mannar mosquePresident Sirisena’s gazette notification to declare lands occupied by the IDP Muslims in the Mannar District on the pretext of widening the perimeter of the Wilpattu National Park and protecting the environment should be viewed not simplistically as an anti-Muslim measure but more than that it should be considered in the overall context of policies embedded in the ruling neo-liberal economic paradigm. In this light the battle for revoking that notification should be fought not only by the victims of the President’s decision alone but by the general public.

MeetotamullaMeethotamulla Garbage Dump Collapse which sadly happened when the nation was celebrating the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, was not just a disaster for the people of the area , but one where the stench was felt far beyond its’ boundaries. For, it was yet another disaster which could have been avoided if the successive governments have seriously given an ear to the anguish and agony of those who have been continuously suffering in these hazardous environs. They say only a sleeping man can be awakened; not one who feigns sleep.

Hilmy AhamedThe Gazette Notification issued on the 24th of March 2017 declared four forest areas North of the Wilpattu sanctuary as reserves, caging the Muslim Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) returning to their homes in Musali after languishing in makeshift camps for over 25 years. President Maithripala Sirisena's hurriedly signed controversial gazette on Wilpattu, inked at the Sri Lankan Embassy in cold Moscow while on an official tour, has generated so much heat that the President is claiming a conspiracy against him. He also claims that it is intended to mislead the Muslims.

jurang cbk1Former President Chandrika Kumaratunga emphasised the need to ensure minorities the rihts and privileges enjoyed by the mahority community to bring about reconciliation  and move the country ahead for the benefit of all.  

Addressing a recent reception to   Bambalapitiya Muslim Ladies College retired Principal Mrs. Faleela.B. Jurangpathy, Mrs. Kumaratunga added that Sinhalese,Tamils  and Muslims jointly fought for independence.

muslim wifeIn Sri Lanka, though many people believe the minimum age of marriage is 12, the reality is worse. In fact there is no minimum age of marriage for Sri Lankan Muslim girls! Currently there is a discussion on raising it to 18 to be on par with the rest of the country. This proposal has met with stubborn resistance from the clergy body the All Ceylon  Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) which appears to have appointed itself as the sole authority to declare, the yea or nay decision with regard to this and other reforms pertaining to the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act.