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  • Hejaaz Hizbullah’s bail application: AG consents for bail
    The Attorney General's Department today informed the Court of Appeal that the prosecution will consent to release Attorney-at-law Hejaaz Hizbullah on bail if the defence makes an application for bail at Puttalam High Court on the 28th of January. Deputy Solicitor General Sudharshana de Silva appearing for the Attorney General submitted to the court that trial against Hisbullah at Puttalam High Court due on January 28. He said the prosecution would consent to the bail application if the petitioner makes an application for bail at the end of the day proceedings. Meanwhile, President's Counsel Romesh de Silva appearing for Hejaaz Hizbullah informed the court that in the interest of his client, he would agree to a settlement. "There are a lot of facts and legal positions in my favour and I wanted to argue this matter. But in the interest of...
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  • හිජාස්ගේ ඇප සළකා බැලිම ගැන නීතීපතිගෙන් ප්‍රකාශයක්
    රක්ෂිත බන්ධනාගාර ගත කර සිටින නීතිඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතාට එරෙහිව  පුත්තලම මහාධිකරණයේ විභාග වන නඩුවේ සාක්ෂි අවසන් වීමෙන් පසු ඔහුගේ ඇප සම්බන්ධ සලකා බැලීම සිදුකළ හැකි යැයි නීතිපතිවරයා අභියාචනාධිකරණයේදී  අද (20) ප්‍රකාශ කළේය . තමන් ඇප මත මුදා හරින ලෙසට ඉල්ලා නීතිඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා අභියාචනාධිකරණයට ගොනුකර තිබූ පෙත්සමක්...
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  • 16-hour water cut in Colombo
    A 16-hour water cut would be imposed in several areas in Colombo on Saturday (8) from 8.00 am to 12 midnight, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) said. The water supply will be interrupted in Colombo, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Kotte and Kaduwela Municipal Councils due to a power interruption at the Ambatale Water Treatment Plant. Accordingly, the water supply in Maharagama, Boralesgamuwa and Kolonnawa Urban Councils, Kotikawaththa Mulleriyawa Pradeshiya Sabha areas and Rathmalana would also be suspended. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)   https://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/16-hour-water-cut-in-Colombo/108-228435
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  • කොළඹ ප්‍රදේශ කිහිපයකට 8 වැනිදා ජල කප්පාදුවක්

    (යොහාන් භාසුර) කොළඹ ඇතුළු අවට ප්‍රදේශ කිහිපයකට අනිද්දා (8 වැනිදා)  පෙරවරු 8 සිට පැය 16 ක කාලයක් ජල සැපයුම අත්හිටුවන බව සම්පාදන හා ජලාපවාහන මණඩලය පවසයි. කොළඹ, දෙහිවල - ගල්කිස්ස, කෝට්ටේ, කඩුවෙල මහ නගර සභා සීමා, මහරගම,  බොරලැස්ගමුව සහ කොලොන්නාව නගර සභා සීමා සහ කොටිකාවත්ත - මුල්ලේරියාව ප්‍රාදේශීය සභා සීමාව යන ප්‍රදේශවලට...
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  • එක රටක් එක නීතියක් ගැසට්ටුවට කතෝලික රදගුරු සමුළුවෙන් නිවේදනයක්
    එක රටක්, එක නීතියක් සඳහා වූ ජනාධිපති කාර්ය සාධක බලකාය’ පත්කිරීමට අදාළ ගැසට් නිවේදනය අවලංගු කළ යුතු යැයි ශ්‍රී ලංකා කතෝලික රදගුරු සමුළුව නිවේදනයක් නිකුත් කරමින් පවසයි. එම ජනාධිපති කාර්ය සාධක බලකායේ මුල් පුටුවට පත්කළ අයගේ අතීත වාර්තා කිසිවක් අවධානයට ලක්නොකිරීම නිසා තුවාලවලට අපහාසයක් කර තිබෙන බව ද එම නිවේදනයේ සඳහන් වේ. ශ්‍රී...
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  • REGARDING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL TASK FORCE FOR ONE COUNTRY, ONE LAW
    Ref: ACJU/NGS/2021/239 29th of October 2021 We are shocked and dismayed by the establishment of the ‘Presidential Task Force for One Country, One Law’ under the leadership of a controversial individual. This topic has been in public discussion in the recent past. We, the citizens of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, have been living for many centuries as one country and one Nation, with our individual, cultural, religious laws and identities under the protection of one Sri Lankan constitution. We express our disappointment on the appointment of a controversial individual for a responsible position, who is known for inciting disharmony within different religious and ethnic communities, especially hurting the religious sentiments of the Muslim community, in spite of the presence of many legal and religious leaders who are...
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  • Sri Lanka 'One Country - One Law' | Inside Story
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aPxn5Wfk-4     Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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  • Appointing PTF headed by Gnanasara Thera: CPA urges Govt. to revoke gazette
    The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) yesterday urged the government to immediately rescind the relevant Gazette notification to appoint a Presidential Task Force (PTF) mandated to implement the ‘One Country, One Law’ concept, chaired by Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thera. Issuing a statement the CPA stated that it was deeply shocked and disturbed by the appointment of the latest PTF mandated to implement the ‘One Country, One Law’ concept, including the drafting of a law to give effect to it, headed by Gnanasara Thero. The CPA stated appointment of the Task Force at a time of unprecedented economic hardships and unraveling of government policies raises a plethora of questions including the compounding of a culture of governance by task forces, the promotion of divisive Buddhist clergy linked to incitement of violence and attacks...
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  • Suspect tells Magistrate he was tortured to implicate Hejaaz Hizbullah
    The Coordinator of Save the Pearls organization Mohamed Sulthan has informed the Fort Magistrate's Court that he was tortured in order to implicate Attorney-at-law Hejaaz Hizbullah. Making a statement in person and through his lawyer,  Sulthan informed the Court of the torture and named three officers of the Terrorist Investigations Department as his torturers. He was arrested for allegedly teaching extremism at a Madrasa school. He made these revelations on the first day he was produced before Colombo Fort Magistrate Priyantha Liyanage after the completion of 18 months detention period. On his production, suspect Sultan informed the Magistrate through his Counsel that he had been severely assaulted and tortured  by TID officers following his arrest 18 months ago. On being asked by Court if he knew the names of the officers,...
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  • ‘‘තමන් වැරැදිකාරයන් නොවෙයි නම් පරීක්ෂණවලට ඉඩ දෙන්න‘‘
    (පුෂ්පකුමාර මල්ලවආරච්චි) තමන් මේ කුමන්ත්‍රණය පිටිපස්සේ හිටියේ නැත්නම් වැරදිකාරයන් නෙවෙයි නම් පරීක්ෂණ කරන්න ඉඩ දෙන්න ඕනෑ. බය වෙන්න ඕන නැහැ. ජනාධිපති කොමිසම් වාර්තාව පැහැදිලිව කියා තියෙන දේවල් තෝර තෝර ඉන්නේ ඇයි. මේ අයට මොකක් හරි හංගන්න තියෙනවා. රහසක් තියෙනවා  යැයි මැල්කම් කාදිනල් රංජිත් අගරදගුරු තුමෝ පවසති. පාස්කුදා ප්‍රහාරය...
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We will continue to struggle for justice and the right to bury our dead

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  • All they want was only to be buried adhering to all health conditions.
  • Eminent lawyers represented the petitioners and argued that the state had provided no evidence
  • We placed greater hopes in the courts. However, for reasons unknown our applications have been rejected. Now we feel dejected, let down and abandoned

 

20 civil and human rights activists have stated in connection with the recent Supreme Court judgement related to cremation of Covid-19 dead bodies. The full statement is as follows;

The faith the victims of forced cremation of COVID-19 or Covid-19 suspected dead had in the highest court in Sri Lanka has been shattered. Victims and communities are now left without recourse in Sri Lanka for the continued injustice they suffer.“We placed greater hopes in the courts. However, for reasons unknown our applications have been rejected. Now we feel dejected, let down and abandoned”, said a son of one of the victims who challenged the offensive regulation in court.


On Tuesday the country’s Supreme Court, by a majority decision refused to grant leave to proceed to the 11 applications filed by petitioners belonging to Muslim, Christian and Catholic communities challenging the Sri Lankan government’s forcible cremation policy because it violates the right to freedom of religion and belief of some faiths and that the said regulation violates the law under which the regulation has been made as the law itself permits either burial or cremation.


Several eminent lawyers represented the petitioners and argued that the state had provided no evidence that the burial of COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 dead is a danger to public health. Hence, they said the government by imposing this new restriction violated the constitutionally protected and safeguarded the rights of religious beliefs and practice for whom burial is a critical religious practice, in addition to being a fundamental right.
One of the judges had dissented probably on the basis that there were issues that required consideration. Given the sensitivities and importance of the issue, it was felt that the court could have granted leave to be heard in full or referred it to a larger bench.


Some of the petitioners said on Tuesday that the distraught families of the victims have been asking them to explores the possibilities of how they could continue to fight for justice and hence would consider all options. 
“We fully understand that due to the pandemic there is a public emergency under which certain rights can be limited including the manifestation of freedom of religion and belief. We also understand that Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Muslims and others have all been affected by these restrictions; but in all other cases where rights are limited there is evidence of the need to do so,” said one of the petitioners against the policy on forcible cremation. It was brought to the attention that Catholics and Muslims, in deliberations have agreed to all the restrictions including with regard to gathering, handling, washing, praying and specialized mode of burying and all they want was only to be buried adhering to all health conditions.


Under international law limitations of rights such as the freedom to practice one’s religion has to be prescribed by law and the limitation must be necessary and proportionate.
Restrictions and limitations on religious gatherings, congregational prayers and mass celebrations of religious festivals can be necessitated because social distancing is vital to reduce the spread of the virus and are being adhered to and cooperated voluntarily.


“Over and over again we have asked the government to give us the reasoning for this policy and they have failed to provide any evidence that burial of COVID-19 dead can contribute to the spread of the virus or provide any health threat,” a son who did not consent for the cremation of his father and hence had to abandon the father’s remains said.


There have been national and international criticism of the government of Sri Lanka on its rare decision to cremate COVID-19 and COVID-19 suspected dead, despite clear guidelines by the World Health Organisation explaining that the burial of such victims poses no danger to public health. The Resident Coordinator of the United Nations office in Sri Lanka, United Nations special experts and regional human rights groups have separately written to the government calling for the policy to be changed to ensure COVID-19 dead were handled with dignity and human rights of all are protected. Numerous national civil society organisations, religious groups and individual activists have also written letters and signed petitions to the government calling for a change to the policy.


Human rights groups have been warning that the ethnocentric position of the government, in the context of the state’s failure to challenge hate campaigns and violence against Muslims, points to racism and discrimination targeting the country’s approximately nine per cent Muslim population.
These measures affect more than one religious group, but it is particularly terrifying Muslims for whom the burial of the dead is a non-negotiable religious practice. They feel targeted, bullied and threatened by the manner in which the government is acting on this.
As of3rd December 2020, Sri Lanka had over 25,000 cases of COVID 19, 124 deaths, of which over 50 were Muslims.


This press statement is signed by: Centre for Policy Alternative, International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Law and Society Trust, Women’s Action Network, Alliance for Minorities, Affected Women’s Forum, Suriya Women’s Development Centre, Sisterhood initiative, Hashtag Generation, Rural Development Foundation, National Peace Council, Mannar Women’s Development Federation, National Fisheries Solidarity Movement, Human Elevation Organisation, Eastern Social Development Foundation, Islamic Women’s Association for Research and Empowerment, Association of the Parents and Family Members of the Disappeared, Muslim Women’s Development Trust, AalumaiWomen’s Group, Nisha Development Centre,

 

http://www.dailymirror.lk/news-features/We-will-continue-to-struggle-for-justice-and-the-right-to-bury-our-dead/131-201291

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