Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Text Size

Follow SLMuslims on


Latest News

  • Anti-terrorism Bill will be changed
    The highly controversial Antiterrorism Bill is subject to amendments and changes in Parliament and as such no one should have any fear or feeling of threat from the proposed Bill, Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said. The government is aware of concerns raised by the global and local community on certain provisions contained in the draft of the Anti-terrorism Bill and the Government is ready to alleviate them by discussion, compromise and flexibility, he added. Addressing a news conference at the Information Department auditorium, Minister Rajapakshe said the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) passed in 1979 under President J.R. Jayewardene’s rule as a temporary measure to counter the emerging separatist insurgency. The PTA has been misused and exploited by successive Governments since then for their personal and political...
  • WhatsApp adds option to use the same account on multiple phones
    WhatsApp users are no longer restricted to using their account on just a single phone. Today, the Meta-owned messaging service is announcing that its multi-device feature — which previously allowed you to access and send messages from additional Android tablets, browsers, or computers alongside your primary phone — is expanding to support additional smartphones. “One WhatsApp account, now across multiple phones” is how the service describes the feature, which it says is rolling out to everyone in the coming weeks.
    Setting up a secondary phone to use with your WhatsApp account happens after doing a fresh install of the app. Except, rather than entering your phone number during setup and logging in as usual, you instead tap a new “link to existing account” option. This will generate a QR...
  • CBK commends Dr. Shafi’s noble gesture of donating past salary to buy essential medicine
    Falsely accused by racist elements for alleged illegal sterilisation, Kurunegala Teaching Hospital doctor says racism will not take country or organisation forward except make poor people suffer more; calls on all to make Sri Lanka racism-free   Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga has commended Dr. Mohamed Shafi Shihabdeen over his gesture of donating the past salaries amounting to Rs. 2.6 million during his suspension and imprisonment on false charges to buy essential medicines. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga

    Dr. Mohamed Shafi Shihabdeen

  • Dr. Shafi donates arrears of his salary to purchase medicines for hospitals
    Dr. Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi, the doctor at the Kurunegala Teaching Hospital has decided to donate arrears of his salary amounting over Rs. 2.67 million for the purchase of essential medicines for hospitals.

    Dr. Shafi who was on compulsory leave on charges of performing infertility surgery, has received a cheque of over Rs. 2.67 million salary arrears from the Health Ministry last week.

    The salary arrears include the basic salary, interim allowance, cost of living, and allowance in lieu of pension for the period of compulsory leave imposed on Dr. Sihabdeen.

    Dr. Shafi who was employed at the Kurunegala teaching hospital was arrested on May 25th, 2019, on charges of performing infertility surgery.
    On July 25, 2019, the Kurunegala Magistrate’s Court ordered that the doctor be released on bail.
  • Govt. used Sinhala-Buddhist shield to its maximum benefit Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thera
    This Govt. nurtured thug-like monks promoted them and deployed them in various  places Certain monks have severe psychological wounds If  society isn’t healed cases of domestic violence, harassment and child  abuse will be on the rise Reconciliation  was about having workshops, providing a report and earning dollars Accountability  has not been included in the Constitution or the Judicial system Terrorism  sprouts in a country that has no justice Ven. Galkande Dhammananda Thera who currently heads the Walpola Rahula Institute for Buddhist Studies has been addressing issues related to social justice and harmony while promoting an inclusive and plural society. Having gathered a wealth of experience during the height of war for instance and having encountered various incidents during his lifetime, Ven. Dhammananda Thera has...
  • Health ministry to pay back-wages for Dr. Shafi before July 10
    The Ministry of Health today gave an undertaking before the Court of Appeal that the salary and allowances payable to Dr. Shafi  Shihabdeen will be paid before July 10 this year. The Ministry of Health gave this undertaking pursuant to a writ petition filed by Dr. Shafi  Shihabdeen, who was at the centre of the controversy surrounding the alleged sterilisation of female patients. The Director General of Establishment at the Ministry of Public Services had earlier informed the Court that the basic salary, interim allowance, cost of living and allowance in lieu of pension could be paid to Dr. Shafi Shihabdeen, for the compulsory leave period. Meanwhile, the petitioner expressed willingness to attend the preliminary inquiry before Director of Kurunegala Teaching Hospital Dr. Chandana Kendangamuwa. Taking into consideration the facts,...
  • Sri Lanka court orders release of lawyer held for two years
    A Sri Lankan court has ordered the release on bail of a lawyer arrested over his alleged links to the 2019 Easter Sunday bombings and held for nearly two years on charges rights groups say lacked credible evidence. Hejaaz Hizbullah was arrested in April 2020 and accused of being linked to the attacks on churches and hotels that left 279 people dead. But after prosecutors failed to provide evidence of his involvement in the attacks, blamed on a local group, he was instead Read More...
  • Hejaaz Hizbullah leaves from remand custody
    Attorney-at-law Hejaaz Hizbullah today left from remand custody after fulfilling his bail conditions before Puttlalam High Court.

    He was incarcerated for 22 months for allegedly committing offences come under the Prevention of Terrorism Act.Last Monday (07), the Court of Appeal ordered to release Hizbullah on bail pursuant to a revision application filed on behalf him.Hizbullah was ordered to be released on a cash bail of Rs.100,000 with two sureties of Rs.500,000 by Puttlalam High Court Judge Kumari Abeyratne. He was further ordered to report to the DIG office of Puttalam Police Division every second and fourth Sunday of every month.An indictment under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act has now been served on Hejaaz Hizbullah. According to the indictment, Hizbullah...
  • හිජාස් ගෙදර යයි

    (නිමන්ති රණසිංහ සහ හිරාන් ප්‍රියංකර ජයසිංහ) ත්‍රස්තවාදය වැළැක්වීමේ පනත සහ සිවිල් හා දේශපාලන අයිතීන් පිළිබද ජාත්‍යන්තර සම්මුති පනත ප්‍රකාරව චෝදනා ලැබ වසර දෙකකට ආසන්න කාලයක් රක්ෂිත බන්ධනාගාර ගත කර සිටි නිතීඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා අභියාචනාධිකරණ නියෝගය ප්‍රකාරව ඇප මත මුදාහැරීමට පුත්තලම මහාධිකරණය අද (09)...
  • Court of Appeal grants bail on Hejaaz Hizbullah
    The Court of Appeal today ordered to release Attorney-at-law Hejaaz Hizbullah on bail after nearly two years in detention and remand custody. Accordingly, the Court of Appeal directed the Puttalam High Court to release Hejaaz Hizbullah on bail with suitable bail conditions. The Court of Appeal two-judge-bench comprising Justice Menaka Wijesundera and Justice Neil Iddawala made this order taking into consideration a revision application filed on behalf of Hejaaz Hizbullah. The Attorney General did not raise objections to release Hizbullah on bail. On January 28, an application made by the defence requesting to release Attorney-at-law Hejaaz Hizbullah on bail was rejected by Puttalam High Court.   The High Court Judge Kumari Abeyrathne refused to grant bail citing that she has no jurisdiction to grant bail under the Prevention of Terrorism...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9

Behind The Muslim Burial Issue


User Rating: / 1

By Ameer Ali –

In no country in the world except Sri Lanka and perhaps its “predator” ally China that Muslims are cremated when they die because of Covid-19; and no epidemiologist, virologist or medical expert in the world except the chief health officer in Sri Lanka believes that Corona virus would spread if the victims are buried. This officer spuriously justified his stand on the ground that the underground water level in the country is too high. His argument, backed by a so-called soil scientist, Meththika Vithanage from Jayawardenapura University, who wrote, “break the ground and infect us all”, has now been accepted as heavenly truth by sections of local Buddhist clergy, members of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Viyathmaga and Rajapaksa’s government. Allowing burial for Muslims is to bury the regime itself, said one such monk. No amount of appeal or protest from any Muslim group either locally or internationally, and not even advice from WHO and other world experts could reverse the regime’s decision. Yet, whether cremated or buried the virus is spreading in almost every part of the country, and the entire Muslim community is traumatized.

Why is this intransigence? Is there something more sinister than just the water level argument and so called One-Country-One-Law (OCOL) mantra? Are there other advisors like for example, Chinese experts occupying the Shangri-La in Colombo? The close relation between the Rajapaksas and China is no secret, and with deteriorating economic conditions at home and desperate need for funds to invest in economic recovery, China has become a friend in need and lender of last resort. There is no use in hiding the fact that Sri Lanka under the current regime is virtually becoming China’s client state. With that type of economic nexus, China’s experience with her own Muslim communities like Uighurs may have some useful lessons for local supremacists behind Rajapaksa regime to learn from.

To the local supremacists, Muslims are aliens and they should either be sent back to Arabia or be ‘molded’, as the obstreperous monk Gnanasara said in June last year. China was silent when the Rohingyas in Myanmar were massacred and expelled, and is now engaged in molding Uighur Muslims and in brainwashing them with Chinese thought and values. It is reported that the Uighurs in Xinjiang are put into three hundred internment camps, force fed with pig meat, prevented from praying, fasting and reciting the Quran. Hundreds of Uighur burial grounds are being destroyed and turned into parks and playgrounds in the name of development. Shockingly for world Muslims, it was reported that Saudi Prince Muhammad bin Salman, the supposed architect behind Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder, supported China’s cultural cleansing measures on grounds of “anti-terrorism” and “de-extremism”. Isn’t Islamic extremism and Islamic fundamentalism the rallying cries for Buddhist supremacists in Sri Lanka, especially after the Easter Sunday massacre? Isn’t also true that President Gotabaya looks for development as the solution to the Tamil problem and by extension to Muslim problem also?

Sri Lanka does not have internment camps for Muslims yet. However, a series of incidents where Muslims are being forced to evacuate their lands and dwellings like in Devanagala in Mawanella, Thampala in Polonnaruwa and Sampur in Trincomalee bound to make them homeless and vagrants. Gotabaya’s Archaeology Task Force is also accused of being more interested in grabbing private lands for Sinhalese colonization than excavating ancient ruins. If this mode of forced evacuations increases in number, Muslim homelessness will become a national issue demanding speedy solution from government. It may not happen tomorrow but probably in near future. Won’t internment camps be an attractive solution when such situation arises?

With economic difficulties mounting almost daily and sporadic street protests hidden from public view by government backing media, the regime is running out of options to control mass anger. It needs an issue badly to deflate anti-regime fury and divert mass attention elsewhere. Muslim burial issue is becoming handy for supremacists and their government to do just that. This appears to be the agenda behind the burial issue.
In the meantime, there is growing anger among Muslim youth specially over government’s intransigence on this issue. It goes to the very heart of Muslim religious rites and it torments the entire community. There are enough idiots within that community like in any other community to do something silly to spark widespread violence against Muslims. Are the supremacists waiting for such a spark for a return of July 1983, and this time against Muslims?

It is time for the Muslim community to give up any hope for a solution to this issue from the government, and dismiss completely the value of a Muslim minister in the cabinet let alone lame duck Muslim parliamentarians. The supremacists have more clout over Gotabaya than his Attorney- at-Call Muslim Minister. Allowing the state to cremate the Muslim dead at its own expense seems to be the best response to its intransigence however much the distress it may cause to Muslim families. It is sheer non-sense even to contemplate Maldives to provide a solution to Muslim burials. If burying under the sands of Maldives, which is fast sinking in to the sea because of global warming, won’t spread the virus why should it spread if buried in Sri Lanka, whose elevation from sea level is far higher than Maldives? Where is the water level argument? The burial issue has nothing to do with soil or water and every thing to do with politics.

The community should think of the long term, and work towards the return of a democratic and “plurinational” Sri Lanka with more powers vested in the parliament than in the hands of an autocratic president. Shamefully, it was leaders from the Muslim community who were instrumental in creating the current situation. Let them agonize in silence for their treacherous behaviour.

There is a committee of experts appointed by the government to draft a new constitution. The Muslim community should make use of this opportunity and join hands with such inter-religious and inter-communal groups that are striving to create a Sri Lanka with a constitution “that is modern, futuristic, and incorporates the rights stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as swell as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights”. Ball is in the community’s court.

Login Form