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Govt turns blind eye on Muslims’ request to bury COVID-19 dead in Kupiyawatta; go ahead with Iranaitivu isle

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Muslims in Sri Lanka will make an urgent appeal to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, to find a suitable land for the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims, instead of burying them in the island of Iranaitivu, in the Gulf of Mannar, stating it was not a practical solution to bury the victims there.

The Daily Mirror learns that the trustees of the Maradana mosque have written to the Director General of Health, Dr. Asela Gunawardena requesting the Kupiyawatta Muslim burial ground in Colombo to be utilized for the burial of COVID-19 dead as a ground water table test report was carried out recently by the Department of Geology, University of Peradeniya, where it was determined that the water table was detected at a depth of 2.5 to 3 meters which is suitable for COVID-19 deceased burials according to the Health Ministry's expectations.

In the letter, a copy which was seen by Daily Mirror, the trustees have also confirmed that if permission is granted for burials in the Kupiyawatta burial grounds, any additional guidelines issued by the Health Ministry would be complied with when undertaking the burials.

An official from the trustee board said this ground water table report had been handed over to the Health officials as soon as the report was received, but there had been no word from the authorities who he claimed even failed to discuss it or table it at the task force meetings with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

On Monday, the trustees of the mosque handed over the letter, addressed to the Director General of Health along with the ground water report, to Temple Trees, in an urgent attempt to seek Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa's intervention.

A letter will also be sent to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa this week, attaching the ground water table report, urging him to reconsider and grant permission for burials in the Kupiyawatta grounds.

Chairman of the Sri Lanka Islamic Center,  Mohammed Hussain told Daily Mirror that while they will make an urgent appeal to the President and Prime Minister, if necessary they will also go to the OIC and World Muslim Council urging for a suitable land to be allocated.

He said it was disappointing that the groundwater level report conducted by the University of Peradeniya on the Kupiyawatta burial ground was not even tabled at any official discussions and urged for immediate redress. "We will not protest but we appeal the government to reconsider," he said.

The Iranaitivu Island which is located in the Gulf of Mannar is located 10 kilometers away from the mainland and requires a boat to access it. Presently 12 to 15 families are residing on it and it also has a navy facility.

Once the fresh guidelines are issued by the Director General of Health, the navy's assistance will be sought to transport the bodies on to the island from the mainland.

Army Commander General Shavendra Silva said the families residing there will continue and things will be organized once the fresh guidelines are issued by the Health Ministry.

Cabinet Spokesperson, Minister Keheliya Rambukwella told Daily Mirror that the idea to select Iranaitivu Island was made by the expert committee, taking into consideration all the scientific criteria as well as the new strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Rambukwella dismissed claims that it was a political decision stating that the decision was made by the experts and not politicians.

He said a special vehicle which will include a container with a freezer, and where the driver's compartment will also be seperate, will be utilized to transport the bodies on the long journey, from hospitals  and two family members will be able to attend the funeral and give the victims a dignified burial. All health guidelines issued by the Health Ministry will be followed.

Rambukwella said that all suggestions over the land, which came in from the Muslim community was also taken into consideration.

Meanwhile the inhabitants of Iranaitivu Island will launch a protest on the island today against the government's decision to bury the COVID-19 dead there.(JAMILA HUSAIN)

http://www.dailymirror.lk/breaking_news/Govt-turns-blind-eye-on-Muslims-request-to-bury-COVID-19-dead-in-Kupiyawatta-go-ahead-with-Iranait/108-206917

 

Technical committee gives clearance; ban on COVID-19 burial revoked

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The government decided today to allow the burial of Muslim COVID-19 victims after the technical committee appointed in this regard gave clearance, a Minister said today.

The decision follows the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) expressing concerns over the cremation of dead bodies of Muslims at a high level meeting. OIC Secretary General Yousef Al Othaimeen said the OIC is “concerned on the situation of Muslims in Sri Lanka."

Sri Lanka counts on the support of these countries to defeat a resolution to be moved by the core group of countries led by the United Kingdom.

Earlier, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced in Parliament that burials would be allowed.

Later, State Minister Dr. Sudarshani Fernandopulle said it would be referred to the technical committee of experts to take the final decision. (Kelum Bandara)

 

http://www.dailymirror.lk/top_story/Technical-committee-gives-clearance-ban-on-COVID-19-burial-revoked/155-206622

 

කොරෝනා මළ සිරුරු භූමදානයට අවසර

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කොරෝනා වයිරසය ආසාදනය වීමෙන් සිදුවන මරණවලදී මළ සිරුරු භූමදානය කිරීමට රජය අවසර දී තිබේ. ඒ සඳහා වන ගැසට් පත්‍රය අද (25) රාත්‍රියේ මුද්‍රණයට යැවුණ අතර සෞඛ්‍ය ඇමතිනී පවිත්‍රා වන්නිආරච්චි මහත්මිය ඊට අත්සන් තබා තිබේ.


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Justice has failed Sri Lanka civil war victims: UNHCR

Efforts to ensure justice for victims have failed, Michelle Bachelet says while introducing her report on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council.
Twelve years after the end of armed conflict in Sri Lanka, domestic efforts to ensure justice for victims have failed, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said on Wednesday.

Introducing her report on Sri Lanka to the UN Human Rights Council, Bachelet said the effect of the conflict on thousands of survivors from all communities was devastating.
“Despite commitments made in 2015, the current government, like its predecessor, has failed to pursue genuine truth-seeking or accountability processes,” she said.

“The impact on thousands of survivors, from all communities, is devastating. Moreover, the systems, structures, policies and personnel that gave rise to such grave violations in the past remain – and have recently been reinforced.”

The decades-long civil war between the Sri Lankan security forces and the separatist Tamil Tigers ended nearly 12 years ago in 2009.

The war killed about 100,000 people, including up to 40,000 Tamil civilians killed by the Sri Lankan forces in the final onslaught, a charge the government denies.

UN reports have accused Sri Lankan troops of shelling hospitals and indiscriminate aerial bombardments, executing surrendering rebels and causing the disappearance of thousands of minority Tamils.

Bachelet said the independence of the judiciary and other accountability bodies has been “deeply eroded” following a recent constitutional amendment and accused the Sri Lankan government of blocking the possibility of genuine progress to end impunity.

“The independence of the judiciary, the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, the National Police Commission and other key bodies has been deeply eroded by the recently adopted 20th Constitutional Amendment,” Bachelet said.

“The growing militarisation of key civilian functions is encroaching on democratic governance. The continued failure to implement comprehensive reforms – or to vet personnel – leaves in place security and military officers who have been implicated in alleged grave crimes and violations.”

She said longstanding, structural and systemic issues persisted in Sri Lanka and warned there were “clear warning signs that past patterns of violations could be repeated”.

A UNHCR report last month said the government of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has reversed some advances made under previous administrations in protecting human rights in the country.

Surveillance of rights activists and dissidents has increased and a climate of self-censorship has emerged, it said.

Rajapaksa won the 2019 presidential election on a nationalist agenda which included a promise that troops who crushed the Tamil rebels would not be prosecuted.

Rajapaksa was the top defence official when government forces crushed the rebel fighters in a military campaign that ended in May 2009. His brother Mahinda was president then and is currently the prime minister.

On Tuesday, Sri Lanka urged the UN Human Rights Council to reject a forthcoming resolution voicing “serious concern” over the “deteriorating” rights situation in the country.

Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena told the council the resolution was a “political move” and part of an “unprecedented propaganda campaign” against Sri Lanka.

The United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Malawi, Montenegro and North Macedonia have submitted a draft resolution for consideration by the 47-member council next month.

SOURCE : AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/2/25/justice-has-failed-sri-lanka-civil-war-victims-unhcr

 

හිජාස් පෙත්සම ඉල්ලා අස්කරගනී

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(තිළිණි ද සිල්වා සහ රංජන් කටුගම්පොළ)

රැඳවුම් නියෝග මත රදවා සිටින තමාව වහාම මුදාහරින්නැයි පොලිස්පතිවරයාට සහ අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට නියෝග කරන ලෙස  ඉල්ලා නීතීඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා අභියාචනාධිකරණය ගොනු කළ රිට් පෙත්සම අද (24) ඒ මහතා විසින්ම ඉල්ලා අස් කරගන්නා ලදි.

පාස්කු ඉරුදින කොළඹ සිනමන් ග්‍රෑන්ඩ් හෝටලයේ සිදුවූ මරාගෙන මැරෙන බෝම්බ ප්‍රහාරය සිදුකළ බෝම්බකරු සමඟ සම්බන්ධතා පැවැත්වූයේ යැයි කියන  සිද්ධියකට අදාළව සැකපිට අත්අඩංගුවට ගැණිනි.

පෙත්සමෙන්  ඉල්ලා ඇති සහනයන්  ලැබීම  හේතුවෙන් පෙත්සම ඉල්ලා අස්කර ගනු ලැබූ අතර ඒ අනුව එම පෙත්සම නිෂ්ප්‍රභ කිරීමටද අභියාචනාධිකරණය තීන්දු කළේය.


සෝභිත රාජකරුණා සහ ධම්මික ගනේපොල යන අභියාචනාධිකරණ විනිසුරු මඩුල්ල හමුවේ මෙම රිට් පෙත්සම කැඳවනු ලැබිණි .

එහිදී පෙත්සම්කාර පාර්ශ්වය වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටි ජනාධිපති නීතිඥ රොමේෂ් ද සිල්වා මහතා අධිකරණය හමුවේ කරුණු දක්වමින් තම සේවාදායකයා මේ වනවිට අධිකරණයක් හමුවට ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇති බැවින් මෙම පෙත්සම තවදුරටත් පවත්වාගෙන යාමේ අවශ්‍යතාවක් මතු නොවන බව සඳහන් කළේය.

එබැවින් පෙත්සම ඉල්ලා අස්කර ගැනීමට අවසර දෙන ලෙස ද ජනාධිපති නීතිඥවරයා ඉල්ලා සිටියේය.

එම ඉල්ලීම පිළිගත් විනිසුරු මඩුල්ල පෙත්සම ඉල්ලා අස්කර ගැනීමට අවසර දුනි.

නීතීඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා ගොනු කළ මෙම පෙත්සමේ වගඋත්තරකරුවන් ලෙස පොලිස්පතිවරයා, අපරාධ පරීක්ෂණ දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව සහ නීතිපති මෙහි නම් කරනු ලැබ සිටිති.

එසේම තමා  තවදුරටත් රදවා තබා ගැනීමට අදාළව ඉකුත් ජනවාරි මස 11 වැනිදා ලබා ගන්නා ලද රැදවුම් නියෝගය බලරහිත කරන සර්ටියෝරාරි රිට් ආඥාවක් නිකුත් කරන ලෙස ද නීතීඥ හිජාස් හිස්බුල්ලා මහතා මෙම පෙත්සම මගින් ඉල්ලා ඇත.

 

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