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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...
    Read More...
  • 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...
    Read More...
  • 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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Sri Lanka MPs hurl 'chilli powder' and chairs in fresh chaosLegislators allied to disputed PM Rajapaksa fight with rivals in second day of clashes

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Legislators allied to disputed PM Rajapaksa fight with rivals in second day of clashes


 

 

 

 

 

A clash between rival members of the Sri Lankan parliament, in Colombo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sri Lanka’s parliament has been disrupted for a second day, with legislators allied to the disputed prime minister, Mahinda Rajapaksa, hurling chairs at police officers and allegedly throwing chilli powder at opposing MPs.

It was the latest violent incident in the crisis that erupted three weeks ago, when the president, Maithripala Sirisena, suddenly announced he had sacked the prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and installed Rajapaksa in his place.

Despite the violence, the pro-Rajapaksa MPs failed to prevent the assembly from passing a no-confidence motion in his leadership, dismissing his government for the second time this week.

Unlike the previous vote, however, Friday’s motion omitted any reference to misconduct on the part of Sirisena. The change indicates the president could recognise the motion this time and agree to terminate Rajapaksa’s leadership.

Rajapaksa’s forces have already said they will reject Friday’s vote. “We say Mahinda Rajapaksa heads the government,” said Dinesh Gunawardena, a Rajapaksa ally. “We shall agitate for elections. The country is in anarchy. The parliament is in anarchy.”

Security was heavy in parliament on Friday after the previous day’s session had to be abandoned when MPs scuffled inside the chamber, requiring one to be hospitalised. One MP, Palitha Thewarapperuma of the United National party, was seen wielding a knife in Thursday’s fray.

Before the session could start, MPs allied to Rajapaksa surrounded the Speaker’s ceremonial chair, shouting protests at the use of knives in Thursday’s brawl.

More than two dozen police officers entered the chamber with their arms linked, trying to escort the Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, inside along with parliamentary officials in white coats carrying a ceremonial mace.

Advised not to enter the chamber by his security staff, Jayasuriya, 78, responded: “I will enter the chamber for the future generations of Sri Lanka”, a witness to the scene told the Guardian.

As Rajapaksa watched from his chair, his MPs attacked the officers with chairs and books, injuring up to 11. Other legislators tipped the Speaker’s ceremonial chair to the floor and dragged it across the ground.

Taking refuge on a side bench and surrounded by officers, Jayasuriya called for a voice vote on the no-confidence motion in Rajapaksa. A roar erupted across the chamber and the Speaker declared the vote carried by a majority.

Jayasuriya must now formally communicate the result to Sirisena, which he is expected to do later on Friday.

Outside the chamber, MPs Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and Vijitha Herath could be seen rubbing their eyes, with splotches of chilli splattered across their robes.

“They have behaved as beasts, not as human beings,” Herath told reporters outside the chamber.

He wore a large bandage across his forehead, saying he was injured when an opposing lawmaker lobbed a copy of the Sri Lankan constitution at his head.

If recognised by Sirisena, who ultimately commands the country’s armed forces and police, Friday’s no-confidence motion would leave the country without a prime minister.

According to the constitution, Sirisena will need to name a prime minister who he believes can command a majority of parliament’s vote. Wickremesinghe would have the numbers, but the acrimony between he and Sirisena – one of the key factors in sparking the crisis – makes it doubtful he would be chosen.

Also uncertain is how Rajapaksa and his supporters will respond to the result. He tweeted after the vote: “The Speaker’s ad-hoc decisions are the main reason for today’s situation in parliament. The need is to go for a election and lead the way to a stable parliament.”

Wickremesinghe told a press conference on Friday evening it was “a black chapter in our history”.

“I’ve been there when a bomb was thrown … but this is the deliberate breaking up of parliament by a group of people claiming to be the government,” he said.

“Today Sri Lankans have again seen deplorable behaviour by some MPs, unbecoming of them and of their noble institution,” the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, James Dauris, wrote on Twitter. “No parliament can perform its role when its own members stop it from doing so.”

 

 

 

 

More than two dozen police officers entered the chamber with their arms linked, trying to escort the Speaker, Karu Jayasuriya, inside along with parliamentary officials in white coats carrying a ceremonial mace.
Advised not to enter the chamber by his security staff, Jayasuriya, 78, responded: “I will enter the chamber for the future generations of Sri Lanka”, a witness to the scene told the Guardian.
As Rajapaksa watched from his chair, his MPs attacked the officers with chairs and books, injuring up to 11. Other legislators tipped the Speaker’s ceremonial chair to the floor and dragged it across the ground.
Taking refuge on a side bench and surrounded by officers, Jayasuriya called for a voice vote on the no-confidence motion in Rajapaksa. A roar erupted across the chamber and the Speaker declared the vote carried by a majority.
Jayasuriya must now formally communicate the result to Sirisena, which he is expected to do later on Friday.

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/nov/16/sri-lankan-mps-chilli-powder-chairs-clashes-parliament

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