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

      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...
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  • Gnanasara Thero Once Again Inciting Sinhalese Against Muslims
    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...
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  • Hejaaz: A lawyer for all seasons

    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...
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  • Muslim writer in jail for 60 days without "explicit evidence"
    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...
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  • அடையாள அணிவகுப்புக்கு முன் ஹிஜாஸின் அடையாளத்தைக் காட்ட சிஐடியினர் முயற்சித்தார்கள்
    இரு சிறுவர்களிடமிருந்தும் வாக்குமூலம் பெறுவதற்கு முன்னர் சிஐடியினர் தனது அறையில் வைத்து ஹிஜாஸ் ஹிஸ்புல்லாஹ்வின் புகைப்படத்தை அவர்களுக்குக் காண்பிப்பதற்கு முயற்சித்தார்கள் என கோட்டை நீதவான் ரங்க திசாநாயக்க தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

    புத்தளம் மத்ரஸாவொன்றின் மாணவர்களுக்கு தீவிரவாதத்தைப் போதித்தார் என சிஐடியினர்...
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  • CID attempted to show photograph of Hejaaz to children before ID parade: Fort Magistrate
    Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayaka said in open court that officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) had attempted to show photographs of Hejaaz Hizbullah at his chambers prior to the recording of statements from two children.

    When the matter was taken up before Dissanayake on 24 June, he told Hizbullah’s lawyers that prior to the recording of the statements from the two children, this attempt had been made: “I want to reveal this. The CID officers tried to show pictures and I had to tell them to leave the Chamber.”

    Two children had made “voluntary statements” on 12 May to the Magistrate on camera regarding Hizbullah. An identification parade was to be held including Hizbullah with 10 children being summoned as witnesses to identify Hizbullah.

    Nawarathna Bandara PC, appearing with Harshana...
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  • Magistrate disallows ID parade for detained lawyer
    Counsel for Hejaaz Hizbullah objects to ID parade Says children lined up to identify suspect have been shown his photograph during questioning Magistrate uploads objections, fixes 1 July for next hearing Fort Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake yesterday disallowed the Police from presenting detained attorney Hejaaz Hizbullah for an identification parade after counsel for the suspect objected to the move. Hejaaz Hizbullah   President’s Counsel Wasantha Navaratne Bandara, who appeared for Hizbullah, said that the 10 children lined up to identify the suspect have been shown his photograph by the Police when they recorded a statement from them, and hence objected to holding the identification parade.

    CID officers who appeared in Court however...
    Read More...
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A True Patriot will never Harm Minorities

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A True Patriot will never Harm Minorities
https://ceylontoday.lk/news/a-true-patriot-will-never-harm-minorities

By Mass L. Usuf | Published: 8:27 PM Jun 14 2020


“The concealed malignancy of hypocrisy is more harmful than open hostility.” (Ayatollah Agha Pooya).

Today, we live in a society where hypocrisy is seen in abundance.  In fact, two-facedness is common in many fields, be it party politics, religious persuasion, social interaction, inter-ethnic relations, family relationship and so on.  No one would admit his/her hypocrisy because it has, some way or the other, attained the status of an accepted ‘new normal’. The admittance of the ‘new normal’ per se proves the extent to which even the society itself has condescended. If necrophilism or cannibalism for whatever reason disgusts us, hypocrisy too should be disgusting to us. Hypocrisy, undoubtedly, is a spiritual and moral abomination and a disturbing mental condition that threatens society.  When it is said to them:

"Do not make mischief (corruption, conflict) on the earth, “they say: "We only want to make peace (reforms)." (Quran, Chapter 2 Verse 11).

It is said that the term hypocrite refers to a person whose inward reality differs from his outward appearance; One who is two-faced or a double-dealer. Hypocrites do not use logic or rational reasoning to achieve their personal goals or profits; instead, they unjustly oppose whichever is of benefit to them.. A hypocrite says something with his tongue that he does not believe in his heart.

Vulgarised Patriotism

This column will briefly examine the prevalence of hypocrisy in the vulgarised adaptation of ‘patriotism’ in Sri Lanka.  A style, definition and interpretation concocted fluidly to suit the agendas of our far-right politicians and the notoriously deviant monks. There was an amusing poster in the social media recently with a picture of police brutality and two onlookers.  One of them asks, “where did this happen?” The other person said, “In Sri Lanka”. The questioner replied, “Then don’t talk about it, you will be considered unpatriotic”. This gives us a sense of perceived ‘patriotism’. 

All stand up with respect and that innate sense of sanctity, when the national flag flutters, as if choreographed to the tune of the accompanying national anthem. We do experience a strange feeling when singing along. Sometimes even goose bumps.  Such sensations are stimulated by the flow of inner spirituality that lay deep within us. This affection reminds us of our natural link to the belly of the soil in which we were born – Mother Lanka. Just like the umbilical cord connecting the mother to her infant. Through the medium of the national anthem, we express this attachment by eulogising that sentiment of reverence and closeness.

Change the National Anthem

For a moment reflect on the following words in the anthem, eka mawakuge daru kela bewina (as children of one mother). The extreme right wingers ‘patriotically’ utter these words with unbounded passion.  Despite this, given an opportunity, they would not hesitate to cause mayhem in the society. Abusive allegations and accusations are relentlessly hurled at the Tamil Sankaralingam, the Muslim Abdullah and the Christian Joseph.  Hate statements are not censured but tolerated, for example; ‘They do not belong here. They need to be kept in their places. They are invasionists, terrorists, fundamentalists, separatists and dangerous conspiracists. They should not be given any recognition. They are minorities.’ Basically, denying the minorities their bond to the motherland.

If that is the limit of the understanding of these dumb heads about plurality and diversity in a 21st century globalised setting, they may need to change the words in the national anthem. 

It is interesting to analyse the display of blatant hypocrisy by such people in relation to the National flag. We have seen them standing up for the national anthem and bowing to the national flag with much respect.  However, when these extremists are in the act of violence, they hypocritically carry an altered or distorted national flag. The Orange stripe depicting the Tamil ethnicity and the Green stripe showing the Moor ethnicity is brazenly removed.  These stupids ignorantly and unashamedly retain the saffron border of the flag.  This saffron border has been aesthetically designed to depict Buddhism.  Not only that it also has another purpose and, that is, to symbolise ‘unity among the people’ of a plural Sri Lanka. Imagine the extent of confusion and barefacedness of these right-wing extremists when they chose to alter the Sri Lankan national flag.

Compulsive Liars

Buddha’s teachings on ethics and conduct especially, of the monks are of a very high standard.  To uphold such teachings and disseminate it to the layman is the responsibility of the clergy.  The majority of the clergy sincerely engage in this dharmic cause and have earned the respect and esteem of the people.

There is however, another bunch of few robed monks who are completely different from the respected venerables.  They add fuel to fire by craftily intervening to give prominence to the hypocrites from among the laymen.  By doing so opportunistically exploit to their favour and fame the reverence given to the saffron robe. The paragons who are expected to refrain from speaking lies, falsehood and fabricated information very commonly violate this precept unchallenged by anyone.  These monks continue to lie knowing well that you know that they are lying. The media and the general public respect the saffron robe. The police because of this respect, hardly apply the rule of law to the monks.

Of course, most of the people belonging to the Sinhala community are severely embarrassed by the behaviour of these monks. They know there is nothing in their hearts except to cause trouble. They are like hallow timber, which is useless by itself, and has to be propped up against other things. This is very evident because you see them showing up from hibernation given the slightest chance. Unfortunately, these monks very unkindly and callously also, dishonour by their ill-mannered conduct, the deep respect and reverence that is due to some of the most respected venerable monks. 

One may wonder if these ill-behaved monks are mentally diseased and, therefore, deserve our kindness, care and concern.  Charles Ford, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Alabama Birmingham and author of Lies! Lies!! Lies!!! says, when it comes to compulsive liars, "words seem to flow out of their mouths without them thinking about it."  Robert Reich, M.D., psychiatrist and expert in psychopathology, says compulsive lying is associated with a range of diagnoses, such as antisocial, borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.

“When you look at them, their physical appearance attracts you and when they speak, you carefully listen to them. In fact, they are like propped up hollow trunks of wood (unable to stand on their own).”

(Quran, Chapter 63 Verse 4).

Not Acceptance but Respect

Sankaralingam, Abdullah and Joseph are not pleading from these extremists and ethno-racist nationalists to accept them.  They are demanding that they be respected as human beings, respected as equal citizens, respected as those belonging to this soil and to be respected as equal to any true patriot of this soil.

The following lines picked from an article, ‘Buddhism and the race question’, explains:

“Buddhism from the first proclaimed the oneness of mankind and denied that birth in a particular race or caste was or should be an obstacle towards anyone developing his potentialities as a man or

as a spiritual being.  Such obsessions, which are the accumulated products of acquired erroneous beliefs, are among the intoxicants (avijjasava) of the mind and have to be got rid of by a process of self-analysis and conscious elimination. (G. P. Malalasekera and K. N. Jayatilleke.)

If you claim to be a true patriot, then respect the words in the national anthem and, also, do not distort the national flag.  Accept both of these honestly and with sincerity before making the grand claim of being a patriot.  Let us all unite to focus in directing our combined energy and efforts towards taking care of Mother Lanka.

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Posted by: Mass Usuf < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >

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