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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 It now reads: “Section 29 of the principal enactment is hereby repealed.”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...
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  • 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...
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  • 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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Beyond Dambulla Mosque Attack - Part 1

by Dr Sulaiman Rifai, Naleemi (London)

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By Dr. Sulaiman Rifai, Naleemi (London)

In this series of articles I will Insha Allah try to gauge the communal relationship between Muslim and Non-Muslim communities in Srilanka in recent times.  The primary objective of this article is not to make division between communities rather to   bridge the gap in deteriorating communal relationship between different communities. A multicultural nation like Srilanka should maintain a strong sense of social interactions between communities in the greater interest of country and each community.  Srilankan Muslim community as a matter of priority of Islamic obligations should play a vital role in this nation building process. Away from all dogmatic and sectarian differences, the entire Srilankan Muslim community should work hand in hand to enhance communal harmony and peace in this country.

What are the Islamic principles and ethics of communal relationship as enshrined in the Holy Islamic texts and historical precedents? I shall discuss some of the barriers that hinder communal harmony and I shall also propose some practical steps to build up a strong a sense of co-existence and communal harmony.  I personally propose that some Muslim intellectuals should do some field surveys among Non-Muslim Srilankan community with some basic questionnaires about Islam. This will help us to collect perceptions of Non-Muslim people on Islam & Muslims in Srilanka. Unfortunately, Non-Muslim people still have some wrong perception and misunderstanding about Islam and Muslims. Sometimes Islamic teachings and rituals are wrongly understood and interpreted Insha Allah I shall produce some sample questions in this regards so that we could understand mindset and attitudes of Non-Muslim community about us. Accordingly, Muslim community could take necessary steps to improve our communal relationship and sometimes amend our shortcomings in this respect.

Much has been said and written about attacks on Dambulla mosque. No doubt this attack is a wake up call for a dormant Srilankan Muslim community in its religious responsibilities towards our brethren in humanity in Srilanka. Though we have been living in Srilanka for many centuries, we have greatly failed to reach out to wider Srilankan Non-Muslim communities with the message of Islam. Rather than reaching out with the universal message of this beautiful religion to the wider Srilankan Non-Muslim communities we have been fighting among ourselves for some dogmatic and juristic differences in some trivial religious matters. For the last few decades, our time, energy and human resources have been mainly dedicated to Islamic dawa works among Muslim community alone and less  than 10%  of our resources have been used to reach out with Islamic message to the wider Non-Muslim community in Srilanka. Consider for instance the pathetic situation of Srilankan Muslim community today.

Our community is divided between Salafis and khalafis, Shias and Sunnis, Thabligh, Jamathees, and Wahabis, Jamathe Islamis and Ikhwanis, Sufis and Non Sufis and many more groups. We have been inappropriately using our time, energy, wealth and human resources between us in some trivial religious debates and issue that benefit neither Muslim community nor our Dawa works towards Non-Muslims brothers in humanity in Srilanka.  Truth of matter is that our internal disputes and clashes between different Islamic groups have done greater damage or curtailed our efforts to reach out to Non-Muslim brethren in Srilanka. It is high time now that We Muslim community in Srilanka comes to term with these methodological differences between Islamic groups and reconciles these differences sooner than later in greater interest of Islamic works in our country. Moreover, Muslim community should have some clear cut strategies in reaching out with Islamic message to Non-Muslim communities in Srilanka:

Ironically there is no fundamental difference between these groups in matters of basic theology, Islamic law and rituals and for that matter even in their ultimate goal in their life: That is to please Almighty Allah and secure a place in Paradise. Of course, there is a slight difference between these groups in their understanding of religious matters and in their approach to Islamic dawa works.  Such slight differences will continue until the Day of Judgment as human beings are bound to differ in their understanding according to different level of intellects and social circumstances.   What striking most is that we look at what divide between us but we often forget to look at what unite us in matters of religion and faiths? Muslims have been reminded of repeatedly to be united as one regiment but yet methodological differences between these groups towards Islamic dawa work shatters the fundamental principle of Islamic unity.

Each group claims that it is in a right path and other groups are in not in a right path. Each group tries to indoctrinate or proselytize ordinary innocent Muslim people into their groups sometimes without properly understanding the basic principles and teachings of these groups. All these are taking place at the expense of our collective obligations. Muslims are minority in Srilanka and they constitutes less than 8% of the entire population in the country and we have a moral duty upon our shoulders to explain the meaning and message of Islam for other Non-Muslim communities not to proselytise them into our religion but to clarify them of all sorts of misunderstanding about religion. Rather than engaging in this primary duty of representing Islam and reaching out with its message we have been fighting among us.  Internal disputes between Islamic groups in recent times have increased dramatically. Recent killing in a Mosque in Beruwala testified this.

Priorities of Muslim community locally and internationally change countries to countries, and age to age in some of our obligations according to the general philosophy of Islamic law. Priorities of Muslim minorities who live under Non-Muslim political authority may slightly differ from that of Muslim community in Islamic countries. Of course, Muslim Ummah is an international community that shares same identical ideals wherever Muslims live.  Islamic fundamentals and theological dogmas are universal and Islamic teachings should be strictly followed any where Muslims live. Yet minority Muslim community have extra-moral and religious responsibilities towards Non Muslim brothers in their countries.  Today, one third of global Muslim community lives as a minority all over the world and the priority of these Muslim minorities should be that of reaching out to non-Muslim communities with the compassionate message of Islam.

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