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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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  • Those who used it to capture power won’t stay long: Cardinal
    Those who used the Easter Sunday mayhem to come to power will not be able to stay in power for long if they are a part of it, Archbishop of Colombo His Eminence Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith said yesterday. Cardinal Ranjith who was speaking at a service held to mark the 30th month since the gruesome suicide attack said it has become a curse as no one can live happily today while many are unable to earn a living. "It looks like Sri Lanka is suffering from that curse since the Easter Sunday bomb attack as no one can live happily earning whatever they can while those who are in power find it difficult to run the country. Those who came to power using the Easter Sunday attacks will not be able to hold on to power for long," Cardinal Ranjith said. "We sometimes wonder whether those who rule the country today are also stakeholders of the Easter Sunday...
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  • බොදු බල සේනා සංවිධානය විසින් 2021.09.20 දිනයේදී නිකුත් කරන ලද මාධ්‍යය නිවේදනය පිළිබඳවයි
    යොමු අංකය : ACJU/NGS/2021/210

    2021 සැප්තැම්බර් මස 22 වෙනිදා

    මෑතකදී පවත්වන ලද මාධ්‍යය සාකච්ඡාවකදී රාජකීය පණ්ඩිත ඥානසාර හිමියන් විසින් සිදුකරනු ලැබූ ආගමික අපහාසය සම්බන්ධයෙන් බොදු බල සේනා සංවිධානය විසින් නිකුත් කොට ඇති මාධ්‍යය නිවේදනය පිළිබඳව අප ඉමහත් විමතියට පත්ව ඇත්තෙමු. එහිදී ගලගොඩඅත්තේ ඥානසාර හිමියන් විසින් සැබැවින්ම බරපතළ...
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  • Justice for Hejaaz
    Frequently Asked Questions on Hejaaz Hizbullah Who is Hejaaz? Hejaaz Hizbullah is a prominent young lawyer and activist. After a stellar career at S. Thomas’ College, Mt. Lavinia and the Sri Lanka Law College—where he excelled in debating, moot court and represented Sri Lanka’s senior men’s waterpolo team—Hejaaz took oaths as a lawyer and joined the Attorney General’s Department. Since leaving the Department, he gained prominence as a bold and effective lawyer, taking on controversial commercial and constitutional cases. Besides his regular work, he also appeared pro bono in a number of cases involving minority rights and constitutional law, the most notable of which was his appearance for an Election Commissioner in the ‘Constitutional Coup’ case in October 2018. Hejaaz was also involved in activism...
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  • ‘‘ස්වාධිනව කටයුතු කරන් බෑ: තනතුරින් යනවා‘‘
    (විනීතා එම් ගමගේ)

    පාරිභෝගික සේවා අධිකාරියේ අධ්‍යක්ෂ ජනරාල් තුෂාන් ගුණවර්ධන මහතා සිය තනතුරෙන් ඉල්ලා අස් වීමට තීරණය කර ඇත.

    සිය ඉල්ලා අස්වීමේ ලිපිය පාරිභෝගික සේවා පිළිබඳ රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය ලසන්ත අලගියවන්න මහතාට ලබන අඟහරුවාදා භාරදීමට තීරණය කළ බව තුෂාන් ගුණවර්ධන මහතා ලංකාදීපයට පැවැසීය.

    දිගින් දිගටම එල්ලවන දේශපාලන...
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Burqa ban: Security, human rights and male chauvinism

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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.


Following the release of the Easter Sunday terror attack commission report, Sri Lanka is mulling whether to ban burqa – the Muslim dress that covers a female body from head to toe – and niqab, which only shows the eyes of the wearer, but the issue needs to be looked at from human rights, security and spiritual angles to come to a right decision.
If at the one end of the spectrum is public nudity, burqa will be at the other end. As civilized people, we denounce public nudity as indecent. But neither do we depict burqa as the highest form of modesty. Both extremes need to be shunned.


We are born naked but soon we are clothed by our parents or caregivers to protect ourselves from the elements and also as an adornment. As we grow up, we wear clothes also to cover our private parts. Scriptures tell us that Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their nudity after they disobeyed God and discovered their shame. 
But there are tribes who wear no clothes. They are not ashamed of their nakedness. But such indigenous people live in isolation and remain deprived of the benefits of the civilization-building process.


The general understanding is that as human beings, we wear clothes to protect ourselves from the elements, as an adornment and to cover parts of our bodies which are sexually attractive to the opposite sex, depending on one’s threshold of modesty.  The consensus is that we should be clothed in public. As to how much to cover is a matter that is diversely defined, depending on culture, social norms and individuality.  In South Asia, saree is regarded as a form of modest clothing for women as it covers much of their torsos and the legs, but in the Middle East, saree is seen as not-so-modest as it exposes the midriff. 
Just as the choice of clothes is our right, one may argue that the freedom to be nude or the freedom to be scantily clad -- depending on one’s interpretation of modesty -- is also a human right.


However, even in liberal societies, where shortness is promoted by men as women empowerment after the miniskirt revolution of the 1960s, the freedom to be nude is curtailed. In those countries, although courts have recognised nudity as freedom of expression, they also recognise that nudity should be regulated through legislation as it causes public disorder. The consensus is that nudity should be disallowed unless it is the norm. 
Whether burqa, niqab or hijab – the scarf that covers the head and the chest -- is worn due to choice or coercion, human rights jurists have defended a person’s right to wear them. This was confirmed in the 2018 ruling of the United Nations Human Rights Committee. The Committee ruled that France had violated the human rights of two women by fining them for wearing niqab.


It found that the French niqab ban disproportionately harmed the petitioners’ right to manifest their religious beliefs, and that France had not adequately explained why it was necessary to prohibit this clothing. The Committee said it was not convinced by France’s claim that the ban was necessary and proportionate from a security standpoint or for attaining the goal of “living together” in society.


The Committee acknowledged that States could require that individuals show their faces in specific circumstances for identification purposes, but considered that a general niqab ban was too sweeping for this purpose. 
The Committee also concluded that the ban, rather than protecting fully veiled women, could have the opposite effect of confining them to their homes, impeding their access to public services and marginalising them.
Recently, in Switzerland, people voted in a referendum in favour of a niqab ban, though the Government said it was not for the ban but would prefer a mechanism whereby the wearers would be required to reveal their facial identity on request for security purposes.


The ban on burqa and niqab in many countries is justified on the basis of public security, with these clothing types being seen as symbols of extremism and oppression or enslavement of women rather than expression of spirituality.  On security grounds, even several Muslim countries have banned burqa and niqab.  They include Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. In Muslim Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, even hijab is banned. In secular Turkey, hijab had been banned in public institutions until Islamic-leaning Prime Minister Recep Tayyib Erdogan lifted the restriction in 2013.
While burqa and niqab have become serious human rights and security topics, there is a perennial debate among Muslims on whether Islam really pushes for burqa and niqab.  Islam accords prime importance to modesty and bashfulness -- known as Haya in Arabic – and it is part of faith.


Although from a security perspective, the full covering of the female body is being seen as a threat, the spiritually inclined in all major religions may say the more we make ourselves sexually less attractive to others with our clothing and behaviour the more righteous will be our conduct. Look at the nuns and the Bhikkunis. 
Interpreting the Quran and the prophet’s tradition, some scholars, especially those of the hardline Salafi and Wahhabi order, say rather unconvincingly that niqab or burqa is wajib or a must. They believe the entire body of a woman, including her shape, is her private part and therefore should be covered, lest she becomes an object of lust to be ogled by men.


But those who say niqab or burqa is not compulsory also put forward Quranic verses and prophet’s sayings. They insist a woman needs to cover her head and the bosom, but her face and hands could be exposed. Some progressive scholars point out that the problem is not with women but with men, for the Quranic command to ‘lower thy gaze’ or be chaste in thoughts and action is addressed first to men and then to women. Did not Jesus Christ ask men not to look at a woman lustfully, for if they do they have already committed adultery with her in their hearts?


There is much male chauvinism in the pro-niqab/burqa camp, with male scholars trying to impose their hardline interpretations on the females whose views are rarely sought or respected.  
Amidst views and counterviews between the human rights and security schools of thought, the golden means, perhaps, is to impose a temporary restriction based on the security threat which needs to be assessed from time to time with a view to lifting the ban. 
Ironically, at a time when we struggle to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, the facemasks we wear to protect ourselves from the virus have made us -- women and men -- niqabis or niqab wearers. Hence the move to ban niqab may appear ridiculous.

http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/Burqa-ban-Security-human-rights-and-male-chauvinism/172-208057

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