Monday, June 14, 2021
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The latest news from the Joomla! Team

South African Muslim bodies seek intervention over burqa ban in Sri Lanka Foreign Minister of South Africa urged to intervene

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South African Muslim organisations have called on the country’s foreign minister to intervene in the proposed Sri Lankan ban on the burqa and closure of hundreds of Islamic schools.

This followed the announcement by Sri Lanka''s minister for public security, Sarath Weerasekera, during the weekend that his country would ban the traditional full-face covering worn by some Muslim women because it posed a threat to national security.

This was quickly followed by a statement from the Sri Lankan foreign ministry, which said a decision would only be taken on the proposal after consultations and further discussion.

The United Ulama Council of South Africa (UUCSA) has now asked South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Naledi Pandor to intervene in the matter.

UUCSA had earlier also called for such intervention when Sri Lanka decided that Muslims should also be cremated rather than buried, in defiance of Muslim requirements, which prohibit cremation. The cremation ruling was rescinded later.

“The UUCSA will once again appeal to the Department of International Relations and Co-operation to engage with its counterparts to stop state-sanctioned Islamophobia,” Yusuf Patel, the secretary-general of UUCSA, told the weekly Post.

“Muslims in Sri Lanka have become targets of virulent hate speech in mainstream and social media. The ban on the burqa and the closure of schools are meant to appease Sri Lanka’s Buddhist majority, who thrive on entrenching sectarian and religious divides through hate propaganda,” Patel said.

Adding its voice to the call for action against Sri Lanka, the South African Muslim Network (Samnet) said it was hypocritical of the Sri Lankan government to target Islamic schools.

“There are other religious groups who also have institutions that teach their religious teachings, but there has been no attempt to target those,” Samnet chairperson Dr Faisal Suliman told the weekly.

“Such moves like this, on the Muslim community, will likely give rise to radicalism, fundamentalism and underground movements, which will in fact be a greater source of insecurity than working with religious schools, interacting with them and looking at the syllabi taught. By doing this, they will be ensuring that there are standards and uniformity of the teachings.”

Suliman said Samnet would express its concerns to both the local foreign ministry as well as the Sri Lankan embassy in South Africa. (PTI)


Banning Burqas and Madrasas illegal: Fmr MP

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Former MP M.M .Zuhair said yesterday it would be unlawful to ban Burqas and Madrasas.

Issuing a statement, he said some observations and recommendations of the Commission on Easter Sunday attacks are invasive of the absolute protection given to every person under Article 10 of the Sri Lanka Constitution.

He said the Commission’s report though good in parts, can be seen as an attempted assault on Islam for the heinous crimes of a dozen suicide bombers.

The right to the freedom stated in Article 10 is ‘assured to all religions’ under Article 9. No one, not even Presidential Commissions can invite or promote the State or any limb of the Executive or Judiciary to violate the freedom guaranteed under Article 10.This protection is guaranteed notwithstanding any national security concerns, as the law stands today.

In this constitutionally protected background, the statement made on Saturday by a government Minister that he has signed and gazetted his order banning the right of women to wear Burqa styled dress and that Madrasas will also be banned soon, stands condemned as a violation of Article 10 read with Article 9 of the Constitution.

In addition to the violation of the Constitution, the first of the two constitutes an unlawful attack on the honour and reputation of women as declared in Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), an international treaty to which Sri Lanka is a party.


Pakistan says likely ban on Niqab in SL to serve as injury on Muslims

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The Ambassador of Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Saad Khattak today said the likely ban on Niqab in Sri Lanka will only serve as an injury to the feelings of ordinary Sri Lankan Muslims and Muslims across the globe.

In a tweet, the Ambassador said that at today’s economically difficult time due to COVID-19 pandemic and other image related challenges faced by the country at the international fora, such divisive steps in the name of security, besides accentuating economic difficulties, will only serve as fillip to further strengthen wider apprehensions about fundamental human rights of minorities in the country.

Minister of Public Security Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr. Sarath Weerasekera said today that in addition to banning the burqa, the cabinet proposal would also include banning the niqab which covers the face of the wearer except the eyes. The burqa includes a full face cover, with a mesh on the eyes.


යුරෝපයේ රටවල් 8 කින් හිස්බුල්ලාට සහාය

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මානව හිමිකම් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටින ප්‍රමුඛ නීතිඥවරයකු වන හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා වැනි මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කරන්නන්ට ගරු කරන ලෙස ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජයෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිමින් යුරෝපීය රටවල් අටක මානව හිමිකම් තානාපතිවරුන් ඒකාබද්ධ නිවේදනයක් නිකුත් කර තිබේ. නෙදර්ලන්තය, ජර්මනිය, එංගලන්තය ස්වීඩනය, එස්ටෝනියාව, ලිතුවේනියාව, ලක්සම්බර්ග් සහ ෆින්ලන්තය යන රටවල්වල මානව හිමිකම් තානාපතිවරුන් මෙම නිවේදනය නිකුත් කර ඇත.

කීර්තිමත් නීතීඥවරයකු වන හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා 2020 අප්‍රේල් මාසයේ සිට දිගින් දිගටම සිරගත කර සිටීම පිළිබඳව කනස්සල්ලට පත්ව සිටින බවද එම තානාපතිවරු පවසති. මාස 10 ක් රඳවා තබා ගැනීමෙන් අනතුරුව හිස්බුල්ලා මහතාට දැන් ත්‍රස්තවාදය වැළැක්වීමේ පනත සහ වෙනත් නීති යටතේ කථනය ආශ්‍රිත වැරදි සම්බන්ධයෙන් චෝදනා එල්ල වී තිබීම කනගාටුවට කරුණක් බවද ඔවුහු පෙන්වා දෙති.

හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ මුස්ලිම්වරුන් ඇතුළු සුළුතර ප්‍රජාවන්ගේ අයිතිවාසිකම් වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටින ප්‍රමුඛයකු වන බවත් වෙනස් කොට සැලකීමේ ප්‍රතිපත්ති පිළිබඳ දැඩි විවේචකයකු බවත් සඳහන් කරන ඔව්හු, රටක මානව අයිතිවාසිකම් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම හා ප්‍රවර්ධනය කිරීම සඳහා මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කරන්නන්ගේ කාර්යභාරය ඉතා වැදගත් බවත් ඔවුහු සඳහන් කරති.

මානව හිමිකම් ක්‍රියාකාරීන් ආරක්ෂා කිරීම සහ ඔවුන්ට හිංසා සිදුවීම වැළැක්වීම සඳහා රජයන්ට විශේෂ වගකීමක් ඇතැයි ද පෙන්වා දෙන එම තානාපතිවරු, හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා වැනි මානව හිමිකම් ආරක්ෂා කරන්නන්ට ගරු කරන ලෙස ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජයෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටීම සඳහා මානව හිමිකම් පිළිබඳ මහ කොමසාරිස්වරයා ඇතුළු පිරිස සමග එක්වන බව ද ප්‍රකාශ කරති.


Eight EU HR Ambassadors raise concern over Hejaaz Hizbullah

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In a statement issued today, Eight Human Rights  Ambassadors of Europe including the United Kingdom, Germany and Sweden called on the Sri Lankan government to " respect human rights defenders such as Hizbullah".

The statement issued by the Ambassadors of the United Kingsdom, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Estonia and the Netherlands said that after ten months of Detention, Hejaaz Hizbullah was being accused of speech related offences.

Prominent Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah was arrested by the Criminal Investigations Department on the 14th of April 2020.

He was thereafter accused in the media of various activities related to terrorism. He was thereafter produced on the 18th of February 2021 where the Attorney General informed court that the entire case against Hizbullah was to be based on purported statements made by children.

Hizbullah and his Lawyers have maintained that the entire case is a fabrication by sleuths.

The statement further said " Mr. Hizbullah is a leading advocate if the rights of people from minority communities including Muslims in Sri Lana and a vocal critic of discriminatory policies" .

The statement called on the government to respect persons such as Hizbullah.

" We join the UN High COmmissioner for Human Rights, special procedures mandate holders, in urging the Government of Sri LAnka to respect Human Rights defenders such as Hizbullah" it said.


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