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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 working day and night for the establishment of peace, harmony and coexistence in our country.

This appointment is a setback for all our counter-radicalization efforts, for peace and harmony initiatives. We further believe that this appointment tarnishes the reputation of our country in the international arena.

We pray to Almighty Allah, that our Nation and our people are blessed with good health, peace and prosperity.

Ash Shaikh M. Arkam Nooramith

General Secretary – ACJU


Sri Lanka 'One Country - One Law' | Inside Story

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Appointing PTF headed by Gnanasara Thera: CPA urges Govt. to revoke gazette

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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 against religious minorities; all of which entrench impunity.

The CPA further notes that the phrase ‘One Country, One Law’ – widely deployed in the run up to and during the 2019 Presidential election, has a very specific majoritarian connotation, and is by no means an expression of a desire for equality or the equal protection under the law.

The CPA observed that there are many aspects of the Sri Lankan legal system including aspects of personal laws, which do not meet the human rights standards guaranteed in Sri Lanka’s constitution or Sri Lanka’s international obligations.

“A serious attempt to bring these laws in line with these human rights obligations would require a genuinely representative and consultative process led by persons with the integrity and capacity to do so. This task force is the antithesis of such a genuine and inclusive approach and CPA calls on the government to immediately rescind the relevant Gazette notification,” the CPA added.

The CPA further noted that Gnanasara Thero is an unapologetic champion of ethno-nationalist rhetoric and hate speech against the Muslim community in particular, with no known action taken to independently investigate or hold him to account.” Moreover, the Thero was convicted for contempt court for his unruly behaviour in the Homagama Magistrate Court when he intimidated the Magistrate and insulted a State Counsel, a sign of his complete disregard for the rule of law in Sri Lanka.

In another blow to the rule of law, the Thero was granted a Presidential Pardon in 2019, a move challenged by CPA in the Supreme Court. We reiterate our belief that providing any space for such a figure is a blatant mockery of basic decency in governance and a clear indicator of a very divisive public policy agenda. He is totally unsuited to perform any role in governance, let alone law reform in Sri Lanka. Thus, the present move must be democratically countered,” the CPA further stated.(LAKMAL SOORIYAGODA)


Suspect tells Magistrate he was tortured to implicate Hejaaz Hizbullah

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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, he disclosed the names of three TID officers who had allegedly assaulted him. He informed the Magistrate that he was tortured and assaulted  in his spinal area and that he continues to suffer to-date as a result of the torture.
Meanwhile, the defence counsel appeared on behalf of the suspect moved Court that his client be released on bail. However, the TID officers raised objections for the application.
Accordingly, the Court ordered the suspect to be remanded till November 10. The Court further ordered the prison officials to produce the suspect before a Judicial Medical Officer and provide necessary medical treatment. The Court further ordered the DIG of the Western Province to inquire into the complaint regarding the assault and report to the Court on the next hearing date.
An indictment under the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act has now been served on Hejaaz Hizbullah. According to the indictment, Hizbullah is accused of making certain statements to students in contravention of these laws.
Hizbullah is charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. Earlier two teachers of the Al Zuhriya Arabic College informed the Supreme Court that they were tortured and promised leniency if they implicated Hejaaz Hizbullah. (Lakmal Sooriyagoda)

‘‘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 සිදුවී මාස 30 ක් ගතවූ දිනය නිමිත්තෙන්  මීගමුව කටුවපිටිය ශාන්ත සෙබස්තියන් දේවස්ථානයේ පැවැති දිව්‍ය පූජා යාගයට සහභාගි වෙමින් කාදිල් තුමෝ ඒ බව පවසති.

අගරදගරු තුමන් පැමිණෙන අවස්ථාව වනවිට පැමිණ සිටි ප්‍රදේශයේ ජනතාව පාස්කු ප්‍රහාරය හා ඒ පිලිබදව කෙරුණු පරීක්ෂණ සම්බන්ධයෙන් සදහන් වැකි සහිත පුවරු අතැතිව විරෝධය පල කළහ.

එමෙන්ම ජනතාවගේ මෙතෙක් ඉටු නොවුනු ඉල්ලීම් සම්බන්ධයෙන් නැවතත් රජයට බාරදීම සදහා වන සංදේශයක් මෙහිදී අස්සන් කෙරුනු අතර එය කාදිනල් හිමියන් වෙත බාර කරනු ලැබීය.

තමන් වැරදි කළානම් එය කියන්න එතකොට අපිට ප්‍රශ්නය නිරාකරණය කරගන්න පුලුවන් වෙයි. නැතුව ඒක යට ගහලා බලය ආරක්ෂා කරගන්න හරි බලයට එන්න හිරි කවුරු හරි උත්සාහ කරනවානම් ඒගොල්ලෝ මෝඩ මිනිස්සු හැටියට හදුන්වනනවා


එහිදී ජනතාව හමුවේ අදහස් පල කල උන්වහන්සේ මෙසේද සදහන් කළහ.

මේ අයගේ දුක වේදනාව තුනී කරන්නට නම් මේ ප්‍රහාරය කලේ කවුද කියා විනිවිද පේන ආකාරයෙන් සොයා බැලිය යුතුයි. පක්ෂග්‍රාහි නොවන නිදහස් බවයි අපේ හැගීම වුණේ. නමුත් අවාසනාවාට මේ ප්‍රහාරය පිලිබදව එවැනි පරීක්ෂණයක් සිදු වන්නේ සිදුවුනේ නැහැ. සිදුවන පරීක්ෂණ දේශපාලන බලවේගවලට අවශ්‍ය විදියටයි සිද්ධ වෙන්නේ. මේ පරීක්ෂණවල විනිවිද භාවය සත්‍ය ගරුක බව හරියටම තේරුම් ගන්න නැති නිසා මේ පරීක්ෂණවලින් අපිට වැඩක් නැහැ.

ජනාධිපති කොමිසන් වාර්තාව ලබාදී දවස් දෙකක් යනකොට ජනාධිපතිතුමා මට ටෙලිපෝන් කර කිව්වේ මේ ඔක්කොම නිර්දේශ කොහොම කරන්නද කියලයි. එතැනින්ම පැහැදිලි වුණා මට මේවා මට ක්‍රියාත්වක නොවන බව. ඊට දවස් කීපයකට පසු ඇමති කමිටුවක් දැම්මාම ඒක හොදටම සනාථ වුනා. ඒ ඇමතිවරු හය දෙනා ජනාධිපතිගේ පක්ෂ‍යේ අය නිසා නිගමනය කරන්න පුලුවන් වුණා. ඒ නිසා දේශපාලන මතිමතාන්තර මුදුන්පත් කරගෙන මේ පරීක්ෂණ ක්‍රියාත්මක වීම නිසා සත්‍ය හෙලිදරව් වන ක්‍රියා මාර්ගයක් නොවන බව අපේ විශ්වාසය වුණා.


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