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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...
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Muslims expect positive overtures from President

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Muslims expect positive overtures from President
November 26, 2019, 12:00 pm

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by Latheef Farook


Following the election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Dinesh Gunawardena said both "Rauff Hakeem and Rishad Bathiudeen will not be part of the new government." This was repeated by both Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila.


The Muslim community is not concerned whether the government gives Rauf Hakeem and Rishard Badurdeen ministerial portfolios or not. What the Muslims need is for the new government to understand their plight, stop violence against them, and attend to their grievances.


Time was when the Sri Lankan Muslim community was not interested in forming a separate party. As everyone knows, the Muslims were part and parcel of the two major national political parties—the UNP and the SLFP.


For example, respected Muslim leader Dr M. C. M. Kaleel was Chairman and Treasure of the UNP. Veteran Muslim politician Sir Razik Fareed, who spent his wealth on the community and fought for Muslim rights, while maintaining healthy relations with the Sinhalese community, was with the main political parties.


It was the short-sighted racist politics of the two main national parties that forced Muslim to support when some ambitious individuals decided to exploit the helplessness of the community  by forming a separate political party.


Even in this case several Muslim politicians in the south warned the SLMC founder the late A. H. M. Ashraf of the grave consequences of starting a separate party to those Muslims who were living in peace and harmony in the midst of Sinhalese in the rest of the country.


Finally, it was the arrogant dismissal of Muslims  by the late President J. R. Jayewardene when he said that Muslims could remain in the government or leave when a delegation led by All Ceylon Muslim League leader Dr M.C.M Kaleel met him and appealed not to allow Israelis into the country in view of their century’s old hostility and crime records against Muslims.


In the end, Jayewardene’s arrogance, Indian conspiracies to divide Tamil and Muslim communities and Ashraf’s desire to have a political platform led to the birth of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, SLMC, on 11 February 1988.


The SLMC came with the slogan of Islam and unity. Islam disappeared at birth when Ashraf fled Kalmunai to seek refuge at a lawyer’s house in Colombo. The unity could be seen in the division of SLMC into more than half a dozen groups. SLMC politicians openly and shamelessly shifted their alliances during the recent presidential elections when they were all, as many accused, bought over by different sides.


Corruption has been an integral part of SLMC from its inception though Ashraf had done a lot to help the community. However the power struggle within the party after his death was exploited by the Sinhala leadership to throw baits—ministerial portfolios--and divide the SLMC.


Over the years today the SLMC and its splinter groups became notorious for selling the community for positions and perks, causing the Muslims to lose respect.


Muslims suffered immense during the ethnic war. Once the war ended in 2009 they expected peace and a return to normal life. However to their shock disgusting violence was unleashed against them under the Rajapaksa government. This violence continued with greater intensity under Maithri-Ranil’s disastrous government.


In the aftermath of Easer Sunday bombings and killings, while Muslims were subjected to violence, dogs were taken into mosques by soldiers wearing shoes and hundreds of Muslims were taken into custody for no valid reason, shameless Muslim politicians invited Maithri and Ranil   for their family functions.


In the same way, while Muslims in and around Kandy were fightened  expecting anything to happen due to the tense atmosphere built up by  fasting monk here in Colombo controversial moulavi was seen breaking Ifthar fast with  former president Sirisena.


Thus Muslims were fed up with their politicians and the equally controversial half-baked mullahs.


On the one hand, Muslim politicians abandoned the community in their rush for positions. On the other hand, implementing its evil racist agenda, government persecuted them.


This is the reason why the Muslims are least worried about ministerial portfolios for their politicians. All what they expect from the new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is to create an environment with new overtures where they could live in peace.


They are eagerly expecting positive signs from President Gotabaya and his government though it includes many known for their hatred towards Muslims.

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=214398

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