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  • A country obsessed with racial and religious conflicts
    Sri Lanka, as a nation has been wasting time debating sensitive racial and religious issues for the past several years, without gaining anything. Only thing the country has been witnessing as a result is communities distancing themselves from each other, while portraying a false unity among them. 
    The situation seems to have come to a head with people of various communities being emotionally charged over these issues subsequent to the attacks on three Christian churches and three major tourist hotels by the Islamic terrorists on April 21, 2019, which was also the Easter Sunday.
    The terrorist attacks which caught the nation off-guard demanded united action by all communities and political parties to handle the immediate situation and to prevent future recurrence of...
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  • Burqa ban: Security, human rights and male chauvinism
    A few years ago, on a Turkish beach exclusively for women, a bikini-clad woman offered her prayers. The video clip of the woman going through the postures of the Muslim prayer went viral and created a major debate among the Muslims.  Some censured her for not adhering to the dress code for prayers, but others said what mattered was her piety and not the dress.
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    If at the one end of the spectrum is public nudity, burqa will...
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  • South African Muslim bodies seek intervention over burqa ban in Sri Lanka Foreign Minister of South Africa urged to intervene
    South African Muslim organisations have called on the country’s foreign minister to intervene in the proposed Sri Lankan ban on the burqa and closure of hundreds of Islamic schools. This followed the announcement by Sri Lanka''s minister for public security, Sarath Weerasekera, during the weekend that his country would ban the traditional full-face covering worn by some Muslim women because it posed a threat to national security. This was quickly followed by a statement from the Sri Lankan foreign ministry, which said a decision would only be taken on the proposal after consultations and further discussion. The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) has now asked South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor to intervene in the matter. UUCSA had earlier also called for such intervention when...
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  • Banning Burqas and Madrasas illegal: Fmr MP
    Former MP M.M .Zuhair said yesterday it would be unlawful to ban Burqas and Madrasas. Issuing a statement, he said some observations and recommendations of the Commission on Easter Sunday attacks are invasive of the absolute protection given to every person under Article 10 of the Sri Lanka Constitution. He said the Commission’s report though good in parts, can be seen as an attempted assault on Islam for the heinous crimes of a dozen suicide bombers. The right to the freedom stated in Article 10 is ‘assured to all religions’ under Article 9. No one, not even Presidential Commissions can invite or promote the State or any limb of the Executive or Judiciary to violate the freedom guaranteed under Article 10.This protection is guaranteed notwithstanding any national security concerns, as the law stands today. In this constitutionally...
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  • Pakistan says likely ban on Niqab in SL to serve as injury on Muslims
    The Ambassador of Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Saad Khattak today said the likely ban on Niqab in Sri Lanka will only serve as an injury to the feelings of ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims and Muslims across the globe. In a tweet, the Ambassador said that at today’s economically difficult time due to COVID-19 pandemic and other image related challenges faced by the country at the international fora, such divisive steps in the name of security, besides accentuating economic difficulties, will only serve as fillip to further strengthen wider apprehensions about fundamental human rights of minorities in the country. Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Sarath Weerasekera said today that in addition to banning the burqa, the cabinet proposal would also include banning the niqab which covers the face of the wearer except the eyes. The...
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  • යුරෝපයේ රටවල් 8 කින් හිස්බුල්ලාට සහාය
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  • Muslims to raise concerns over Iranaithivu burial with global bodies
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  • Hizbullah and Madrasa School Principal further remanded
    Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah and Principal of Madrasa School Mohammed Shakeel were further remanded till March 18 by the Fort Magistrate’s Court today. They were earlier remanded under section 2 (1) (h) of the PTA and section 3(1) of the ICCPR Act.   http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Hizbullah-and-Madrasa-School-Principal-further-remanded/108-206945 Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
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Govt turns blind eye on Muslims’ request to bury COVID-19 dead in Kupiyawatta; go ahead with Iranaitivu isle

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Muslims in Sri Lanka will make an urgent appeal to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to find a suitable land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims, instead of burying them in the island of Iranaitivu, in the Gulf of Mannar, stating it was not a practical solution to bury the victims there.

The Daily Mirror learns that the trustees of the Maradana mosque have written to the Director General of Health, Dr. Asela Gunawardena requesting the Kupiyawatta Muslim burial ground in Colombo to be utilized for the burial of COVID-19 dead as a ground water table test report was carried out recently by the Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya, where it was determined that the water table was detected at a depth of 2.5 to 3 meters which is suitable for COVID-19 deceased burials according to the Health Ministry's expectations.

In the letter, a copy which was seen by Daily Mirror, the trustees have also confirmed that if permission is granted for burials in the Kupiyawatta burial grounds, any additional guidelines issued by the Health Ministry would be complied with when undertaking the burials.

An official from the trustee board said this ground water table report had been handed over to the Health officials as soon as the report was received, but there had been no word from the authorities who he claimed even failed to discuss it or table it at the task force meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

On Monday, the trustees of the mosque handed over the letter, addressed to the Director General of Health along with the ground water report, to Temple Trees, in an urgent attempt to seek Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's intervention.

A letter will also be sent to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa this week, attaching the ground water table report, urging him to reconsider and grant permission for burials in the Kupiyawatta grounds.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Islamic Center,  Mohammed Hussain told Daily Mirror that while they will make an urgent appeal to the President and Prime Minister, if necessary they will also go to the OIC and World Muslim Council urging for a suitable land to be allocated.

He said it was disappointing that the groundwater level report conducted by the University of Peradeniya on the Kupiyawatta burial ground was not even tabled at any official discussions and urged for immediate redress. "We will not protest but we appeal the government to reconsider," he said.

The Iranaitivu Island which is located in the Gulf of Mannar is located 10 kilometers away from the mainland and requires a boat to access it. Presently 12 to 15 families are residing on it and it also has a navy facility.

Once the fresh guidelines are issued by the Director General of Health, the navy's assistance will be sought to transport the bodies on to the island from the mainland.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said the families residing there will continue and things will be organized once the fresh guidelines are issued by the Health Ministry.

Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror that the idea to select Iranaitivu Island was made by the expert committee, taking into consideration all the scientific criteria as well as the new strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Rambukwella dismissed claims that it was a political decision stating that the decision was made by the experts and not politicians.

He said a special vehicle which will include a container with a freezer, and where the driver's compartment will also be seperate, will be utilized to transport the bodies on the long journey, from hospitals  and two family members will be able to attend the funeral and give the victims a dignified burial. All health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry will be followed.

Rambukwella said that all suggestions over the land, which came in from the Muslim community was also taken into consideration.

Meanwhile the inhabitants of Iranaitivu Island will launch a protest on the island today against the government's decision to bury the COVID-19 dead there.(JAMILA HUSAIN)

http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Govt-turns-blind-eye-on-Muslims-request-to-bury-COVID-19-dead-in-Kupiyawatta-go-ahead-with-Iranait/108-206917

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