Contempt action on Ven. Gnanasara: Charge sheet read in Open Court

By S.S. Selvanayagam

The Court of Appeal yesterday (28) overruled the preliminary objection by the Respondent Ven. Gnanasara Thero with the contempt matter against him and charge sheet was read in the open Court.

The Bench comprising Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda and Justice P. Padman Surasena fixed the matter for argument on 16 May.

Court of Appeal on 27 September directed the Attorney General to consider to amend the summons if necessary against the Ven. Gnanasara Thera with particulars of his alleged offensive conduct with regard to the language and his gestures in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court.

Homagama Magistrate Ranga Dissanayake filed a Contempt of Court action in the Court of Appeal against Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera seeking the Appeal Court’s constitutional jurisdiction against Ven. Gnasara Thera’s alleged offensive behaviour in the Homagama Magistrate’s Court amounting to Contempt of Court on 25 January last year.

On 25 January, Ven. Galagoda Atte Gnanasara Thera began to address Open Court after the court hearing pertaining to the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Ekneligoda was over. Later on, Ven. Gnanasara Thera was arrested by Police on the charges of contempt of courts, obstructing Court proceedings and intimidating a public servant.

Through this contempt of Court action, the Homagama Magistrate has sought the Appeal Court’s jurisdiction to consider whether the alleged offensive behaviour of Ven. Gnanasara Thera inside the Court amounts to Contempt of Court.

He further sought Court’s jurisdiction to take necessary legal action against Ven. Gnanasara Thera if the charges levelled against him amount to Contempt of Court.

Manohara de Silva PC appeared for the Accused Thero. Deputy Solicitor General Rohantha Abeysuriya appeared for the Attorney General as Amicus Curiae (friend of the court; the one who assists the court by furnishing information or advice regarding questions of law or fact).

– See more at:–Gnanasara–Charge-sheet-read-in%C2%A0Open-Court#sthash.KG2tiC0Y.dpuf

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Rather than Triple Talaq being a “Human Rights issue”, “Human Rights” itself needs to be debated

By Dr. Javed Jamil, The Milli Gazette Online

Published Online: Feb 24, 2017

Recently the Supreme Court of India argued that the Triple Talaq has to be treated as a human rights issue. While I am no supporter of Triple Talaq and regard it un-Islamic, the intervention by Supreme Court or the Government in this regard will not solve the problem. On the other hand it would complicate matters. Even if it is legally banned, those following their own fiqhs would not start thinking that a woman divorced by this methods would become Halal. Those who do not stick to the fiqhs have the option available to them even now, the option of taking fatwas from the Muftis belonging to Fiqhs like Ahl-e Hadith and Fiqh-e Jafari that consider Triple Talaq as invalid. But what I want to highlight here is that the issue of “human rights” which had been and is being presented as one of the shining starts of the New World Order has only proved to be a black hole.

The modern concept of human rights originated from the West. Superficially, it looks a very attractive slogan. But the ulterior motives are not as attractive. West feared that the kind of economic fundamentalism it had decided to aggressively (including a new legal system banning capital punishment) pursue had same very serious adverse effects. It would engender barbarism in society in the form of steep rise in all forms of crimes including mur­der, rape, robbery and bribe. It would also enhance societal tensions as well as psychiatric illnesses. If these really happened, it would give a bad name to their ideology. To counter this, the economic fundamentalists sought to impart a new meaning to ‘human rights’ so that the darker face of their civilization could not come to the fore; and they could use the brighter side to attack the systems that were unwilling to accept the West’s economic hegemony. The result of such re-orientation has been that the human rights situation in a country is not assessed on the basis of crimes in that area but on how the accused in various crimes are being treated by the governmental institutions and agencies. Apparently, the human rights organisations argue that they safeguard the people against excesses. But in reality, they only serve the criminals and saboteurs of social peace. What happens to the victims of a crime and their relatives does not bother them; their function is only to follow the trial of the accused. The economic fundamentalists have vested interests in the paralysed legal system because the criminals and crimes form an indispensable part of their operations. The criminals are supported in more than one way. If they or their crimes have any political dimensions the champions of human rights are quick to label their trial as ‘political vendetta’. While it is true that the governments tend to be less kind towards their opponents and often use the stick of law to punish them, it is equally true that all political forces have some nexus with the criminals who are used to creating ugly situa­tions for the ruling party or coalition. This side of the coin is however intentionally ignored. The human rights organisa­tions never publish reports on the crime-situation in different countries and never pressurise the governments to drastically reduce them so that the common people can pass their lives with­out fears. Such reports would unveil their own faces and fingers will be at against Western ideologies. Instead they highlight the data related to death sentences and the deaths caused by the agencies or certain elements.

“Women’s Rights” is yet another extremely favourite subject with the Amnesties and the Human Rights Watchers. And it is needless to repeat that the major aim behind all the raucous is to assist the merchants of sex and barons of consumer industry. Why is it that “purdah” annoys them but prostitution does not? Why has the Amnesty, the self-proclaimed champion of human rights, never bothered to tell the world that there cannot be a bigger crime against womanhood than its sordid commercialisa­tion and a civilization cannot claim to be a true human civilization if it creates a social environment, in which women have to sell, by choice or by force, their bodies? It takes extraordinary pains to highlight the cases of rapes in police custody or in prisons but its eyes do not bleed at the thousands of rapes the innocent women have to suffer daily all over the world. If it begins to describe the strategies of the commercial exploitation of women nothing else would be required to prove its credentials. But the truth is that the Amnesty is damnesty, which is only a mouthpiece of the economic fundamentalists; its aim is limited to glorify Western­ism and degrade every other system .One of the issues

“Human Rights” in the modern world have virtually been reduced to the rights of the murderers and rapists against being executed, the rights of gays against being targeted for their highly dangerous habits and the rights of women for aborting their children in order to make things easy for the male-dominated socio-economic system. Even violence has been categorised to suit their own plans so that the powerful appear to be peace-loving and those who refuse to toe them appear to be dangerous. They will condemn “terrorism” and will ignore war; and if their own people indulge in “terrorism” they will call it “war of liberation” from the rulers. They have no concern for the lives lost in crimes and suicides within their own countries, the lives lost in wars against other countries and the rebellions masterminded by them. They are also not concerned about the tens of millions of lives lost annually due to social vices like alcohol, smoking and unhealthy and immoral sexual practices. They will talk for days about beheadings but will not talk of bombs that kill thousands of times the beheadings kill. Bombs become dangerous for them only if they are used by their enemies.

It is now high time the concept of Human rights was re-examined. Human rights are nothing if they do not guarantee the security of the common people, including men, women and children, old, young and yet-to-be born. Islam has a larger plan, which aims at Human Security, “human rights” being only one of the means to achieve that aims. To ensure human security, emphasis on prohibitions is equally essential. Human Security demands that lives of all human beings must be safeguarded against all kinds of external threats. None — individual, society, corporate sector or government, can be allowed to offer the choice of death to the people; freedom of choice must be limited to choice among the good. A choice between life and death cannot simply be given to the people. A child cannot be left on a highway hoping that it will take all the necessary precautions to save it from being crushed by fast moving vehicles. People are like children who more often than not are guided by baser instincts that suck them into all forms of life-threatening and peace-threatening habits. Addiction has hardly any regard or fondness for knowledge and sanity. Who knows better, about the effects of alcohol, smoking and sexual perversions, than do doctors? Still they often succumb to the temptations. A smoker, a drinker, a drug addict and a promiscuous person understand that they face huge risks on account of their habits; but such is the effect of these on baser instincts that they find it hard to be governed by their knowledge.

The propaganda against Triple Talaq in India is also directly or indirectly supported by the organisations having liberal inclinations. They want Muslim women to feel that Islam does not provide adequate cover to them. They want to use it as a ploy to turn them into rebels. Once they have their doubts about religion, they will become easy preys to the market-sponsored feminism, which is nothing but a part of the larger plan that sees humans not as human beings but as commercial beings.

The Ulama of course are not helping the cause. Instead of taking advantage of the position of so many fuqaha who opposed Triple Talaq, they have made it an issue of ego. What to speak of declaring Triple Talaq as invalid, they have not even spread mass awareness about the true Quranic method of divorce. Today, hardly a few know about a method of divorce other than pronouncing the word Talaq three times. Even where speeches are made on the issue, they often tend to tell about the various methods of Talaq rather than sticking only to the best one, which involves pronouncement of Talaq for a period od Iddah, which is at least three months, and revoking or finalising Talq through liberation at the time of the completion of the period.

The Supreme Court would better debate the concept and dimension of “Human Rights” and ask why the market forces are using it for their own ends. It must ask why highly undignified and unhealthy practices like prostitution and abortions are being allowed in the name of “Freedom of Choice”. It must seek answers to whether the current position of “Human Rights” organisations helps or endangers the cause of the security of the larger people, especially women, children and weaker sections of society.

Dr Javed Jamil is India based thinker and writer with over a dozen books including his latest, “Quranic Paradigms of Sciences & Society” (First Vol: Health), “Muslims Most Civilised, Yet Not Enough” and “Muslim Vision of Secular India: Destination & Road-map”. Other works include “The Devil of Economic Fundamentalism”, “The Essence of the Divine Verses”, “The Killer Sex”, “Islam means Peace” and “Rediscovering the Universe”. He can be contacted at

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The Widely Debated Land Grabbing At Wilpattu

by Ifham Nizam

Renowned ecologist cum ornithologist Prof. Sarath Kotagama, stressed that if anybody tells him that there is a problem within the Wilpattu National Park, he is willing to take the challenge and fight for it and do something. However, if this is happening outside, it is a different story.

Expressing his candid views to The Sunday Leader about the widely discussed/ debated land grabbing at the one of the country’s leading national parks, he added: “ My first issue is what is the Wilpattu issue? Because this issue is outside the Wilpattu National Park, when we use a common word which covers a specific area and use that for an area outside the Wilpattu National Park I have a problem.

“The overall issue should be divided into sectors and then should be clarified,” he said. Expressing his point of view, he said fundamentally there are two parts of the issue, one part is that people have been displaced from the area and they have come back to resettle.

“Therefore, we have to recognise the certain areas in which the problem hasn’t been solved and work on those areas or else the problem will be there forever, that means under this sector if a person is displaced from a particular area, we should find an alternative for this issue somehow.”

Different issue

The other part is a completely different issue, there again we have to have a collective agreement anywhere in the country, when the population grows, what do we do? For this, sadly there is no plan in our country, so I can say that if the population is going to be static it’s fine, but if it grows? What do we do?

The unfortunate issue is that, from the day that this problem prevailed, individuals have found opportunities which aren’t helping any plans except the fact that they find alternate settlement areas, The second issue that we know officially there had been sanctions and resettlement granted, he added.

The major issue isn’t any of these, it came to light a couple of weeks ago after the end of the argument, somebody very clearly showed in the places where people have settled legally or illegally, let’s take the legal side first, they have done more than what they have been permitted to do.

Why should that not be penalised?

That is the issue. Secondly, if there are illegal settlements other than those that have been permitted, that also should also not be permitted, he stressed.

“So our battle shouldn’t be with what is known but with the ‘unknown,’ which has been clouded by using the term Wilpattu. Everybody is talking about Wilpattu National Park, saying that someone is encroaching Wilpattu National Park but that person comes and says, ‘show me any evidence that I have done this, I have not done anything.”
He added: “So in the process of using the wrong words in the wrong places, we have allowed something to happen which we could have been solved, in some way or the other, if not for the politics contained, why I said if not for politics is that, this is to me, is a 99.9 per cent political scenario. In that situation officers or even the public are finding themselves in a very difficult situation.

How do we resolve this?

“This is a very critical thing, I can see there may not be a solution but, politics is needed to definitely build a solution, but I don’t see that. I see a problem. Of course we don’t have a really good plan for the expanding population of this country and in a country in which we have 26 per cent of land collected, and we don’t want an inch of it to be reduced.”

Accommodating increasing population

How do we accommodate the increasing population in this static framework because the land doesn’t multiply, this is to me, a very good stimulus, for the people , the planning sessions, at the political level, at the administrative level to recognise that this is not going to be the only place this is going to happen.

This is going to multiply itself and vigorously, as we go into the future because I can see these strategic planning processes that some of the institutions are bringing out are talking bringing 1000 acres for an industrial state, 7000 acres for a city development.

“I think this is high time we use this as a good example to ensure nothing like this will ever happen again and for that purpose we need to sit down to plan precisely how villages will expand. To me, this isn’t a new phenomenon in the sense of not the way it has happened.

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PressTV – Islam and Life: Against Racism | Tariq Ramadan

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US report exposes India’s mistreatment of minorities

The report of the US Commission on Religious Freedom elaborates on how laws discriminate against Christians and Muslims.

The Milli Gazette Online

Published Online: Feb 19, 2017

New Delhi: India fails to comply with international standards on freedom of religion leading to the discrimination and persecution of religious minorities, said a new report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The report, “Constitutional and Legal Challenges Faced by Religious Minorities in India” said that, although the country’s Constitution guarantees equal rights to religious minorities, the government fails to comply with international standards.

It also enumerates India’s failure to ensure the rights of Dalit people, those from socially and economically poor castes, once considered untouchables.

“Religious minority communities and Dalits, both have faced discrimination and persecution due to a combination of overly broad or ill-defined laws, an inefficient criminal justice system, and a lack of jurisprudential consistency,” the report said.

Hindus form the majority 80 percent of India’s 1.2 billion people while Muslims form some 15 percent. Christians, the second largest religious minority, form just 2.3 percent. Dalits and tribal people make up 70 percent of India’s 27 million Christians.

In 2016, at least 10 Christians were killed and over 500 members of the community were attacked for their faith or for allegedly converting people to Christianity, said a report by the Catholic Secular Forum in January 2017.

“Symbolic and structural violence has increased in the country since 2014. The government needs to respond to such violence in a much more sensible way rather than denying it,” said Samuel Jaikumar of the National Council of Churches in India, a union of all Protestant and Orthodox Churches.

Laws help discrimination continue

The U.S. report said that seven of the 29 states have adopted laws banning religious conversions, which has resulted in inequitable practices.

The report said that state governments have described church humanitarian aid and development “as a cause of improper and unethical conversions.”

The report also said that India’s law to regulate foreign funding has consistently been used against civil society organizations, charities and other non-governmental organizations that question government policies.

In June 2015, India put the leading Christian charity, Caritas International, on its watch list. The charity, which is the social arm of the Vatican, was scrutinized for alleged “anti-India activities,” the report said.

Referring to the Indian Divorce Act 2001 that restricts inheritance, alimony payments, and property ownership of people from interfaith marriages, the report said the law is “problematic.”

“The act also interferes in the personal lives of Christians by not allowing marriage ceremonies to be conducted in a church if one of the partners is non-Christian,” it added.

The cow protection laws in India which restrict or ban cow slaughter are “often mixed with anti-Muslim sentiment,” the report said. Cow slaughter “has remained a perpetual source of tension between Hindu, Muslim and Dalit communities.”

In recommendation, it said that India should stop harassing groups, reform anti-conversion laws, and establish “a test of reasonableness” surrounding prohibitions on cow slaughter. It also asked India to adopt the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. (

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Halal Accreditation Council gets ISO certification from SLSI

The Halal Accreditation Council (Guarantee) Limited (a not for profit organization duly incorporated under the Companies’ Act No. 7 of 2007 of Sri Lanka and referred to as HAC) was recently certified ISO 9001:2015 by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) for its Quality Management System.

The official presentation of the certificate took place at the SLSI Director General’s office on 15 February 2017. It was handed over by Mr. Gamini Dharmawardana, the Director General of SLSI to Mr. M. J. M. Fari, Head of International Relations of HAC in the presence of Mr. Ali Fatharally, the Director and CEO of HAC.

The ISO 9001:2015 certification is a clear declaration that HAC has set up a fully-fledged infrastructure having in place all the prerequisites dictated by ISO 9001:2015 certification. It reinforces the commitment of HAC to quality management and commitment to serve its clients.

The process-based Halal compliance certification activities of HAC is now well synchronized with a declared quality policy; an effective management of documentation and records; a well-established resource management; an efficient process control, measurement and analysis and a conscious commitment to pursue continual improvement. This holistic quality management system is set in motion at HAC to serve the cause of Halal and to gain the utmost satisfaction of its customers, the HAC halal compliant certificate holders.

The ISO 9001:2015 certification from SLSI conferred on HAC has another significance to Halal compliant certification activities. The certification serves as testimony to transparency and sustainability of HAC that operates in a multi-religious, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural environment like Sri Lanka where confidence building is of utmost importance.

HAC sincere believes that the award of ISO 9001:2015 has provided HAC the solid foundation to build on other relevant international standards to be able to obtain certifications to add more value to HAC Halal certification.

HAC wishes to emphasize that Halal standards which are derived from Islamic religious principles call for utmost quality, safety, hygiene, and benefits in product for the welfare of human beings irrespective of their faiths, creed, or cultures. Halal certification establishes both ethical products and ethical consumerism.

In brief, ISO 9001:2015 has conferred upon HAC very visible and worthy fundamentals such as credibility of having an internationally recognized standard; risk-based thinking; efficiencies of integrated processes; engagement of employees; clearly defined and transparent decision making; striving for customer satisfaction and constantly pursuing continual improvements. All these shall be adhered to by HAC as realities and not as mere concepts confined to documents.

HAC assures that all its activities will ensure conformance to requirements and best practices claimed through ISO 9001:2015 certification so as to further strengthen and increase confidence in HAC Halal certification of all its stakeholders.

(Media Release)

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The TRUTH Behind What REALLY Happened!

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Why Buddhism, A Religion Of Tolerance, Is Falling Prey To Hate-Speech: Panel

The rise of hate speech in Buddhist-majority countries like Thailand, Myanmar and Sri Lanka is of grave concern – and something that states should tackle, says a noted Thai Buddhist intellectual, because of the danger it poses.

“It’s very dangerous, much more dangerous than weapons,” said Mr Sulak Sivaraksa, an internationally-regarded Buddhist activist, during a recent panel discussion on the Channel NewsAsia programme Between The Lines.

The principles of non-violence and tolerance may be central to Buddhist teachings, but – amid the rise of nationalist Buddhist sentiments – hate speech has gained prominence among hardline groups which use it to incite violence, destruction and even death against certain groups.

In Sri Lanka for example, a group of monks formed Bodu Bala Sena in 2012 in the name of protecting the country’s Buddhist culture; it has since carried out hundreds of attacks against Muslims and Christians. In Myanmar, hardline monks of the ultra- nationalist Ma Ba Tha group have been fuelling sentiment against the Muslim Rohingya.

Social media has facilitated the proliferation of angry rhetoric. Mr Sulak urged governments to make hate speech illegal, given its ability to incite violence. “I agree with freedom of speech, you can have different opinions and you can discuss openly. But if you use hate speech and distorted speech… this should not be allowed,” he said.

But how is it possible that a religion of peace and empathy like Buddhism can fall prey to hate?


Dr Mano Laohanavich, professor of Buddhism at Thammasat University, suggested that some Buddhists lack an understanding about other religions.

“They study only their book, their text, which is exclusively about their own truth. And this truth must be the one… that is the best, the only,” he said.

And when they believe their values to be paramount, they disregard other religions, or even fear that their own is under threat, said Dr Eakpant Pindavanija, a director at the Institute of Human Rights and Peace Studies at Mahidol University.

He cited the example of the Rohingya refugees in Thailand – how an initial wave of pity for these migrants turned into anger once some Thai people realised they were Muslims.

“Suddenly … the hate speech comes: ‘Oh! They are here because they want to destroy this country, they want to destroy our Buddhist society’… So the feeling of sympathy has gone,” Dr Eakpant said.


The average Buddhist also does not really understand the teachings of Buddhism itself, its true purpose and meaning, said Dr Chantana Banpasirichote Wun’gaeo, an Associate Professor (Department of Government) at Chulalongkorn University.

Also, where there is a religious majority and a minority, it’s usual for the majority to think “we decide and you have to follow our ways”, said Dr Mano.

”They use identity as the principle on which to create difference, and the politics of fear overrules wisdom or compassion,” he added.

And politicians often take advantage of such sentiments in their quest for power, the panel noted.

“If you look into the religious conflicts all over the world, it has to do with (the) mobilisation of bias, very much from the leadership level,” said Dr Chantana.


One way to counter the swell of hate and fear, Dr Mano suggested, is to create a safe environment and a platform where people of different faiths can discuss their beliefs, share food, even pray together and help solve society’s problems such as poverty together.

In his experience, when people of different religious identities work closely together, it can lead to greater understanding and a mutual respect. He cited the example of how the earthquake in Kaohsiung, Taiwan years ago galvanised Buddhists, Muslims and Catholics to join in rescue efforts.

When such varied faiths get together, “that could be very powerful – not because they are different but because they are united”, said Dr Mano.

Mr Sulak provided hope for the situation in Myanmar. Arguing that the incidences of Buddhist monks attacking Rohingya were perpetrated by a minority, and tended to dominate the news, he noted that in actuality in Myanmar: “A lot of Buddhists and Muslims are working together beautifully.”


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Club Sandwich-Submarine Dispute Results in Forcible Shut down of Muslim Owned Businesses in Dambulla

A dispute with a Sinhala customer over the ordering of food items in a Muslim owned hotel has resulted in communal tensions flaring up in Dambulla town located 165 km from Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo.

According to reports in websites specialising in news concerning the Muslim community ,the dispute which occurred on Wednesday Feb 8th 2017 , turned into a physical clash between the customer and hotel staff in which the customer was injured. Following this a gang of Sinhala speaking persons invaded the hotel and attacked the Muslim manager.

Thereafter a mob assembled in Dambulla and staged a demonstration against the Muslims after which all Muslim owned businesses in Dambulla were ordered to be closed. All Muslim shops,hotels and other businesses in Dambulla were shut down at 7 pm on Wednesday

According to news reports a Sinhalese woman had allegedly ordered two club sandwiches by telephone from a Muslim owned Hotel in Dambulla at noon on feb 8th. Instead the hotel had reportedly sent two Submarines by mistake. The woman then brought the submarines to the Hotel to be exchanged for club sandwiches.

The Hotel manager had refused saying the customer had definitely ordered submarines and the Hotel had not made a mistake. She was also accused of causing confusion while ordering food items on earlier occasions too.She went back

After a while the woman’s husband came to the Hotel with the submarines and wanted club sandwiches. The manager refused and an argument ensued. The enraged husband then allegedly threw the submarines at the managers face. This resulted in a physical altercation. The customer was allegedly assaulted severely by the manager and other hotel staff.

After some hours a gang of Sinhala speaking persons came to the hotel and allegedly beat up the manager. They forced the hotel to shut down.

Thereafter a Sinhalese mob assembled in the town and staged a demonstration against Muslims. All Muslim owned businesses were forced to close down. By 7 pm all Muslim owned enterprises were shut down

On the following Thursday Feb 9th morning when Muslim businesses started opening a gang of Sinhalese thugs went around Dambulla ordering the shops and hotels to be closed. The Muslim owners were compelled to shut down the businesses which remained closed the next day also as Friday Feb 10th was a Poya day.

Affected Muslim businessmen appealed to UNP Parliamentarian Ranjith Aluvihare, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake and several Muslim ministers in the Sirisena – Wickremesinghe Govt. Due to political pressure the Police officer in Charge in Dambulla Chief Inspector Wickramaratne deployed special security for Muslim businesses on Saturday Feb 11th. Thereafter Muslim owned enterprises that had remained shut from Wednesday night to Saturday morning began resuming business cautiously. Though tensions prevail there is a visible Police presence affording greater protection to the Muslim businesses.

Meanwhile Police arrested both the Sinhala customer and Muslim hotel manager and produced them before the Dambulla magistrate who remanded them until Feb 22nd. Both had been hospitalised following the clash. No further arrests were made.

Representations have also been made to President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to ensure adequate and durable security for Muslim businesses in Dambulla

Police stated that the situation was now quiet and normalcy was being restored gradually

And it was all due to a dispute over club sandwiches and submarines!


The situation in Dambulla has returned to Normal. Al Musli owned businesses in Dambulla were fully open on Monday February 13th. Representatives of the Dambulla Sinhala Traders Association and Muslim Businesspersons had a friendly discussion to resolve outstanding problems on Sunday Feb 12th. Meanwhile the Muslim restaurant manager and Sinhala customer whose altercation led to the crisis in Dambulla have both agreed to arrive at an amicable settlement of the dispute. Both of them had been arrested earlier by Police and remanded until Feb 22nd. Representatives of the Dambulla Mosque administration met with both at the Remand prison and got both to agree to an amenable sentiment

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Justice Marsoof Commission Finalizing Recommendations For MMDA Amendment

Chairman of the Committee appointed to make recommendations for the amendment of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA), former Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Saleem Marsoof has announced that his Committee is in the process of finalizing its report, while assuring that the recommendations will benefit the Muslim community at large.

Issuing a statement, Marsoof said, “The Committee is now in the process of finalising its Report, and would like to announce to the general public with utmost responsibility that it is working unitedly to make its recommendations for the amendment of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act in such a manner that will benefit the Muslim community at large.”

The Committee headed by Marsoof was appointed in July 2009 by former Minister of Justice and Law Reform Milinda Moragoda with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, to consider and recommend amendments to the MMDA No 13 of 1951.

“In view of the extremely sensitive nature of the issues involved, this Committee called for representations form the public through notices published in English, Tamil and Sinhalese newspapers. Apart from the very respected Quazis, theologians, lawyers, scholars, and researchers, who have sent their views and suggestions, detailed representations were also received from associations such as the Council of Muslims of Sri Lanka, the All Ceylon YMMA Conference, The Muslim Lawyers’ Association, the All Ceylon Muslim Marriage Registrars’ Association, the Quazi Judges’ Forum of Sri Lanka, the Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum, the Kandy Forum, the Galle Muslim Cultural Association and the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema, to name only a few,” the statement said.

Marsoof said that Committee had to necessarily take time to examine in great depth all the views, proposals and other representations received from the public, and in order to facilitate the process, had several public sittings to clarify and verify these representations. The Committee also had several consultations with the Fathwa Committee of the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulema as well as the Director and staff of Jamiah Naleemiah. “This Committee has given anxious consideration to the problems faced by the public and their many concerns, in the context of the principles of Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh), Sri Lanka’s Constitution and the applicable laws and procedures, and has attempted to evolve solutions to some serious social and legal problems and issues in harmony with the law of the country,” he said.

“As you may be aware, this Committee consists of erudite personalities in the caliber of reputed scholars, renowned lawyers and other professionals, who are conscious of the need to bring about urgent and appropriate reforms to both the substantial and procedural laws constituting the Quazi Court system consistently with the principles enshrined in the Holy Quran, Hadis, Ijma and Qiyas,” Marsoof assured.

Members of the Committee appointed by the former Minister of Justice Millinda Moragoda comprises:

Mr. Justice Saleem Marsoof P.C (Chairman)
Ms. Dilhara Amerasinghe (Secretary)
Mr. Justice Abdus Salam, member of the Right to Information Commission
Mr. Justice Mackie Mohamed Judge of the Civil Appellate High Court
Mr. Shibly Aziz P.C
Mr. Faisz Mustapha P.C
Deshabandu Jezima Ismail
Ash Sheikh Rizwe Mufthi, Chairman of the Jamiathul Ulema
Prof. Sharya scharenguivel, former Dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Colombo
Mr. Razmara Abdeen, Attorney-at-law
Ms. Safana Gul Begum, Attorney-at-law
Ms. Fazlet Shahabdeen, Atorney-at-law
Ash Sheikh M.M. Mubarak, Secretary of the Jamiathul Ulema,
Ms. F.B. Juranpathy, Member of the Mediation Commission
Dr. M A M Shukri, former Director of Jamiah Naleemia
Mr. Nadvi Bahudeen, Chairman of the Quazi Board of Review

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