Sunday, 29 September 2013

“I Have Sinhala Extremists And Religious Extremists In My Cabinet”: President

President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a widely publicised interview with the Al-Jazeera network yesterday admitted to having religious extremists and right wing extremists in his cabinet of ministers.

The reporter was asking the President about charges by UN high Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay that some of his Ministers had abused her and called her the Tamil Tigress in the UN. “Even one of your own brothers she says,” the reporter said.“Right wing extremists are there, religious extremists are there – the Tamils, the Sinhala, the Muslims – we have all these people in the cabinet. They are all working together and I have to manage them,” President Rajapaksa told an Interviewer from Al-Jazeera.
“This is a democracy. Individual MPs, Ministers and officials can say anything they want,” the President replied.
Rajapaksa said he had the world’s only Trotskyite cabinet member in his cabinet

Monday, 23 September 2013

Sri Lanka's vote: A new chapter?

The cable news provider Dialog TV has blocked the Doha based Al Jazeera news network to prevent the channels reports on Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council elections reaching local audiences.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Al Jazeera Channel Blocked In Sri Lanka

The cable news provider Dialog TV has blocked the Doha based Al Jazeera news network to prevent thechannels reports on Sri Lanka’s Northern Provincial Council elections reaching local audiences.
Sources close to the private company said the channel has been unofficially ‘blocked’ on the cable network.
The private television provider may be following unofficial instructions by the Government, the sources said.
The blockage is likely a result of the network’s ongoing coverage of the Northern Provincial Council election that has been intense on international news networks due to the heavy presence of the international press covering the polls in Sri Lanka’s north.
Consumers calling the network to report the problem have been informed by Customer Care representatives that the suspension of the Al Jazeera channel is due to a technical problem on the part of the content-provider, referring to the Qatar based channel.
However it is learnt that no official notification has been received by Al Jazeera regarding the unofficial ‘block’ on the channel in Sri Lanka.
Sources said it was likely the unofficial censorship would be lifted on Al Jazeera once coverage on the Northern poll ends.
The Government frequently uses the Dialog network to conduct its illegal blocking of websites as was recently observed when Colombo Telegraph was unofficially censored on local internet service providers SLT, MOBITEL and Dialog even though the Telecom Regulatory Commission denied it ordered the blockade.
Following repeated consumer queries and complaints, Colombo Telegraph was made available once again on the Dialog network. It remains unclear why the private communications provider regularly follows instructions by the ruling regime in without official notice when other privately owned providers like Etisalat do not adhere to ‘unofficial orders’ by the State.

The Islamification of Britain: record numbers embrace Muslim faith

The number of Britons choosing to become Muslims has nearly doubled in the past decade, according to one of the most comprehensive attempts to estimate how many people have embraced Islam.

Following the global spread of violent Islamism, British Muslims have faced more scrutiny, criticism and analysis than any other religious community. Yet, despite the often negative portrayal of Islam, thousands of Britons are adopting the religion every year.
Estimating the number of converts living in Britain has always been difficult because census data does not differentiate between whether a religious person has adopted a new faith or was born into it. Previous estimates have placed the number of Muslim converts in the UK at between 14,000 and 25,000.
But a new study by the inter-faith think-tank Faith Matters suggests the real figure could be as high as 100,000, with as many as 5,000 new conversions nationwide each year.
By using data from the Scottish 2001 census – the only survey to ask respondents what their religion was at birth as well as at the time of the survey – researchers broke down what proportion of Muslim converts there were by ethnicity and then extrapolated the figures for Britain as a whole.
In all they estimated that there were 60,699 converts living in Britain in 2001. With no new census planned until next year, researchers polled mosques in London to try to calculate how many conversions take place a year. The results gave a figure of 1,400 conversions in the capital in the past 12 months which, when extrapolated nationwide, would mean approximately 5,200 people adopting Islam every year. The figures are comparable with studies in Germany and France which found that there were around 4,000 conversions a year.
Fiyaz Mughal, director of Faith Matters, admitted that coming up with a reliable estimate of the number of converts to Islam was notoriously difficult. "This report is the best intellectual 'guestimate' using census numbers, local authority data and polling from mosques," he said. "Either way few people doubt that the number adopting Islam in the UK has risen dramatically in the past 10 years."
Asked why people were converting in such large numbers he replied: "I think there is definitely a relationship between conversions being on the increase and the prominence of Islam in the public domain. People are interested in finding out what Islam is all about and when they do that they go in different directions. Most shrug their shoulders and return to their lives but some will inevitably end up liking what they discover and will convert."
Batool al-Toma, an Irish born convert to Islam of 25 years who works at the Islamic Foundation and runs the New Muslims Project, one of the earliest groups set up specifically to help converts, said she believed the new figures were "a little on the high side".
"My guess would be the real figure is somewhere in between previous estimates, which were too low, and this latest one," she said. "I definitely think there has been a noticeable increase in the number of converts in recent years. The media often tries to pinpoint specifics but the reasons are as varied as the converts themselves."
Inayat Bunglawala, founder of Muslims4UK, which promotes active Muslim engagement in British society, said the figures were "not implausible".
"It would mean that around one in 600 Britons is a convert to the faith," he said. "Islam is a missionary religion and many Muslim organisations and particularly university students' Islamic societies have active outreach programmes designed to remove popular misconceptions about the faith."
The report by Faith Matters also studied the way converts were portrayed by the media and found that while 32 per cent of articles on Islam published since 2001 were linked to terrorism or extremism, the figure jumped to 62 per cent with converts.
Earlier this month, for example, it was reported that two converts to Islam who used the noms de guerre Abu Bakr and Mansoor Ahmed were killed in a CIA drone strike in an area of Pakistan with a strong al-Qa'ida presence.
"Converts who become extremists or terrorists are, of course, a legitimate story," said Mr Mughal. "But my worry is that the saturation of such stories risks equating all Muslim converts with being some sort of problem when the vast majority are not". Catherine Heseltine, a 31-year-old convert to Islam, made history earlier this year when she became the first female convert to be elected the head of a British Muslim organisation – the Muslim Public Affairs Committee. "Among certain sections of society, there is a deep mistrust of converts," she said. "There's a feeling that the one thing worse than a Muslim is a convert because they're perceived as going over the other side. Overall, though, I think conversions arouse more curiosity than hostility."
How to become a Muslim
Islam is one of the easiest religions to convert to. Technically, all a person needs to do is recite the Shahada, the formal declaration of faith, which states: "There is no God but Allah and Mohamed is his Prophet." A single honest recitation is all that is needed to become a Muslim, but most converts choose to do so in front of at least two witnesses, one being an imam.
Converts to Islam
Hana Tajima, 23, fashion designer
Hana Tajima converted to Islam when she was 17. Frustrated by the lack of variety in Islamic clothing for converts she founded Maysaa, a fashion house that designs western-inspired clothing that conforms to hijab. 
"It's true that I never decided to convert to Islam, nor was there a defining moment where I realised I wanted to be Muslim.  My family aren't particularly religious.  I was interested in religion, but very disinterested in how it related to my life.  I grew up in rural Devon where my Japanese father was the ethnic diversity of the village.  It wasn't until I studied at college that I met people who weren't of the exact same background, into Jeff Buckley, underground hip-hop, drinking, and getting high.  I met and became friends with a few Muslims in college, and was slightly affronted and curious at their lack of wanting to go out to clubs or socialise in that sense.  I think it was just the shock of it, like, how can you not want to go out, in this day and age.   
"It was at about that time that I started to study philosophy, and without sounding too much like I dyed my hair black and wore my fringe in front of my face, I began to get confused about my life. I was pretty popular, had good friends, boyfriends, I had everything I was supposed to have, but still I felt like 'is that it?'  So these things all happened simultaneously, I read more about religion, learned more about friends of other backgrounds, had a quarter life crisis.  There were things that drew me to Islam in particular, it wasn't like I was reaching for whatever was there.  The fact that the Qur'an is the same now as it ever was means there's always a reference point. The issues of women's rights were shockingly contemporary.  The more I read, the more I found myself agreeing with the ideas behind it and I could see why Islam coloured the lives of my Muslim friends.  It made sense, really, I didn't and still don't want to be Muslim, but there came a point where I couldn't say that I wasn't Muslim. 
"Telling my family was the easy part.  I knew they'd be happy as long as I was happy, and they could see that it was an incredibly positive thing.  My friends went one of two ways, met with a lack of any reaction and lost to the social scene, or interested and supportive.  More the former, less the latter."
Denise Horsley, 26, dance teacher
Denise Horsley lives in North London. She converted to Islam last year and is planning to marry her Muslim boyfriend next year. 
"I was introduced to Islam by my boyfriend Naushad. A lot of people ask whether I converted because of him but actually he had nothing to do with it. I was interested in his faith but I went on my own journey to discover more about religion. 
"I bought loads of books on all the different religions but I kept coming back to Islam - there was something about it that just made sense, it seemed to answer all the questions I had. 
"I would spend hours in the library at Regents Park Mosque reading up on everything from women's rights to food. Before I went to prayers for the first time I remember sitting in my car frantically looking up how to pray on my Blackberry. I was so sure people would know straight away that I wasn't a Muslim but if they did no-one seemed to care. 
"During Ramadan I'd sit and listen to the Qur'anic recitations and would be filled with such happiness and warmth. One day I decided there and then to take my shahada. I walked down to the reception and said I was ready to convert, it was as simple as that. 
"My friends and family were rather shocked, I think they expected there would be some sort of huge baptism ceremony but they were very supportive of my decision. I think they were just pleased to see me happy and caring about something so passionately. 
"I grew up Christian and went to a Catholic school. Islam to me seemed to be a natural extension of Christianity. The Qur'an is filled with information about Jesus, Mary, the angels and the Torah. It's part of a natural transition. 
"I do now wear a headscarf but it wasn't something I adopted straightaway. Hijab is such an important concept in Islam but it's not just about clothing. It's about being modest in everything you do. I started dressing more modestly - forgoing low cut tops and short skirts - but before I donned a headscarf I had to make sure I was comfortable on the inside before turning my attention to the outside. Now I feel completely protected in my headscarf. People treat you with a new level of respect, they judge you by your words and your deeds, not how you look. It's the kind of respect every dad wants for their daughter. 
"There have been some problems. Immediately after converting I isolated myself a bit, which I now recognise was a mistake and not what Islam teaches. I remember a lady on a bus who got really angry and abusive when she found out I had converted. I also noticed quite a few friends stopped calling. I think they just got tired of hearing me say no - no to going clubbing, no to going down the pub. 
"But my good friends embraced it. They simply found other things to do when I was around. Ultimately I'm still exactly the same person apart from the fact that I don't drink, don't eat pork and pray five times a day. Other than that I'm still Denise."
Daoud, 23
Daoud was a self-confirmed "racist" two years ago who knew nothing about Islam and supported the BNP. Now a Muslim, he describes himself as a Salafi - the deeply socially conservative and ultra-orthodox sect of Islam whose followers try to live exactly like the Prophet did. 
"I was very ignorant to Islam for most of my life and then I went on holiday to Morocco, which was the first time I was exposed to Muslims. I was literally a racist before Morocco and by the time I was flying home on the plane a week later, I had already decided to become a Muslim." 
"I realised Islam is not a foreign religion, but had a lot of similarities with what I already believed. When I came back home to Somerset, I spent three months trying to find local Muslims, but there wasn't even a mosque in my town. I eventually met Sufi Muslims who took me to Cyprus to convert. 
"When I came back, I was finding out a lot of what they were saying was contradictory to what it said in the Qur'an. I wasn't finding them very authentic, to be honest. I went to London and became involved with Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the political group who call for the establishment of an Islamic state. 
"But while I believe in the benefits of Sharia law, I left this group as well. The problem was it was too into politics and not as concerned with practicing the religion. For me, it is about keeping an Islamic appearance and studying hard. I think we do need an Islamic state, but the way to achieve it is not through political activism or fighting. Allah doesn't change the situation of people until they see what's within themselves. 
"I have a big dislike for culture in Islamic communities, when it means bringing new things into the religion, such as polytheism or encouraging music and dance. There is something pure about Salafi Muslims; we take every word of the Qur'an for truth.  I have definitely found the right path. I also met my wife through the community and we are expecting our first child next year." 
Paul Martin, 27
Paul Martin was just a student when he decided to convert to Islam in an ice-cream shop in Manchester four years ago. Bored of what he saw as the hedonistic lifestyle of many of his friends at university and attracted to what he calls "Islam's emphasis on seeking knowledge," he says a one-off meeting with an older Muslim changed his life. 
"I liked the way the Muslims students I knew conducted themselves. It's nice to think about people having one partner for life and not doing anything harmful to their body. I just preferred the Islamic lifestyle and from there I looked into the Qur'an. I was amazed to see Islam's big emphasis on science. 
"Then I was introduced by a Muslim friend to a doctor who was a few years older than me. We went for a coffee and then a few weeks later for an ice cream. It was there that I said I would like to be a Muslim. I made my shahada right there, in the ice cream shop. I know some people like to be all formal and do it in a mosque, but for me religion is not a physical thing, it is what is in your heart. 
"I hadn't been to a mosque before I became a Muslim. Sometimes it can be bit daunting, I mean I don't really fit into this criteria of a Muslim person. But there is nothing to say you can't be a British Muslim who wears jeans and a shirt and a jacket. Now in my mosque in Leeds, many different languages are spoken and there are lots of converts. 
"With my family, it was gradual. I didn't just come home and say I was a Muslim. There was a long process before I converted where I wouldn't eat pork and I wouldn't drink. Now, we still have Sunday dinner together, we just buy a joint of lamb that is halal. 
"If someone at college had said to me 'You are going to be a Muslim', I would not in a million years have believed it. It would have been too far-fetched. But now I have just come back from Hajj - the pilgrimage Muslims make to Mecca." 

Stuart Mee, 46
Stuart Mee is a divorced civil servant who describes himself as a "middle-of-the-road Muslim." Having converted to Islam last year after talking with Muslim colleagues at work, he says Islam offers him a sense of community he feels is missing in much of Britain today. 
"Everything is so consumer-driven here, there are always adverts pushing you to buy the next thing. I knew there must be something longer term and always admired the sense of contentment within my colleagues' lives, their sense of peace and calmness. It was just one of those things that happened - we talked, I read books and I related to it. 
"I emailed the Imam at London Central Mosque and effectively had a 15 minute interview with him. It was about making sure that this was the right thing for me, that I was doing it at the right time. He wanted to make sure I was committed. It is a life changing decision. 
"It is surprisingly easy, the process of converting. You do your shahada, which is the declaration of your faith. You say that in front of two witnesses and then you think, 'What do I do next?' I went to an Islamic bookstore and bought a child's book on how to pray. I followed that because, in Islamic terms, I was basically one month old. 
"I went to a local mosque in Reading and expected someone to stop me say, 'Are you a Muslim?' but it didn't happen. It was just automatic acceptance. You can have all the trappings of being a Muslim - the beard and the bits and pieces that go with it, but Islam spreads over such a wide area and people have different styles, clothes and approaches to life. 
"Provided I am working within Islamic values, I see no need in changing my name and I don't have any intention of doing it. Islam has bought peace, stability, and comfort to my life. It has helped me identify just what is important to me. That can only be a good thing." 

Khadijah Roebuck, 48
Khadijah Roebuck was born Tracey Roebuck into a Christian family. She was married for twenty five years and attended church with her children every week while they lived at home. Now, divorced and having practiced Islam for the last six months, she says she is still not sure what motivated her to make such a big change to her life. 
"I know it sounds odd, but one day I was Tracey the Christian and the next day I was Khadijah the Muslim, it just seemed right. The only thing I knew about Muslims before was that they didn't drink alcohol and they didn't eat pork. 
"I remember the first time I drove up to the mosque. It was so funny; I was in my sports car and had the music blaring. I wasn't sure if I was even allowed to go in but I asked to speak to the man in charge, I didn't even know he was called an Imam. Now I wear a hijab and pray five times a day. 
"My son at first was horrified, he just couldn't believe it. It's been especially hard for my mum, who is Roman Catholic and doesn't accept it at all. But the main thing I feel is a sense of peace, which I never found with the Church, which is interesting. Through Ramadan, I absolutely loved every second. On the last day, I even cried. 
"It is interesting because people sometimes confuse cultures with Islam. Each Muslim brings their different culture to the mosque and different takes on the religion. There are Saudi Arabians, Egyptians and Pakistanis and then of course there is me. I slot in everywhere. A lot of the other sisters say to me, 'That is why we love you, Khadijah, you are just yourself.'" 

Lessons From Surah Ar Rahman - Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Halaal Certification Withdrawal Announcement !

An Important notice for Muslim Community
Jubilant Foodworks Lanka (Pvt) Ltd (Domino's Pizza)

Has been withdrawn  from  the Halaal Certification, with effective from 21st August    2013

Please note that the above  mentioned Food Premise is excluded from the Halaal Certified Product List Posters that were distributed in the recent past to all the Majids.

For further  information please contact Halaal hot line 0117 425 225

"Emotional Lecture" We will never forget you Palestine

Saturday, 14 September 2013

No Beer Logo for Muslim Ahmed

No Beer Logo for Muslim Ahmed

Australia's Fawad Ahmed. (Reuters Photo / Philip Brown)
Australia’s Fawad Ahmed. (Reuters Photo / Philip Brown)
Sydney. Cricket Australia has agreed to a request by Muslim leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed not to wear the sponsorship logo of beer brand VB because of his faith’s ban on alcohol.
Pakistan-born Ahmed, who became an Australian citizen in July after his application was fast-tracked, did not have the brewer’s logo on his shirt during his international debut in last week’s T20 matches against England.
Mike McKenna, Cricket Australia’s executive general manager for operations, said Tuesday the player first raised the issue when he was selected for the Australia A tour of Britain in June.
“Fawad expressed discomfort with the conflict this created for him, due to his religious beliefs,” he said.
“Cricket Australia and Carlton United Breweries (CUB) are respectful of Fawad’s personal beliefs and have agreed with his request to wear an unbranded shirt.
“CUB have been a long-standing partner of Australian cricket for more than 17 years and Fawad was thankful for their understanding of his personal situation.”
South African batsman Hashim Amla, also a Muslim, is another player in a similar situation and has been permitted not to wear the logo of Cricket South Africa sponsor Castle, a beer company, on his kit.
The sensitive issue also reared up in English football with striker Papiss Cisse pulling out of Newcastle United’s pre-season tour this year, saying he was not prepared to promote the club’s sponsors, money-lending company Wonga.
But the Senegal international has since donned a Newcastle shirt featuring the logo after talks with the club and Islamic teachers.
Ahmed, whose rapid rise has made him a hero to some in Australia’s immigrant communities, impressed in his second T20 match for Australia on Sunday, returning three English wickets for 25 runs.
His performance was timely after he took none for 43 on debut during the first T20 last week.

Striving for Peace & Justice by Lauren Booth

Lauren Booth - My Journey to Islam - UMAA Convention 2012

Pastor Terry Jones' congregation says he was arrested over gas soaked qu...

Pastor Terry Jones' congregation says he was arrested over gas soaked qu...

Florida pastor was arrested on Wednesday as he drove to a park to set fire to nearly 3,000 Qur'ans to mark the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Sheriff's deputies in Mulberry, Florida, arrested Terry Jones, 61, and his associate pastor, Marvin Sapp Jr, 44, on felony charges of unlawful conveyance of fuel as they travelled in a pickup truck towing a large barbecue-style grill filled with Qur'ans soaked in kerosene.
Jones had said he was heading to a nearby park to burn 2,998 Qur'ans – one for every victim of the 2001 attacks. Sheriff's officials said that Jones was also charged with the unlawful open-carry of a firearm and that Sapp faced a charge of having no valid registration for the trailer.
Both were being booked into the Polk County jail, according to Sheriff Grady Judd.
Mulberry's mayor, along with area elected officials, a sheriff's deputy and several Polk County residents, have talked about the need to express love and tolerance for all faiths on 11 September.
Jones is the pastor of a small evangelical Christian church who first gained attention in 2010 when he planned to burn a Qur'an on the anniversary of 9/11, although he eventually called it off.
His congregation did burn the Muslim holy book in March 2011 and last year he promoted an anti-Muslim film. All three incidents sparked violence in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
The most violent protest happened after the 2011 Qur'an burning as hundreds of protesters stormed a UN compound in Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, killing seven foreigners, including four Nepalese guards.
Jones has repeatedly ignored pleas from the US military asking him not to stage his protests. Military officials say his actions put US and western troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere in danger.
Mulberry is a town of about 3,000 between Orlando and Tampa and has no connection to Jones's church.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Video: No One Can Protect Muslims Better Than This Government – Mahinda Rajapaksa - it is a Big Joke

Paying lip service to religious harmony, even as violent mobs yesterday attacked a Pentacostal church close to the capital Colombo, President Mahinda Rajapaksa told a group of Muslims at President’s House in Kandy yesterday that Muslims who value and respect the country’s ancient history, culture, sovereignty and unity could never be misled by various conspirators for petty political gains.
The President claimed that as a “good Buddhist who worships three times a day”, he respects all religions and takes every measure to protect and safeguard the rights of everyone. The President claims there was an attempt to put a wedge between the Government and the Muslim community.
The President said that under his regime, Muslim religious observances were broadcast on state radio five times a day. He declined to note that the broadcasts were paid for by Muslim organisations.
“No one can protect Muslims better than this Government,” he claimed.
To read the list of places of worship attacked in the recent past click here

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Ponder Over the Quran - Mufti Menk (Quran Weekly)

101 East - Freedom From Hate

Allah Is The Greatest ᴴᴰ - [Powerful Spoken Word Reminder]

Concerns over Gota’s speech

Concerns over Gota’s speech

September 5, 2013
Muslims have raised concerns over the comments made by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa where he had said that the government was on alert over attempts to spread Muslim extremism in Sri Lanka.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCSL) said that the Muslim community has without any hesitation stood by the Sri Lankan State throughout the 30 year conflict and has never resorted to any form of armed resistance.
MCSL said that the extremist elements that have been propagating hatred against the minority communities have taken Rajapaksa’s statement as an endorsement of the State’s approval of their stand on extremism amongst the Muslim community.
“We wish to bring to your kind attention that there exists no form of armed or other forms of extremism amongst the Muslim community. Your concerns about extremists using Sri Lanka as a transit point may be valid, but we would like to assure you that the Muslim community would never allow extremists from other countries to operate under cover of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka,” MCSL said.
It also said that intelligence units under the Defence Secretary’s command have performed remarkably well during and after the war to ensure that Sri Lanka continues to maintain the hard earned peace.
“We welcome any investigation by the law enforcement agencies and take appropriate action against any persons who may violate the laws of the land or support any form of armed extremism irrespective of their religious beliefs. We would like to assure you of the Muslim community’s unstinted commitment to the peace and prosperity of our beloved motherland and would greatly appreciate your kind clarification of your statement,” MCSL said.
Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa told a Defence Seminar in Colombo on Tuesday that intelligence agencies and the police have been alerted over the concerns.
He said that it is known that some Muslim extremist elements attempt to use Sri Lanka as a transit country and there are fears that in that attempt they may spread their ideology in Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Rajapaksa Fmaily Government Controls

The MWL Condemns the Continuation of Violence against Muslims in Myanmar

Muslim World Leage Logo
The Muslim World League (MWL) expressed the agony and condemnation of Muslims all over the world against the grisly campaigns of violence and oppression against the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, and denounced the expansion of such campaigns as they have encompassed Muslims living in other regions including Meiktila and Arakan.
The statement issued by the MWL explained that it is closely following the tragedies suffered by Muslims in Myanmar where hundreds have been killed, thousands have been imprisoned and more than a hundred thousand have been displaced.
The statement emphasized that the MWL which represents the Muslim nations and minorities all over the world condemns the passive approach of the Myanmarese government in stopping the campaigns of racial and religious discrimination, which induced the extremists to continue their attacks against the defenseless Muslims and displace them and destroy their possessions and it also let to the spreading of violence.
The MWL Secretary-General said that the protection of Muslims in Myanmar is the responsibility of the Myanmarese government, as they are citizens of the country and it ought to stop the injustice and the campaigns waged by the extremists against them as well as treating them with equality like any other Myanmarese citizen.   
The statement assured the continuation of support to the Muslims of Myanmar by the Muslim nations, and called the international community and its organizations, especially the United Nations and human rights organizations to fulfill their responsibilities of protecting the Muslims of Myanmar, granting them full citizenship rights, bringing back the displaced to their cities and villages and protecting their lives and possessions.  
The MWL called on the governments of Muslim countries and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to monitor the situation of Muslims in Myanmar and to pursuit its government to end the campaigns of violence against Muslims. It also called on the nations and Islamic organizations to cooperate with the governments of Muslim countries in aiding the Muslims of Myanmar.
The MWL extended its thanks to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and its Secretary-General Dr. Akmaluddin Ihsan Oghlo for their continuous efforts to end the violence in Myanmar. 
Writted in Makkah - 2013-05-26

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Gota’s Statement On Muslim Extremism Is An ‘Important Victory’ – BBS

The Bodu Bala Sena Executive Committee that met yesterday hailed remarks made by Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksaat a Defence Seminar about the threat to Sri Lanka from rising Muslim Extremism as a courageous statement from a national leader and said it was an ‘important victory’ for the BBS in its year long ideological battle.
Gotabaya and BBS monks
It is the Bodu Bala Sena movement’s view that the MOD Secretary’s revelation would effectively answer detractors and pseudo politicians who called the organisation a terrorist movement for expressing the very same sentiments, the BBS said in a media release.
“If the LTTE extremism had been identified 40 years ago Sri Lanka could have been a developed country, that would not have had to endure the dangerous results of a 30 year war,” the Bodu Bala Sena said.
It is the nation’s good fortune that Muslim extremism has been identified and exposed now before it could result in similar devastating consequences in 20 years time, the BBS asserted.
“At a time when expressing the truth is not part of the conduct of the politician and official, at a time when people work for temporary gain, the Bodu Bala Sena believes that the gratitude and respect of all non-extremist sections of the Sinhala, Muslim and Tamil communities is due to Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who has eschewed petty political gain and had the backbone to make such a statement,” the BBS said in a statement released to the media.
“The Bodu Bala Sena asserts that this statement will be the stepping stone to a leadership that will defeat Muslim and all other types of extremism and make Sri Lanka a peaceful country,” the organisation said.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

UN 'S Navi Piallai Presse Conference

“…superficial unity, which is the result of the denial or the sacrifice of differences”. - Tagore (The One Nationalist Party) 
The regime reverted to business-as-usual literally on the day Navi Pillay left Sri Lanka.
The first salvo of lies against the UN High Commissioner Human Rights was fired, predictably, by the state-owned Sunday Observer: “UNHRC chief Navi Pillay’s request to pay a floral tribute during her recent visit to the North had been rejected by the government. Informed sources said that Pillay had initially informed of her desire to offer a floral tribute to the late LTTE terrorist leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran at a location in the North. However the Government had turned down Pillay’s request”[i].
The regime’s lie is characteristically inane, and obscenely so, given Ms. Pillay’s unequivocal criticism of the Tigers: “The LTTE was a murderous organisation that committed numerous crimes and destroyed many lives“. As Ms. Pillay explained,  ”…when I go to a country, I like to honour the victims, all victims, victims of LTTE, soldiers, families…. I have done this, for instance, in Moscow, done this in Guatemala…. I thought that I could do it here….”[ii]
Protest outside the UN office in Colombo the day after by Buddhist monks who oppose Pillay’s visit – Photo AFP’s Ishara Kodikara/ Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Sri Lanka Facebook page
Not only did the regime prevent this humane gesture of reconciliation by threatening to cancel the entire Mullativu segment of Ms. Pillay’s visit; it concocted a tissue of lies about and around her request, just hours after the UNHRC Chief left the island.
In an interview given to the Foreign Editor of ‘The Australian’, Greg Sheridan[iii], President Mahinda Rajapaksalamented, “I must admit we lost the propaganda battle. I must admit we lost that badly”[iv]. The Sunday Observer’s blatantly apocryphal tale about Ms. Pillay wanting to pay a floral tribute to Vellupillai Pirapaharan is an excellent indication of why the regime lost the ‘propaganda battle’ and ‘badly’ – and will continue to do so.
Ms Pillay is a South African Tamil of Indian origin. As she herself pointed out, she considers herself a South African and not a Tamil. She was a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle. The first non-white woman to set up a legal practice in apartheid South Africa, she defended anti-apartheid activists, exposed the repressive deeds of the White Supremacist rulers and fought for the rights of the political prisoners in Robben Island (she advocated for Nelson Mandela). She was nominated by Nelson Mandela as a judge of the South African High Court at the end of the Apartheid era[v].
Regarding Ms Pillay as a Tamil is as ludicrously irrational as regarding Barack Obama as a Kenyan.
The Rajapaksas fail to accept or even perceive this reality for the same reason America’s ‘Birthers’ regard Mr. Obama as a non-American – racism. In Rajapaksa eyes anyone of Tamil origin anywhere in the world is nothing but a Tamil and, therefore, a real/potential Tigers. The Siblings fought the Fourth Eelam War – and are building peace – on the basis of this perniciously and dangerously erroneous belief.
The regime’s perception of Navi Pillay as a Tamil and therefore a Tiger is indicative of why a lasting peace and a genuine reconciliation will evadeSri Lankaso long as the Rajapaksas rule
A Divisive Peace
Around the time a mob of Sinhala-Buddhist thugs attacked the Grandpass mosque, a temple in Jaffna also came under attack. The name of this temple, set up by a Sinhala-Buddhist supremacist organisation under the patronage of the military, is symbolic of everything that is wrong in the Rajapaksa approach to peace – Sihalaramaya.
Sihalaramaya was reportedly a brainchild of Rev. Magalkande Sudantha Thero, the Convenor of the Sinhala Ravaya. This monk has been associated with a number of violently intolerant deeds, including the recent burning of a meat shop in Tangalle[vi]. According to an article in the Irida Divaina (of August 18th 2013, by Dinasena Ratugamage and appropriately captioned ‘Inane Piety which creates Religious Wars’), Sinhala Ravaya has ‘resettled’ several Sinhala-Buddhist families in Navakkuli, Jaffna. The temple was built allegedly for these resettled families. At the time of the attack there was only one monk in the temple.
Sihalaramaya is one of the many temples built in the North, post-war. In the absence of a civilian population of Buddhists to provide for their needs, these temples and the few monks residing in them become totally dependent on the military for everything. This dependent relationship would cause the temples to be perceived by many a Tamil as yet another alien institution managed by the military, a symbol of an oppressive and unjust status quo.
As the writer very correctly points out, building temples in areas devoid of civilian Buddhists is not a recipe for peace but one for a new religious conflict.
No one could have ‘resettled’ Sinhala-Buddhist families and built a temple in the North without Rajapaksa blessing. The Sinhala Ravaya would have received the go ahead for this divisive move because it accords perfectly with the Rajapaksa idea of peace and nation-building.
In a post-civil war/insurgency situation, political leaders can opt to build national cohesion either through inclusive or exclusionary means. The inclusive way involves political and socio-economic reforms which create a sense of belonging in the hitherto marginalised/alienated segments. The exclusionary way is to focus on the identity of the dominant group (ethnic/religious/class/caste) and to create a cohesiveness based not on a balanced commonality of interest but on the fear of the ‘Alien Other’.
It is the second – exclusionary way – the Rajapaksas have opted for. The Lankan nation the Rajapaksas talk about is no more real than the LTTE’s ‘Tamil speaking people’. That wholly imaginary concept was based on the subsuming of Muslim identity and the denial – and indeed criminalisation – of Muslim interests. It led to not to Tamil-Muslim harmony but to Tamil-Muslim enmity. Similarly the Lankan nation advocated by the Rajapaksas will cause not ethnic reconciliation but new, and deadlier, faultlines in an already fissured land.
Imagine what would have happened in the post-Insurgency South, if the Premadasa administration believed the power hunger of the JVP to be the sole cause of the insurgency, refused to admit the existence of any systemic errors or injustices, discounted the need for radical reforms and opted for a policy of achieving systemic stability via extraordinary security measures, leavened by a modicum of physical infrastructural development[vii].
What if the government suspected every Sinhala youth from subaltern castes of harbouring anti-systemic yearnings and treated them as real/potential subversives to be either punished/kept under surveillance?  What if those villages in the Deep Southwhich were once under de facto JVP control were turned into garrisoned territory? What if President Premadasa did not believe that an ‘unjust system’ produced the JVP, and consequently, refused to implement ‘a whole package of policies’ to ‘radically’ change the status quo?[viii]
South would have become increasingly militarised. There may have been stability for a while, but this superficial quietitude would have been bought at an increasingly unaffordable price, both financial and socio-political.
The refusal to allow even the UNHRC Chief to mourn all the war-dead, the existence of a temple called Sihalaramaya in Jaffna and the assault on it by an unknown entity indicate why under Rajapaksa rule hatred will not die and violence will proliferate.

[iii] As stated at the end of the piece, Mr. Sheridan was in Sri Lanka as the guest of the Rajapaksa administration. In choosing Mr. Sheridan for this role, the regime acted cleverly. Mr. Sheridan is known for his reactionary stances; he supported Suharto, opposed Obama at the 2008 election and believes that history will judge George W Bush to be a great leader.
[vii] “Let us look at the events of ’88-’89. What we saw in Sri Lanka was an attempted revolution backed up by an incredible and unparalleled brutality and a counterrevolution of almost equal ferocity… But while we deplore the violence, there is no point in being moralistic and judgemental, of one side or the other. Rather, it is for us the living to understand the causes, the underlying causes, and work towards their removal. It is not for us to point fingers or to score cheap debating points. Rather it is for us see that we pull together to eliminate for all time the roots – the political, the social, the economic, the cultural and indeed the spiritual roots – that brought forth the terror. Let us not forget that the dead and the living have been alike, often helpless victims of forces far beyond their capacity to control” (Ranasinghe Premadasa – A Charter for Democracy).
[viii] “This package of policies is aimed at confronting poverty and alienation directly. We cannot wait for the benefits of growth to trickle down. The Janasaviya programme is one of our main instruments for this purpose… We are planning to implement the majority of recommendations of the Youth Commission Report…. We have decided to implement 43 of the 51 recommendations straightaway. We are also breaking down the barriers between the administration and the people through our policy of Presidential Mobile Service…” (ibid).