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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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A country obsessed with racial and religious conflicts

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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 such barbaric acts, but what really occurred thereafter was something totally unacceptable.


The whole issue was politicized with political parties and their supporters vying to get mileage from the carnage. Media outlets used the situation to rouse communalism, according to their respective political affiliations. Communal forces were seen in full swing in sowing hatred among the masses.
Everybody has since been attempting to identify or tie up all his/her adversaries – political or otherwise - with the perpetrators of the disaster. The immediate upshot was that while the real victim community was waiting to be meted out justice by the authorities for the losses they suffered in terms of lives and limbs, two other communities started to fight over various issues.


The then Trade Minister Rishard Bathiudeen and two provincial governors, Azath Salley and M. L. M. A. Hisbullah were accused of being behind the carnage. However, they are still at large with even the former having received the clean sheet from the top most official of the police. Even the Parliamentary Select Committee and the Presidential Commission of Inquiry that probed the terrorist attacks had exonerated them. (Sally was arrested on Tuesday for openly challenging the country’s law, despite him being later said to be questioned in connection with the terrorist attacks).


The debate then turned towards Madrasas - the Muslim religious schools, and Quazi courts, the courts that have been established by the Judicial Service Commission under the Muslim Personal Law in Sri Lanka. Then a Sinhala newspaper reported that 4000 Sinhalese women had been sterilized by a Muslim doctor called Shafi Shihabdeen, diverting the attention of the country from the terrorist attack. However, with the two main candidates of the Presidential election vying for the minority votes, all these and the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks were forgotten by October 2019.


Four months after the ascension of Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the President, the COVID-19 entered the country creating another dispute over the disposal of dead bodies of pandemic victims. It was the subject matter for the media and the politicians for a year, with politicians rekindling it whenever its tempo was subsiding. Twice President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa instructed the officials to find a dry land for burial of cadavers of COVID- 19 victims which provoked protests interestingly by pro-government elements. 
Yet, nobody protested when the government had to give up its hardline on the issue, against the backdrop of the UNHRC sessions where some tough measures were proposed against selected authorities in the country over alleged human rights violations. Nevertheless, as if government wanted the debate to be dragged on the authorities first decided to bury the bodies in Iranaithivu, an island 20 km off the mainland in the Kilinochchi District, before they were sent to Ottamavadi.


In the meantime, another controversy was about to be opened with the Prime Minister submitting in September last year, a proposal to ban cattle slaughter to the Cabinet. However, it only provoked few demonstrations and “voice cuts” in favour of the government and the Cabinet decision vanished into thin air. It was later revealed that the decision had been taken while the South Asia’s largest meat processing factory was being built in Katunayake Investment Promotion Zone. The factory was opened on December 12.


As if the tension between the Sinhalese and the Muslims did not suffice, government ministers wanted to abolish the provincial council system that was introduced under the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of 1987. Subsequent to the issue cropping up during the ongoing UNHRC session, now the government is to hold the provincial council elections soon, despite there being legal issues to be sorted out before calling nominations for the elections. 
Then came the report compiled by the Presidential Commission that probed the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks. It too contributed to the heightening of communal tension rather than to a healthy debate on how to mete out justice to the victims of the carnage and how to prevent recurrence of such terrorist attacks.


President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on March 12 issued an extraordinary gazette (2218/68) under the highly controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for “De-radicalization from holding violent extremist religious ideology.” The gazette, despite it having not literally aimed at arrest of extremism among Muslims in this country is nothing but a move to control the activities of Muslims that might be harmful to the society. Also it seems to have stemmed from the report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the terrorist attacks on the Easter Sunday in 2019.


Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara on last Friday said that he had signed a Cabinet paper to ban unregistered Madrasas, the Islamic religious schools and Burqa a face veil worn by some Muslim women. However, again the government said it will decide on Burqa after consulting relevant stakeholders. The backtracking seems to be a result of two tweets by the Pakistani High Commissioner Saad Khattak and UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Ahmad Shaheed, expressing their displeasure over the proposed ban.


Despite the possibility of the gazette on “De-radicalization” and the Burqa ban too falling into the category of maintaining the communal heat, a healthy and constructive debate on the purpose of them is essential. Whatever the modalities of implementation proposed by the gazette are, one cannot contest the purpose of it which prescribes rehabilitation of those indoctrinated with violent extremist ideologies.


There is no assurance that all those brainwashed by the extremists who killed 269 people on the Easter Sunday two years ago, have been put behind bars or at least identified. Former Army Commander Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who was also a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee that probed the Easter Sunday carnage, citing CID officials say that hundreds of those who had been indoctrinated by Zahran Hashim’s National Thawheed Jama’ath (NTJ) must be at large. Whatever the number may be, it is acceptable that a killer ideology would not vanish overnight just because the apparent major players have been killed or arrested.


It was revealed during the investigations that the terrorists had first targeted the Kandy Esala Perahera and the police after the attacks on churches and hotels had announced that they were planning to attack what are known as “Hubbu Mosques,” the mosques with the graves of Islamic saints. Therefore no community could be assured of their safety unless the killer ideology is arrested. 
However, the gazette gives the responsibility of identifying the radicals to the police. And there wouldn’t be trial by the courts of law either. With regard to the radicalization among Muslims, are the police competent enough to ideologically differentiate the radicals and the ordinary Muslims to weed out the former, without being influenced by the various media hypes and politicians?


In fact, face veil is a controversial issue among Muslims as well. The point expressed by the Pakistan and the UN was that the ban would marginalize a community. But, on the other hand, the people concerned have to accept the fact that the face veils such as Burqa and Niqab are counterproductive in terms of integration of various communities.
However, the country must dedicate its time and energy mainly for a fruitful debate on economic and social development, rather than wasting time on communal issues that are detrimental to the social progress and useful only to power-hungry politicians.

 

http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/A-country-obsessed-with-racial-and-religious-conflicts/172-208061

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