේ සාමාන්‍ය අගයට වඩා අඩු මට්ටමකින් කළමනාකරණය කළද මානව හිමිකම් පිළිබඳ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ  මහකොමසාරිස්වරිය ප්‍රකාශ කළ ආකාරයට වසංගතය මැඬපැවැත්වීම සඳහා මානව හිමිකම් කඩවන අසාමාන්‍ය  ක්‍රියාමාර්ග නොගත යුතු යැයිද මෙම රටවල් පහේ කණ්ඩායම මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයට ඉදිරිපත් කළ සිය ඒකාබද්ධ පකාශයේ සඳහන් කර ඇත.

සැරයන් සුනිල් රත්නායකට ජනාධිපති සමාව ලබාදීම,  යුද සමයේ මනාව හිමිකම් කඩකිරීම් පිළිබඳ චෝදනා එල්ල වූ නිලධාරීන්ට උසස් වීම් ලබාදීම පිළිබඳවද මෙම රටවල් පහේ කණ්ඩායම ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජයට විරෝධය පළ කර ඇති බවද එම ජිනීවා තානාපති ආරංචි මාර්ග වැඩිදුරටත් කියා සිටී.

එසේම නීතිඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන රඳවා තබාගෙන ඇති නමුත් මෙතෙක් ඔහුට එරෙහිව චෝදනා ගොනුකර නොමැති බවද රටේ සිවිල් ක්‍රියාකාරකම් මිලිටරිකරණයට ලක්කරමින් සිටින බවද එම රටවල් පහේ කණ්ඩායම ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට වැඩිදුරටත් චෝදනා එල්ල කර තිබේ.

 

මුස්ලිම් නීතිඥයාට එරෙහිව 'ත්‍රස්ත සාක්කි' ගෙතූ රහස් පොලිසියට විනිසුරු විරෝධය

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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 තබා ගෙන දෙමාසයකට වැඩි කලක් ගතවී ඇතත් ඔහුට එරෙහිව අධිකරණය හමුවේ චෝදනා ගොනු කිරීමට අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව මේ වනතුරුත් අසමත්ව සිටී.

කොළඹ - කොටුව ප්‍රධාන මහේස්ත්‍රාත් රංග දිසානායක හමුවේ පසුගිය 19 වැනි දින, නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටි ජනාධිපති නීතිඥ වසන්ත නවරත්න බණ්ඩාර විසින් අසන ලද ප්‍රශ්නවලට පිළිතුරු දෙමින් රහස් පොලිසියේ නිලධාරියකු පවසා ඇත්තේ නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ් ට එරෙහිව “තවමත් නිසි පරිදි චෝදනා ගොනු කොට නැති” බව ය.

ත්‍රස්තවාදය වැළැක්වීමේ පනත යටතේ අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන රැඳවුම් භාරයට පත්කර සිටියද නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ් තවමත් සැකකරුවකු ලෙස හෝ නම් කර නොමැති බව ද ජනාධිපති නීතිඥවරයාගේ ප්‍රශ්න කිරීම් හමුවේ පිළිගන්නට අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව වෙනුවෙන් අධිකරණය හමුවේ පෙනී සිටි එම නිලධාරියාට සිදුවිය.

රහස් පොලිසියේ කුමන්ත්‍රණ

චෝදනා නොමැතිව අත්අඩංගුවට ගත් නීතිඥවරයාට එරෙහිව චෝදනා නිර්මාණය කිරීමට අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව අවස්ථා කිහිපයකදීම උත්සාහ දැරූ අතර, පසුගිය 24 දින කොළඹ කොටුව ප්‍රධාන මහේස්ත්‍රාත් රංග දිසානායක විසින් ප්‍රකාශ කරනු ලැබුවේ එදිනට නියමිතව තිබුණු හඳුනා ගැනීමේ පෙරට්ටුවට පෙර රහස් පොලිස් නිලධාරින් විසින් පෙරට්ටුවේ සාක්ෂිකරුවන් ලෙස සහභාගිවීමට නියමිතව සිටි පුත්තලම මද්‍රසා පාසැලක ළමුන්ට නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ්ගේ ඡායාරූප පෙන්වමින් ඔහු හඳුනා ගන්නා ලෙස බලකරනු දුටු තමන් විසින් එම නිලධාරීන් හඳුනා ගැනීමේ පෙරට්ටුව පවත්වන්නට නියමිතව සිටි ස්ථානයෙන් ඉවත් කළ බව ය
"මේ තත්ත්වය හෙළිදරව් කිරීමට මට අවශ්‍යයි. රහස් පොලිස් නිලධාරින් ළමුන්ට ඡායාරූප පෙන්වීමට වෑයම් කළා. ඒ නිසා මට එම නිලධාරින්ව අධිකරණයෙන් පිට කිරීමට සිදුවුණා" යැයි ප්‍රධාන මහේස්ත්‍රාත්වරයා විවෘත අධිකරණය හමුවේ පවසා තිබුණි.

රහස් පොලිස් නිලධාරින් නීති විරෝධී ආකාරයෙන් කටයුතු කරමින් හඳුනා ගැනීමේ පෙරට්ටුව පවත්වන්නට උත්සාහ දැරීම අභියෝගයට ලක් කරමින් නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටි නීතිඥ මඩුල්ල සිය විරෝධතාවය දිගින්, දිගටම ප්‍රකාශ කිරීමේදි එය නොතකා හරිමින්, පෙරට්ටුවට මෙතරම් විරුද්ධ වන්නේ කුමක් නිසාදැයි නීතිපති දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවෙන් පැමිණ සිටි නියෝජ්‍ය සොලිසිටර් ජනරාල් දීලීප පීරිස් නීතිඥවරුන්ගේන් ප්‍රශ්න කර තිබුණි. එයට පිළිතුරු ලෙස හිටපු නියෝජ්‍ය ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සොලිසිටර් ජනරාල් වරයකුද වන ජනාධිපති නීතිඥ නවරත්න බණ්ඩාර ප්‍රකාශ කොට ඇත්තේ “හරස් ප්‍රශ්න ඇසීමකින් තොරව හඳුනා ගැනීමේ පෙරට්ටුවක් පමණක් පවත්වමින් එය සාක්ෂියක් ලෙස යොදාගත හැකි ත්‍රස්තවාදය වැළැක්වීමේ පනතේ 18 වැනි වගන්තියෙන් ලබා දී ඇති නෛතික ප්‍රතිපාදනයක් ප්‍රයෝජනයට ගෙන මෙසේ පෙරට්ටුවක් පැවැත්වීමට” රහස් පොලිසිය සහ නීතිපති දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව බල කරන බවයි.

"සාක්ෂි තියෙනවා" මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රකාශක

කෙසේ නමුත් රහස් පොලිසියේ ප්‍රෝඩාකාරී ක්‍රියාවත්, ජනාධිපති නීතිඥවරයාගේ නෛතික කරුණු දැක්වීමත් දැඩිව සළකා බලා ඇති ප්‍රධාන මහේස්ත්‍රාත්වරයා අවසානයේ තීන්දු කොට තිබෙන්නේ හඳුනා ගැනීමේ පෙරට්ටුව සම්පූර්ණයෙන්ම නතර කර දැමීමට ය. නමුත් අධිකරණ ක්‍රියාවලිය අපහාසයට ලක් කරමින් නීති විරෝධීව ව්‍යාජ සාක්ෂි නිර්මාණය කිරීමට කටයුතු කළ රහස් පොලිස් නිලධාරින් පිළිබඳව පොලිස්පතිවරයාගේ අවධානයට ලක් කිරීමට මහේස්ත්‍රාත්වරයා පියවර ගත් බවක් දැනගන්නට නැත.

රහස් පොලිසිය විසින් නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ් අත්අඩංගුවට ගන්නා ලද අප්‍රේල් 14 දාට දින පහකට පසුව ය. ඒ අනුව අප්‍රේල් 19 දින මාධ්‍ය හමුවක් පවත්වන පොලිස් මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රකාශකයා අවධාරණය කර තිබුනේ අපරාධ පරික්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව විසින් පාස්කු ප්‍රහාරය සම්බන්ධයෙන් නීතිඥවරයකු අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන ඇති බවත්, එසේ අත්අඩංගුවට ගනු ලැබුවේ ඔහුට එරෙහිව ඇති “සුදුසු, යෝග්‍ය සාක්ෂි සහ කරුණු” මත පදනම් වෙමින් බවත් ය.

"එක් විවේචනයක සඳහන් වෙනවා එක්තරා නීතිඥවරයෙක් සිය නීතිඥ වෘත්තියේ යෙදෙමින් සිය සේවාදායකයෙක් සමග කරන ලද දුරකතන සංවාදයක් හින්දා මේ අත්අඩංගුවට ගැනීම් කරලා තියෙනවාය කියලා. අපරාධ පරික්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව එය තරයේ ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කරනවා. මෙම අත්අඩංගුවට ගැනීම හුදු නීතිඥවරයෙක් සහ සේවාදායකයෙක් අතර වුණු ගනුදෙනුවක් මත පදනම් වු එකක් නෙමෙයි. මෙම නීතිඥවරයා අත්අඩංගුවට ගැනීම සඳහා ප්‍රමාණවත් තොරතුරු සහිතව විමර්ශන ගණනාවක් කරලා, සාක්ෂි ගණනාවක් සටහන් කරලා ඊට අමතරව දුරකතන ඇමතුම් ගණනාවක් විශ්ලේෂණය කරලා, ආගිය තැන් විමර්ශනය කරලා ඊට පසුවයි මේ අත්අඩංගුවට ගැනීම කරලා තියෙන්නේ. අධිකරණයට ගෙනියන්න පුලුවන් සුදුසු, යෝග්‍ය සාක්ෂි සහ කරුණු අනුසාරයෙන් තමයි මේ අත්අඩංගුවට ගැනීම සිදුකරලා තියෙන්නේ," යි ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ පොලිස් අධිකාරි (එවකට පොලිස් අධිකාරි) ජාලිය සේනාරත්න එම මාධ්‍ය හමුවේදි පැවසීය..

“සාක්ෂි නෑ” රහස් පොලීසිය

ත්‍රස්තවාදය වැළැක්වීමේ පනත යටතේ නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ් දින අනූවක් රඳවා තබා ගැනීමට නියෝග කරමින් ජනාධිපති ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂගේ අත්සනින් නිකුත් කර ඇති රැඳවුම් නියෝගයේ (Detention Order) දැක්වෙන්නේ “2019/04/21 දින ත්‍රස්තවාදී බෝම්බ ප්‍රහාරයේ මරාගෙන මැරෙන බෝම්බකරු වන මොහොමඩ් ඉබ්‍රාහීම් ඉන්සාෆ් අහමඩ්ට අධාර අනුබල සැපයිම, ප්‍රජාවන් අතර ආගමික සමගියට හානිකර කටයුතු වල නියැලීම සහ එවැනි ක්‍රියා දැනුවත්වම පොලිසියෙන් සඟවා සිටීම,” ය. නමුත් නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ් එම බෝම්බකරුට උදව් කළ බවට කිසිදු සාක්ෂියක් මේ දක්වා හමුවී නැති බව ජනාධිපති නීතිඥ වසන්ත නවරත්න බණ්ඩාරගේ ප්‍රශ්න කිරීම් හමුවේ පිළිගන්නට රහස් පොලිසියට සිදුවිය.

ත්‍රස්තවාදය වැළැක්වීමේ පනත ඇතුළු කවර අණ පනතක් යටතේ පුද්ගලයකු අත්අඩංගුවට ගනු ලැබුව ද එයින් රටේ මූලික නීතිය වන ආණ්ඩු ක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව උල්ලංඝණය කිරීමට හෝ එය අතික්‍රමණය කිරීමට හෝ එවැනි කිසිදු පනතකින් කියැවෙන නෛතික රෙගුලාසියකට නොහැකි බව මහේස්ත්‍රාත්වරයාගේ අවධානයට යොමු කරමින් ජනාධිපති නීතිඥවරයා ඉල්ලා ඇත්තේ තවමත් නිසි චෝදනා ගොනු කිරීමක් හෝ නොමැතිව රඳවාගෙන සිටින නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ් නොපමාව අධිකරණය හමුවට පමුණුවන ලෙසයි.

කොටුව ප්‍රධාන මහේස්ත්‍රාත් රංග දිසානායක එහිදි ප්‍රකාශ කොට ඇත්තේ එළැඹෙන ජූලි 1 දින තමන් ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් තීන්දුවක් ලබා දෙන බවයි.
රහස් පොලිසිය විසින් පසුගිය 19 දින අධිකරණය හමුවට ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇති වැඩිදුර වාර්තාවකින් (බී වාර්තා) චෝදනා කොට ඇත්තේ නීතිඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලාහ්, Save the Pearls Society නැමති සංවිධානයක සභාපතීත්වය සහ සාමාජිකත්වය දරණ බවත්, එම සංවිධානයෙන් පුත්තලම අල් සුහාරියා මද්‍රසා පාසැලේ ළමුන් පිරිසකට විදුහල්පතිවරයා ඉදිරියේ ගිණි අවි පුහුණුවක් ලබා දී කතෝලික ජනයාට එරෙහිව ළමුන් කුපිත වන ආකාරයේ අදහස් සහිත දේශන පවත්වා ඇති බවත් ය.

බුද්ධි අංශයේ සහ අමාත්‍යාංශ ලේකම්වරුන්ගේ නම්

“නීතිඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා යන අයද අවස්ථා කිහිපයකදිම මෙම මද්‍රසා විද්‍යාලයට ගොස් දේශන පවත්වා ඇති බවට අනාවරණය වී ඇති අතර, ඔහු ඊශ්‍රායලය සහ පලස්තීනය අතර සිදුවු යුද්ධයේ වීඩියෝවක් පෙන්වා ඊශ්‍රායලයේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි ආගමේ අය විසින් මුස්ලිම් පල්ලි අල්ලාගෙන සිටින බවට ප්‍රකාශ කර ඇති බවත්, එමෙන්ම ලංකාවේ කතෝලික අයට ගැහුවොත් තමයි ඒ කටිටිය බය වෙන්නේ යනුවෙන් ප්‍රකාශ කර ඇති බවත් විමර්ශනයේදි කරුණු අනාවරණය වී ඇත,” යි එම වාර්තාවෙහි දැක්වෙයි.

රහස් පොලීසිය විසින් අධිකරණය හමුවට ඉදිරිපත් කෙරුනු එම වාර්තාව පදනම් වී ඇත්තේ මද්‍රසා පාසැලේ අවි පුහුණුවට සහභාගි වූ සිසුන් විසින් ලබා දී තිබෙන ප්‍රකාශ ඇසුරෙන් යැයි එහිම දැක්වෙන නමුත්, CID ය තමන් “බියට සහ මානසික වධහිංසාවට ලක් කරමින් දෙමාපියන් නොමැතිව නොදන්නා තැනකට රැගෙන ගොස් ප්‍රකාශ ලබා ගත් බව” පවසමින් එම පාසලේ ළමුන් තිදෙනෙක් මේ වන විට එම නිලධාරින්ට එරෙහිව මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් නඩුවක් පවරා තිබේ.

පුත්තලම අල් සුහාරියා පාසල සහ Save the Pearls Society නැමති සංවිධානය විසින් අන්තවාදි කටයුතුවල නිරත වී ඇතැයි පාස්කු බෝම්බ ප්‍රහාරය ගැන පරීක්ෂණ පැවැත්වීමට ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ බලයට පත්වූ පසු අලුතින් පත් කරන ලද රහස් පොලිස් නිලධාරීන් අධිකරණය හමුවේ පවසා තිබේ.

මින් Save the Pearls Society සංවිධනයේ පාලක මණ්ඩලයේ නම් ඇතුලත් නිල ලේඛණයක් මෙන්ම එම සංවිධානය විසින් තම විහාරය විසින් පාලනය කරන දහම් පාසැලේ ළමුන්ට කරන ලද ආධාර උපකාර පිළිබඳව කෘතඥතාවය පළකරමින් මාළිගාවත්ත, ඛෙත්තාරාම විහාරයේ විහාරාධිපති වෙළඳගොඩ යසසිරි හිමියන් විසින් ලබා දෙන ලද ලිපියෙහි නිල පිටපතක් ජේඩීඑස් සතුව තිබේ. ආරක්ෂක අමාත්‍යාංශය යටතේ පාලනය වන බුද්ධි තොරතුරු සහ ජාතික ආරක්ෂාව පිළිබඳ ආයතනවල ඉහළ පෙලේ තනතුරු හෙබවූවන් මෙන්ම, සෞඛ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශය ප්‍රමුඛ අමාත්‍යාංශවල ලේකම් ධූර දැරු පුද්ගලයන්ගේ නම්ද එම ලේඛනයේ හි සඳහන් ය.

ජනාධිපති නීතිඥ වසන්ත නවරත්න බණ්ඩාර රහස් පොලිස් නිලධාරින්ගෙන් ප්‍රශ්න කොට තිබෙන්නේ සංවිධානය සහ පාසැල නීති විරෝධී බව පවසා නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ්ව අත්අඩංගුවට ගනු ලැබුවේ නම් එයින් උපකාර ලැබු බෞද්ධ භික්ෂුන් වහන්සේගෙන් සහ පාලක මණ්ඩලයේ නම සඳහන් ඉහළ පෙළේ නිලධාරීන්ගෙන් ප්‍රශ්න නොකරන්නේ මන්ද යනුවෙනි.

මාධ්‍ය මෙහෙයුම්

මේ අතර, ළමුන් තිදෙනෙක් පසුගිය 12 දා කොටුව මහේස්ත්‍රාත් හමුවේ ලබා දුන් බව පැවසෙන රහසිගත ප්‍රකාශය පසුදින ජන මාධ්‍යවල ප්‍රචාරය වුයේ කෙසේදැයි ප්‍රශ්න කරමින් තමන් එය අධිකරණයේ අවධානයට යොමු කරන බව ද පවසා ඇති ජනාධිපති නීතිඥවරයා, වැඩිදුරටත් විමසා ඇත්තේ එසේ නම් එය 'රහසිගත ප්‍රකාශයක්' වන්නේ කෙසේ දැයි යනුවෙනි.

මේ අතර "සහරාන්ගෙන් පුහුණු වූ දරුවෝ අධිකරණයේදි සියල්ල හෙළි කරති ," යනුවෙන් මැයි 13 දින ආණ්ඩු පාක්ෂික 'මව්බිම' පුවත්පත වාර්තා කර ඇති අතර, රැඳවුම් නියෝගයට අත්සන් කොට ඇති ජනාධිපති ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂගේ සමීපතම සගයකු වන ව්‍යාපාරික දිලිත් ජයවීරට අයත් 'දෙරණ' පුවත් අඩවිය එදිනම එය වාර්තා කොට ඇත්තේ "සහරාන්ගේ දේශනවලට සහභාගි වු ළමුන් දෙදෙනෙක් කොටුව මහේස්ත්‍රාත් හමුවේ ප්‍රකාශයක් දෙයි" යනුවෙනි.

පිළිගත හැකි කිසිදු සාක්ෂියක් නොමැතිව, කුමන්ත්‍රණකාරී ලෙස රහස් පොලිස් අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන නීතිඥ සහයක් හෝ නිසියාකාරව ලබා ගැනීමට ඉඩ ලබා නොදෙමින් රැඳවුම් භාරයට පත්කොට සිටින නීතිඥ හිස්බුල්ලාහ්ට එරෙහිව කෙසේ හෝ සාක්ෂි සකසන්නැයි ඉහළ පෙලේ බලධාරින්ගෙන් රහස් පොලිසියට නියෝග ලැබී ඇති බව විශ්වසනීය ආරංචි මාර්ග මගින් ජේඩීඑස් වෙත වාර්තා වී ඇත.

http://www.jdslanka.org/s/index.php/2014-12-19-17-57-19/2014-12-20-03-06-54/922-2020-07-01-14-05-24?fbclid=IwAR3JHnXlQGzENLPkn28mdGPGetxQ9DNWYoZ5Vthbe-k579ej-OK3rz4UWcg

 

Gnanasara Thero Once Again Inciting Sinhalese Against Muslims

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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 main stream Muslim Organisations and institutions numbering a colossal 42 including the prestigious Jaamia Naleemia Academy at Beruwala, the radiating centre of scholarly knowledge! A case of the ‘black pot’ calling the ‘silver kettle’, Black! This comes at a time when the island’s Muslim community remains deeply wounded following a decade of unchecked anti-Muslim propaganda and violence.

It is common knowledge that during the ethnic war Muslims also suffered only because they refused to support the LTTE can for the division of the country. The entire Muslim population in the North and North East were kicked out within hours by the LTTE .Their belongings were looted and they ended up in refugee camps only with Rs 150. In the East, Muslims were massacred in mosques, their lands grabbed and livelihood deprived by the LTTE.

Once the war ended in May 2009, Muslims resumed their normal life.

However their hopes were shattered when there began a wave of well-planned violent attacks. This campaign, began with the destruction of a 400 year old Muslim shrine in Anuradhapura, followed by attacks on Dambulla and other mosques. There were attacks on Muslim owned businesses, allegations that doctors were trying to sterilize women in government hospitals, pressurising Muslim children to kneel down and worship teachers, demonstrations carrying photos of pigs with Allah’s name on it, arson attacks on Muslim owned textile and other outlets and shops, and a sinister campaign against Muslim women covering faces and wearing hijab. Attackers were widely known to be supported by Norwegian indoctrinated anti-Muslim monks and their side kicks.

In many public meetings monks openly incited Sinhalese against Muslims and asked Sinhalese to boycott Muslim businesses. In Kurunegala, those who purchased from Muslims shops were attacked with rotten eggs. Of course these were the ugly works of a few extremists turned violent extremists.

The government’s indifference and the indulgence of the police from taking offenders to task, drove terror into Muslims who spent sleepless nights.

The situation was so precarious that Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thero, a lecturer at Kelaniya University told that; “political and social problems need to be solved amicably through dialogue which as monks we have repeatedly failed from time of the independence. Now we are again on the eve of another round of violence. I fear any time a ‘black July’ will repeat and this time it is against Muslims”.

These hooligans are suspected to have been trained by Israel’s intelligence agent Mossad and funded by Israel through Norway and their mission in New Delhi as part of its on-going global agenda against Islam and Muslims.

Time and again I wrote about the dangers of opening up the country to Israel and India’s RSS fascists. Most Sri Lankan are not aware that Israel is a cruel entity planted by British and French imperial powers in the Middle-East and later joined by the US and former Soviet Union. The tribal aims of the RSS and its deceptive front Bharathiya Janatha Party are to persecute the Muslim population in India and turn India into a Hindu raj.

Israel and RSS operate together to destabilize the region. When Sri Lanka opened the doors to these forces the two, as expected are working to split the unity of the Sinhalese and Muslims.

Muslims expected their parliamentarians to raise their problem. They refused fearing it would jeopardize their positions and perks. It was TNA parliamentarians R Sampanthan and Sumanthiran raised the agony the Muslim community.

In the midst, presidential election was called for 5 December 2015. Presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena promising to ensure Muslims’ safety, most Muslims voted for him. However dashing all hopes anti-Muslim violence continued under Maithri Ranil government with senseless attacks on Muslims in Gintota followed by Digana, Akurana and Amparai.

These attacks climaxed in the Easter Sunday massacre involving a few Muslim lunatics carefully screened and selected, funded by the plotters to put blame on the entire Muslim community, demonize and unleash violence against them. Archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith has blamed foreign hands behind the Easter Sunday attacks executed by a handful of radicalized Muslim youths.

Muslim community has nothing to do with this carnage. The authorities were informed of the bombings by several Muslim organizations and individuals providing names of the individuals involved. It was the then government that failed to act. Muslims paid the price. Innocent Muslims are continuing to be harassed and some persecuted.

Not only hospital security but even shops and super markets forced Muslim women to remove face covers and traditional shawls besides other atrocities. Security forces entered Mosques with their boots on marching in with snifer dogs.

If we are to go by Professor Rajan Hoole’s book “Sri Lanka’s Easter Tragedy-WHEN THE DEEP STATE GETS OUT OF ITS DEPTH” the ultimate target is to demonize and deprive Muslims of their rights and turn them into a state of stateless people as the government did in 1948 to estate workers of Indian origin in Sri Lanka.

And now comes the multi-faceted anti-Muslim campaign using Gnanasara Thero to demonize and terrorize Muslims. Recently he described Naleemiya Institute as preaching extremism and described great respected Islamic scholar Yousuf Qarlawi as preaching hatred.

These allegations were deliberate distortions aimed at poisoning Sinhalese minds. A statement issued by the Egyptian diplomatic mission in Colombo also described Yousef Qarlawi as a heat preacher and Islamic Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

This is the Zionist language spoken by the diplomatic mission of the regime in Egypt in Colombo, a regime which was installed in power, after toppling the first ever democratically elected government of President Muhammed Morsi .President Morsi’s government was forcibly crushed and toppled by the present Egyptian dictator. He was detained in solitary confinement under miserable conditions in prison where the peoples’ president died while the military might was used all throughout to subjugate the heroic people of Egypt who threw out earlier on Hosni Mubarak, another in the long line of Egyptian dictators, surviving on the US-Israeli military axis.

One should not forget the Israelis openly admitted that they got their shameless Saudi, Abu Dhabi and Kuwaiti stooges to spend eleven billion dollars to create artificial shortages of food and fuel to justify a military coup, killing thousands of innocent Morsi’s supporters, some inside mosques, to topple Morsi’s democratic government.

Thus one cannot expect any good word for Qarlawi or Hassanul Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood from plotters and killers and their diplomatic missions.

Meanwhile the current wave of anti-Muslim campaign to win Sinhala votes is certainly not in the interest of the country.

The island’s Muslim community, was described by former Chief Justice Sarah N Silva as the most peaceful of the three communities. Reiterating this former Chief of Staff, Admiral R. Wijeguneratne said during the meeting of Cabinet of ministers to discuss the arson attacks on the Muslim community in Teldeniya, Kandy and Ampara by organised gang of Sinhalese extremists that the Muslims did not deserve to be treated in such a manner that” we are “alive today because of brave Muslim officers”.

Corrupt Muslim politicians and sell out self-declared religious leaders do not represent the Muslim community. Sandwiched between these two forces and the ongoing anti-Muslim campaign Muslim community remains helpless and voiceless.

They are very angry at racist politics and their media associating violence with Islam and Muslims. The refusal to allow Muslim corona victims a decent burial, despatching a high powered task force to Pottuvil where Muslims lands were forcefully surveyed in the presence of the armed forces have caused deep concern among Muslims.

Thus marginalising a community as a whole is not a healthy sign for the future of a nation which is multi-racial, multi religious, multi lingual and multi-cultural. Country is in deep economic trouble. Ethnic and racist politics will convert the country into a fools’ paradise!

It is also worthy to note that fighting against injustice and insults is an obligation on all Muslims. Under such circumstance continuing malicious campaign demonising them is certainly not going to serve the country.

Despite all the death, destruction and sufferings during the past few decades due to racist politics, average Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and all others wanted to live in peace and harmony as did for centuries.

Sri Lanka was a shining example for political and economic stability, communal harmony and peace during the time of independence in 1948. Unfortunately racist politics turned the island today into one of the most mismanaged countries facing political instability, collapsing economy and communities divided to the detriment of all.

The irony is this happens at a time when the corona virus which has devastated the world is also playing havoc with downturn in economy, people losing jobs, salary cuts and many such issues which have all the ingredients to devastate the deeply debt ridden country.

Isn’t it time to resist this re-introduced anti-Muslim campaign?

http://latheeffarook.net/gnanasara-thero-once-again-inciting-sinhalese-against-muslims/?fbclid=IwAR0awlQcwJqkXDwwXJRLAyYVM5WLQwdNnkuCp9oryPjYTKSlzndEFTNMBrE

   

Hejaaz: A lawyer for all seasons

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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 that five of the eight young debaters that day went on to become lawyers. We had found our community: the legal fraternity.

A few years later, I encountered Hejaaz again. It was in the first ever case I argued before the Court of Appeal. Hejaaz represented the State, and I represented certain public officers seeking promotions. I recall his keen knowledge of the law, and his outstanding skills in advocacy. But on this occasion, I also encountered another side to him. He was not just interested in winning an argument. I detected in him a deeper commitment to justice. He did not see himself merely as a representative of the State; he saw himself as an officer of justice.


This commitment to justice has defined Hejaaz’s legal career. After leaving the Attorney-General’s Department, he entered the private bar. He became a tenacious defender and champion of the Sri Lankan Constitution, and an outspoken representative of victims of hate and violence.

Most importantly, he has been a leading voice against violent extremism on all sides. Hejaaz has consistently stood against inter-religious and inter-ethnic hatred and violence in all its forms.

In the days that followed the Easter Sunday attacks, Hejaaz was among the first to publicly condemn the heinous crimes. He called for the rejection of hatred to ‘confirm that the attackers are fools who died as fools’. He has since taken an active role in promoting reconciliation and coexistence among communities in Sri Lanka.

In the last few weeks, we have witnessed a cruel irony: a lawyer who stood up against violent extremism is being maligned as an ‘extremist’ in the ‘court’ of public opinion. It is unconscionable that an officer of the court is now being deprived of his basic right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. He is yet to be produced before a judge, and is yet to be given meaningful access to his lawyers.

Even before a judge has had the opportunity to examine Hejaaz (let alone make an order with regard to his case), he is being pronounced ‘guilty’ through a vicious and prejudicial media narrative against him.

If indeed Hejaaz is on trial by public opinion, let us consider some facts that emerge from his fundamental rights petition before the Supreme Court. These facts are rarely featured in this prejudicial narrative.

Hejaaz has been at the forefront of defending democracy and peace in Sri Lanka. Recall that the country was thrust into a constitutional crisis in October 2018. Hejaaz was the lawyer who represented Election Commissioner Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole before the Supreme Court in the case concerning the unlawful dissolution of Parliament. He was among the leading lawyers who convinced the Court that the President’s actions were unconstitutional. The rest is history. We owe an irreparable debt of gratitude to Hejaaz; his work helped preserve Sri Lanka’s fragile constitutional democracy.

Hejaaz has also appeared in scores of court cases concerning Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. He is the lawyer in Fundamental Rights applications that deal with alleged hate speech by this Buddhist clergyman, and the 2014 Aluthgama violence. Hejaaz is also the lawyer in a defamation case against Ven. Gnanasara Thera.

When you think of ‘Hejaaz Hizbullah, Attorney-at-Law,’ do not uncritically accept the picture that is painted of him in the media. Ask yourself if this picture bears any resemblance to what we know of him. He is the lawyer who represented an Election Commissioner in one of the most important cases in our country’s constitutional history. He is the lawyer who has fearlessly defended victims of hatred and violence in numerous cases. He is the lawyer who tirelessly stood against violent extremism by confronting powerful and influential people.

Once we put Hejaaz’s arrest and detention in its proper context, we begin to see it for what it really is: an indecent assault on one of the legal profession’s finest. A crude punishment – not for engaging in extremism, but for working against it. His is not just a case concerning the unjust treatment of an individual with strong political opponents. It is the culmination of a tectonic shift in Sri Lanka: where extremists are pardoned, and voices against extremism are jailed.

Hejaaz Hizbullah is part of a profession that I count myself privileged to be a member of. He is part of the reason I, like many others who encountered him in our youth, decided to join this profession. He is, and always will be, part of the reason many more will join it.

http://www.ft.lk/columns/Hejaaz-A-lawyer-for-all-seasons/4-699988

 

Muslim writer in jail for 60 days without "explicit evidence"

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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 access at the Colombo Remand Prison, citing the COVID-19 virus,” says the letter addressed to HRCSL Chair Deepika Udagama.

Ramzy Razeek, a retired government official was arrested over a post in early April, in which he calls for an ‘ideological Jihad (struggle)’ against all forms of fundamentalisms and racism persecuting the Sri Lankan Muslims as a community.

Two days later, Razeek had posted again to note that he had received countless death threats as a result of his post, and that many had misconstrued his words, calling for him to be jailed for propagating racist ideas.

The activists’ letter highlights that Razeek who has a history of critiquing Muslim fundamentalism and racism in Sri Lanka, very specifically states in his post that he is proposing a struggle of ideas and intellect to question and counter the attacks against progressive Muslims from outside, as well within the Muslim community.

In September 2019 HRCSL had issued a letter to the Sri Lanka Police regarding the lack of legal clarity and discriminate application of the ICCPR Act, and clarifying the legal scope of the offence, including the level of severity that was required for an arrest.

The ICCPR, meant to hold accountable those who incite violence, has since recently been weaponised by the State against those who critique the State and/or its policies, says the letter by activists to HRCSL.

“Those who actively disseminate misinformation, incite ethnic and religious hatred and violence, and engage in cyberbullying, predominantly against ethnic and religious minority communities, continue to enjoy impunity and political patronage. Meanwhile, those who critique this violence, are persecuted for their words.”

Local and international rights bodies have repeatedly raised their concern about misusing the ICCPR act. It was used to detain award winning writer Shakthika Sathkumara for more than four months during the last government backed by many civil activists.

Copies of the letter had been sent to opposition leaders of the dissolved parliament as well as UN officials at home and abroad.

https://english.theleader.lk/news/772-muslim-writer-in-jail-for-60-days-without-explicit-evidence?fbclid=IwAR0dxnQEFd0iMeNLD0hhv6sHxT-cZzuoc-bxXf-RnZqEi06h3Tf14GpdQX4

   

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