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  • Why Sri Lanka jailed a Muslim lawyer without charge for 6 months
                                      The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists, the EU and UN Human Rights Core Group on Sri Lanka have expressed their concerns on the arbitrary arrest and detention of Hizbullah [Photo courtesy: Family] Why Sri Lanka jailed a Muslim lawyer without charge for 6 months Rights groups and members of civil society have raised concerns over the continued incarceration of a Muslim lawyer in Sri Lanka, adding that his prolonged detention “had a chilling effect on anyone involved in peaceful dissent and advocacy”.

    Hejaaz Hizbullah, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested on “terrorism” charges in April and has remained in detention...
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  • Hejaaz Hizbullah case: CID misled public and Cardinal, says Counsel
    When the case of the arrest of Hejaaz Hizbullah was taken up yesterday, the Counsel alleged that the Criminal Investigations Department had misled the Cardinal and the public with regard to Hizbullah.

    “They lied to His Eminence the Cardinal and the public. The real culprits were never caught and they have instead found a scapegoat in Hejaaz,” the Counsel said.

    The CID submitting a report said that they were awaiting a Government Analyst report on three phones used by Hizbullah.

    “This is how they lied throughout. They said the investigations were to be completed and a Deputy Solicitor General of the Attorney General’s Department said it would be by 16 September. The CID lied to the Attorney General’s Department as well and is now seeking further time.”

    The CID said that transactions of...
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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...
    Read More...
  • 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...
    Read More...
  • 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...
    Read More...
  • 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 (
    Read More...
  • 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....
    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.

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

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