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  • හිජාස්ගේ පෙත්සමට විරෝධතා ගොනු කරන්න නියෝග
    පාස්කු ඉරුදින ප්‍රහාරය සම්බන්ධයෙන්  නීතීඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා සැකපිට  අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන රඳවා තබා ගැනීමෙන් ඔහුගේ මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් කඩ වී ඇති බවත් , ඔහුව මුදා හරින නියෝගයක් නිකුත් කරන්නැයි ඉල්ලා ගොනු කළ මූලික අයිතිවාසිකම් පෙත්සම සම්බන්ධයෙන්  වන විරෝධතා සතියක් ඇතුළත ගොනු කරන්නැයි ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය අද (01) වැඩබලන පොලිස්පතිට...
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  • Hejaaz Hizbullah, The Shining Young Attorney Held Incommunicado By Mass L. Usuf
        The dreaded Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act No. 48 of 1979 (PTA) has been in public discussion ever since it was enacted. It was initially introduced in Parliament as ‘Temporary Provisions’ vide Section 29 of the Act which read: “The provisions of this Act shall be in operation for a period of three years from the date of its commencement.” Thereafter, this Temporary Provision paradoxically found a permanent abode, approximating four decades, by virtue of an amendment; “Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Amendment Act, No. 10 of 1982. It now reads: “Section 29 of the principal enactment is hereby repealed.” Widely condemned as an equivalent of Draco’s law, this statute was passed under the watch of the JR Jayewardene Presidency. It was specifically designed to confer on the police...
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  • ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ කොරෝනා වසංගතය, 'මුස්ලිම් ප්‍රජාවට එරෙහි වෙනස්කම්', ත්‍රස්ත විරෝධී නීතිය සහ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා
    Image copyrightTWITTER/ JUSTICE FOR HEJAAZ අදින් මාස කිහිපයකට පෙර ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය ඉදිරියේ පැවති විභාගයකදී තරුණ නීතිඥවරයෙක් පෑ වාග් පෙළහර එහි සිටි බොහෝ දෙනාගේ සිත් ඇදගැනීමට සමත්විය. රට පුරා මහත් ආන්දෝලනයකට ලක් වූ ඒ නඩු විභාගයේදී ඔහු මතු කළ තර්ක කෙතරම් අවධානයට ලක් වූයේ ද යත් ඔහුගේ මිතුරන් මතු නොව, අධිකරණයේ දී ඔහුගේ ප්‍රතිවාදීන් වූ සගයින්...
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  • NEC Chairman continuing as one-man commission: Hoole
    August, September dates  discussed for polls 
    Bills from 2019 presidential  election not paid
    My US citizenship oath nothing to  be ashamed of
    National Elections Commission (NEC) member Ratnajeevan H. Hoole has not been in good terms with NEC Chairman Mahinda Deshapriya in recent times and this has been evident in statements Hoole has made to the media. In an interview with Dailymirror, Hoole opens up on his issues with Deshapriya, concerns over the proposed dates for the parliamentary election and several other matters. Excerpts:

    Q  There was a lot of debate with regard to the postponed parliamentary poll and now the NEC has picked June 20 to hold the election. Why June 20?
    Many have asked why we chose the President’s birthday. I was not aware it is his birth date. Superstition is suggested because...
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  • Sri Lanka’s Muslim Coronavirus Victims Deserve Honorable Religious Funeral
    While Sri Lankan government remains adamant on cremating bodies of Muslim coronavirus victims, despite an earlier decision to allow burials, doctors worldwide have come out with scientific facts to prove that   burials, now taking place in more than 180 countries worldwide, do not cause any harm to anyone.

    Burial for Muslim corona virus dead victims, according to World Health Organization guidelines and local funeral laws, was agreed all over the world  

    In a 16 minute video Dr Feroze M Mubarak, COVID-19 Practice Strategy Lead, Clinical Director, SAS North & Central London on scientific facts-Cremation of Covid 19 infected bodies, has explained clearly why in the case of Muslims, Christians and Jews burial should be permitted.

    https://youtu.be/NQQxvmgRp08   However here in Sri Lanka the government,...
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  • Respect Burial Rights; Stop Hate Speech Against Muslims: UN Tells Gota
    The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief has urged President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to follow WHO guidelines on the disposal of deceased persons.

    Writing to the President, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion said: We would like to encourage your Excellency’s Government to reconsider the provisions in the MoH Guideline by taking into account of the key considerations provided by WHO Guideline for the disposal of the bodies of human beings deceased from the COVID-19, and revise the circular accordingly. In view of the challenges posed by the pandemic it is important that the Government avoids any unnecessary measures that are likely to raise tension and are running contrary to the respect of the fundamental human rights of the persons belonging to different communities that exist in Sri Lanka....
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  • Anguish as Sri Lanka forces Muslims to cremate COVID-19 victims
    Rights group and activists accuse gov't of forcing cremation of Muslim COVID-19 victims in disregard to WHO guidelines. The forced cremation of two COVID-19 infected Muslims in Sri Lanka has sent shock waves among the minority community, which accused the authorities of violating Islamic burial rites. Bishrul Hafi Mohammed Joonus, a 73-year- old  man from the capital Colombo who died of COVID-19, was the second Muslim to have been cremated in the Indian Ocean island nation, which has registered 151 cases so far. Bishrul's son Fayaz Joonus, 46, said his father who had a kidney...
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  • ආදරණීය සිිංහල මිතුරන්ගෙන් කරන ‌ඉල්ලීම
      ඊයේ දින ‌කොරෝනා නිසා මරණයට පත් වූ මීගමුවේ පුද්ගලයාගේ මිනිය භූමිදානය කිරීමට කළ උත්සාහයන් අසාර්ථක වීම ගැනත් ඒ පිළිබඳව රවූෆ් හැකීම් වැනි ‌අය නිකුත් කළ මාධ්‍ය නිවේදනය ගැනත් විවිධ අදහස් සමාජ මාධ්‍යය ඔස්සේ ඉදිරිපත් ‌වෙමින් පවතී. ඒ අය නීතියට පටහැනිව කිසිවක් ඉල්ලුුුුවේ නැත. ‌‌‌‌ලෝක ‌‌‌සෙ‍ෳඛ්‍ය සංවිධානයේ මාර්ගෝපදේශය සහ ඒ අනුව...
    Read More...
  • Coronavirus toll in New York state passes 1,000: Live updates
      00:50 GMT - Death toll in New York state surpasses 1,000 More than 1,000 people have died from the coronavirus outbreak in New York state, according to a tally by The Associated Press  (AP) news agency. On Sunday evening, New York City said its toll had risen to 776. The total number of statewide deaths is not expected to be released until Monday, but with at least 250 additional deaths recorded outside the city as of Sunday morning, the state's total fatalities was at least 1,026, AP said. 00:30 GMT - China reports 31 new cases in mainland The number of COVID-19 infections in China continues to slow with health authorities in Beijing reporting 31 new cases at the end of Sunday. The figure includes one locally transmitted infection and marks a drop from the 45 cases reported a day earlier. There were no new cases for a sixth consecutive...
    Read More...
  • Iran urges US to free Iranian prisoners amid coronavirus pandemic
    Iran's government has urged the United States to release Iranians held in US jails on sanctions-related issues due to fears about the coronavirus outbreak. Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif accused Washington of holding a number of Iranians in its prisons and said under these circumstances they should be set free. Meanwhile, the death toll in Iran from the coronavirus rose to 2,378 on Friday, a jump of 144. Iran is one of the worst hit countries in the world. Zarif also referred to a report by The Guardian newspaper about Sirous Asgari, a science professor, who it said was still being...
    Read More...
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Sri Lanka's road to peaceful co-existence

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The intent to demolish Dambulla mosque tears at wounds of ethnic violence which are in the process of healing

By Tariq A. Al Maeena
Following a protracted and violent civil war that lasted for more than 26 years costing thousands of lives and destruction of property, it would have been natural to assume that Sri Lanka would set itself on the path of healing through national reconciliation with all its peoples; Buddhists, Tamils and Muslims.

Yet, within many Tamils there exists a widespread belief that the Sri Lankan government is trying to wipe out their Tamil culture and religious identity by constructing Buddhist temples in Tamil areas. Now many of another ethnic minority feel recent moves have taken another dimension.

In a dangerous precedent reminiscent of another time and place, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister D.M. Dayaratne ordered the demolition of a 65-year-old mosque in Dambulla stating that the area was sacred to Buddhists. He tried to appease local sentiments by saying that the mosque would be relocated to another area. This public statement followed events recently when Buddhist agitators stormed the mosque and vandalised it, threatening its destruction.

The incident undoubtedly angered the island's Muslim community who have seen enough suffering and were severely victimised during the civil war for which they had paid a heavy price. During the civil war, caught in the crossfire between the government and the Tamils, they were attacked and slaughtered in village after village, even while offering prayers in the sanctity of their mosques. Their paddy lands were looted, businesses closed and had their very means of survival taken away. The entire Jaffna Muslim population was booted out of their homes and their belongings and property were stolen from them.

They are shocked and hurt that the demolition order strikes at the very core of religious freedom in a country attempting to heal itself. Muslim Congress Secretary and parliamentarian Hassan Ali said the "community will not accept a mosque in another place even if it was built of gold".

He also added that "If the places of religious worship of the minorities are being attacked while the police and army are idly watching, it implies that they are
supporting the marauders and providing security to them, instead of the law abiding people". Faced with the initial opposition, the prime minister claimed that this decision was taken after consultations with Muslim politicians. However, it was immediately debunked as a ‘blatant manufactured lie' and strongly rejected by leading Muslim politicians: Senior Minister A.H.M. Fawzie, Deputy Minister M.L.A.M. Hizbulla, Western Province Governor Alavi Moulana and Parliamentarian Abdul Khader, all of whom categorically reject the prime minister's claims. They assert that the mosque was built on land legally bought in 1964 and simply dismiss the allegations of militant Buddhists who claimed this area was sacred just two years ago.

Misleading people

Asad Sally, chairman of the Islamic Solidarity Front (ISF) and former deputy mayor of Colombo, stated that "it is misleading to say that the mosque was in existence for two years as it has been there for more than 65 years. We have all the documents to prove that it is a legally constructed mosque under the Waqf Act. Therefore the statement by the prime minister claiming that the unauthorised construction of the mosque has been stopped is totally false. The land on which the mosque was located was bought by a Muslim lady in Jaffna from Englishmen. This mosque has existed since then.

"Later the adjacent land too had been bought by mosque authorities in 1995. This statement by the prime minister is misleading the Buddhists in the country. The prime minister should not make such irresponsible statements as the Waqf Board comes under him and he is contradicting his own statement. Besides statements like Muslims will not have a place to urinate are not only irresponsible but very dangerous too."

Though the leader of the United National Party Ranil Wickremasinghe is yet to make a public statement on the tense situation, his deputy Sajith Premadasa described the prime minister's order as "law of the jungle and nothing to do with Buddhism". Sajith wondered "how could we develop the country when the prime minister's
office issues such false statements?"

Some public figures deplored the political pandering of the prime minister to a few Buddhist thugs, stating that in any civilised society one would expect unruly elements who vandalise places of worship to be arrested and brought to justice. Instead they have been rewarded in violation of all principles of human decency.
Following Sri Lanka's recent and turbulent past, Tamils, Muslims and others had been looking forward to a period of peace and harmony. However the intent to demolish the Dambulla mosque tears at the wounds of ethnic violence still in the process of healing, and only serves to prove that reconciliation, peace and progress are nothing but distant dreams. The historical co-existence of Tamils and Muslims among the Buddhist Sinhalese people for more than 1,000 years is under threat.

Tariq A. Al Maeena is a Saudi socio-political commentator. He lives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Courtesy: Gulf News

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