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Archive for August 2009

SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem’s reply to Eastern Province Governor’s Statement on resettlement of Muslim familie

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Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Rauff Hakeem MP wishes to clarify the true situation with regard to the resettlement of Muslim families in Upparu village, Verugal, Trincomalee district.

The denial of the Governor is unfounded because eighty families were taken to and resettled in Upparu, Verugal on August 13 by Minister Najeeb A Majeed, the Divisional Secretary for Verugal in Eechchalampattu and a local Hindu priest. This was reported in the media with photos in which the Minister and others are appearing. We believe the “Governor was not given the true picture on this resettlement by certain arrogant and high handed government officials. When I raised the question of their eviction on August 18 after resettlement, Minister Najeeb told me of the efforts he made to resettle them and said the problem would be sorted out soon.

We possess documentary evidence to establish that the families had lived in Upparu for generations. They are in possession of copies of complaints lodged with the police on their forcible eviction in 1990, ICs issued by the security forces. There are records in the seruwila Divisional secretariat, Serunuwara about their domicile in the village which earlier came under the Seruwila Division.

We are also in possession of copy of a letter the Divisional Secretary Seruwila (Serunuwara) wrote on 15/10/2008 to the District Secretary Maj. Gen. T. T. Ranjith De Silva requesting permission for these families to cultivate their lands abandoned after 1987 and the Dist. Secretary had endorsed it with a comment that they be allowed if they possessed the deeds/permits. Consequently, the Divisional secretary had made a minute to the Commanding Officer, Thoppur that the families then living in Selvanagar would have to be resettled in their original village Upparu on 01/11/2008.

We understand that the village has been brought under the Administration of the Verugal Divisional Secretariat, Eechchilampattu. The then SLMC Parliamentarian for Trincomalee M. S. Thowfeek had protested against the decision to bring the Upparu village under proposed Verugal Pradesheya Sabha and insisted that consent of the people of the village should be obtained beforehand. He expressed his protest at the Trincomalee Kachcheri before a special Commission that was to submit a report on creating a new Divisional Secretariat.

We are also in possession of memos issued by the assistant Land Commissioner Trincomalee nominating chairmen for –lands of those who had died in Upparu Grama Sevaka Division.

On August 17-18 the resettled families were chased away without even being allowed to eat the meals they had cooked and their makeshift huts were demolished by the police on a complaint made by the Divisional secretary stating that they did not belong to the village. The inhuman and atrocious displacement of the families just a few days after their resettlement has once again reduced them to the state of helpless IDPs.

These, we believe, are authentic documents to establish the fact that they are original settlers of Upparu village and not encroachers as claimed by the misinformed Eastern Province Governor. The villagers are in possession of more documents to prove their claim.

We request the Government to take  immediate steps to remedy the injustice done to these innocent families and to counter allegations that organized efforts are underway to change the demographic composition of the eastern province.

The Island

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August 31, 2009 at 6:27 am

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“Convert Military Victories & Political Changes for a Meaningful Freedom” – President Rajapaksa

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Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa called on the Muslim community to place trust in him as he is their friend and relative said while addressing a highly attended National Congress Party meeting which was held in Akkaraipattu on last Saturday.

Akkarei -photo[1].jpg

President Rajapaksa stressed that the East is cleared from the LTTE and a Provincial Council for the province was set up for easy administration process and now, the time has come to convert those military victories and political changes for a meaningful freedom.

He, speaking in Tamil for a while, said that a background has been created to forget political rivalries. Further, he added that ineffective institutions and misinformation should not be allowed to drive innocent people for disasters reiterating that the word minorities is no more in the vocabulary and it should not be given a least chance for ethnicity issues reins the politics of the country.

National Congress Leader Minister A.L.M. Athaulla addressing in the public meeting said that the pledges given by the President before the Presidential election have now been almost fulfilled.

He further said that massive developments projects are under way to make their lifestyles easy. The National Congress Leader also presented a memento to the President on behalf of the Eastern fraternity for liberating the country from terrorism.

Social Service and Social Welfare Minister Douglas Devananda and Labour Minister Mervyn Silva and Eastern Province Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan and several other politicians were also among those present on the occasion.

Akkaraipattu is in the Ampara district and located along the eastern coast of the Island.

– Asian Tribune –

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August 31, 2009 at 6:07 am

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Tamil-speaking Muslims demands Deputy Mayorship of Jaffna

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The All Ceylon Muslim Congress which contested the last Jaffna Municipal election, as one of the constituent parties of the ruling United Peoples Freedom Alliance, demands the Deputy Mayor slot to one of their candidates.

Jaffna Municipal election, held on last 8th August, UPFA won 13 seats and out of those, 4 seats belong to All Ceylon Muslim Congress.

Speaking to Asian Tribune, Y.L.S. Hameed , Secretary General of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress said as Tamil speaking Muslims, the Deputy Mayor position has to be allotted to us. He said that they were only allotted with 4 candidates to contest in the Municipal election and all their candidates won handsomely.

He added that there were earlier numerous instances where Muslims were Mayor as well as Deputy Mayors of the Jaffna Municipality.

He said, in fact if the Tamils wish to embrace the Tamil speaking Muslims, then they have to seriously consider our genuine aspiration.

It was in 1990 October, Muslims of the Jaffna were driven out of the district on the diktat of terrorists’ leader Prabhakaran. A total of more than 100,000 Muslims were driven out of the Northern Province and all of us are still languishing as refugees in the Puttalam districts, Hameed said.

Hameed further emphasized that majority of the Muslims were earlier resident in the Jaffna Municipal area.

“We had our own Muslim Maha Vidyalaya, mosques and other Muslim cultural centers within the Jaffna Municipal limits. Therefore, we Muslims have to return with honor and dignity. This will be only possible in case the Tamils of Jaffna come forward to offer the Muslims the position of the deputy mayor and display friendship and brotherly affections towards the Muslims, Hameed pointed out.

Secretary General of the All Ceylon Muslim Congress told Asian Tribune that already they have made representation regarding the position of the Deputy Mayor with the EPDP leader Minister Douglas Devananda, Sri Lanka President’s Senior Advisor Basil Rajapaksa MP and also to Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and awaiting for their responses.

– Asian Tribune –

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August 31, 2009 at 6:02 am

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Arab tourists visiting Sri Lanka in numbers

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A surge in tourist traffic from the oil rich Arabian countries has offered new hope of opening up  a relatively non-traditional yet lucrative front of high spending visitors to boost Sri Lanka’s battered hospitality industry.

The restoration of peace in the country has seen the volume of tourists from countries in the Middle East grow steadily as the war with the now defunct LTTE had largely kept away these affluent travelers from that part of the globe, a senior industry official said last week.

“Yes, we had scores of Arabs visiting Sri Lanka over the past few weeks”, says Tourism Ministry Secretary George Michael.

These visitors came from many Gulf States, including Dubai and Iran, he noted. “These were the high spending segment of tourists”.

Asked whether he could offer a figure on arrivals, Michael said the number of Arabian visitors was considerable, but the statistics are still being worked out.

“We have already had an encouraging response from the Middle East”, he pointed out. “This goes a long way to give an impetus to the tourism industry”

The Arabs had fanned out visiting many places of interest in various parts of Sri Lanka. As high-spenders they found accommodation in some of the best hotels”.

“Sure, we had a full house with large groups of Arabian tourists descending on Nuwara Eliya”, said Palaka Perera, the General Manager of the legendary Grand Hotel.

These visitors spend more on life and living as they travel with their families and seek the best of comforts, he pointed out. “We should develop the Middle East market as they are high spenders”.

The Arabs made a bee-line to salubrious climes in the central highlands at a time Nuwara Eliya was in full swing with the ongoing “mini season”, which coincides with the August school vacation.

All the key hotels got their fair share as the scores of Arabian tourists needed to be comfortably accommodated, the Grand Hotel GM said. “So, it was beneficial all around”.

The visitors from the Middle East enjoyed the cold weather so much that they were seen stretching out on the lawn and didn’t budge even when there was a thin drizzle, another hotelier said.

“It was interesting to see the women seated under umbrellas beside the men enjoying the cold weather and the rain”, he said.

With scores of local merry-makers also streaming in to have fun, this fascinating tourist destination in the hills, aptly dubbed “Little England”, saw record crowds, he noted. “It was a welcome change”.

The Island

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August 30, 2009 at 7:44 am

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Trinco district Muslim IDPs in quandary

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Muslim refugees who went on a fact finding mission  to their deserted village called Uppooral at Eachchilampattai DS division in Trincomalee district were chased out by natives of this area  with the connivance of officials of the Divisional Secretariat. These Muslim refugees have been living in Uppooral, since 1888 and some of them have land title deeds dated 1933.

According to another source, 81 Muslim refugee families were taken on 13th of this month to be resettled in their original village Uppooral which they abandoned two decades back due  to terrorism. This move was facilitated by Minister of Co-operatives and MP for Trinco Mr. Najeeb A Majeed. However, this resettlement program was not properly coordinated by civil and defense authorities. As a result the returned refugees were asked to return to their refugee camps.

The disappointed refugees were assured that they would be resettled soon with properly coordinated resettlement plan. SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem also criticized the manner in which this resettlement was handled at a press conference held in Colombo.

“It is clear from this issue that there are Muslim refugees awaiting resettlement not only in North for the last 19 years but also in the East. Forcibly evicted Muslims from the North and the Muslims IDPs in the East need equal attention by the govt. All attention is focused on recent IDPs in Vanni. It is high time all refugees are treated equally”, lamented a dejected refugee.


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August 29, 2009 at 9:10 am

Posted in Muslim news

Eastern Governor responds to Hakeem’s allegations

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Eastern Province Governor Mohan Wijewickrema responding to allegations made by SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem at a press conference recently that 70 displaced Muslim families who had been resettled in Verugal had been chased out, said  a misrepresentation of facts had occurred.

The response stated:

a) As reported no families referred in your News Papers were resettled in the Verugal DS Division by the Divisional Secretary or by any person from the District Administration.

b) None of the Divisional Secretary, District Secretary or the Ministry of Re-Settlement has approved the re-settlement of the said families in Verugal DS Division as yet.

c) The said families who had come to settle without ‘proper approval were living in Selvanagar and Thoppur villages in the Serunuwara and Muthur DS Divisions respectively in the  Trincomalee District. It is not correct to conclude that these families had become helpless without a place to live when they were not permitted to settle in Verugal.

d) The Muslim families referred however claim that they have been residing in the referred area before they were displaced. This matter is being further investigated by the District Administration and by a Parliament Advisory Committee which has been set up for this purpose.

After the liberation of the Eastern Province, approximately over two hundred thousand (200,000) Internally Displaced Persons were resettled in their own lands. There had been few instances of some people trying to illegally encroach in the guise of resettled people. District Secretaries and Division Secretaries with the  assistance of the Police have taken necessary action to evict such persons whenever such instances were found. In a Province which have the three Major Communities living side by side, land has become a very sensitive issue and arbitrary resettlement such as the one which has been referred in Verugal cannot be permitted without satisfying all criteria required for eligibility for resettlement.

When re-settling of displaced  persons in the east, the authorities do not act as per the race or religion only by their status as Internally Displaced Persons.

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August 29, 2009 at 9:03 am

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Techno 2009’ National Engineering and Technology exhibition at BMICH

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Techno 2009’ exhibition, one of the foremost exhibitions in the field of Engineering and Technology will be held from October 9-11 at the BMICH.

This exhibition is organized by The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka for the 24th consecutive year.
This exhibition will showcase multi-faceted talents and skills in the fields of engineering.

Exhibition will comprise the IESL Engineering Pavilion, a robot competition organized by the IESL’s IT Sectional Committee, and others.

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August 28, 2009 at 10:56 am

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Construction of “Emirates Village” nears completion

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The “Emirates Village” being constructed in the Athnawala area in Warakapola is in its final phase said Minister of Labour and Manpower Athauda Senivirathne.

The village which consists of all facilities will be declared open within the next two months. The Minister said this addressing the media after a visit to the construction site yesterday (27).

The financial support for the construction of the village was provided by the Red Crescent Society of the Government of United Arab Emirates (UAE) on a request made by the Minister. Accordingly financial aid amounting in to Rs 300 lakhs to put up 100 houses  was granted by the society. The people who do not have a proper shelter in the area will benefit with the completion of the project said the Minister.

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August 28, 2009 at 10:52 am

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Southern Province polls to be held on October 10

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The Southern Provincial Council elections will be held on October 10th.

The Department of Elections announced  that ten political parties and five Independent groups handed in their nominations for the Southern Provincial Council elections yesterday.

Nominations were accepted at the Galle, Matara and Hambantota District Secretaries Offices.

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August 28, 2009 at 10:49 am

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Depositors question role of Muslim clerics

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A politician  and some Islamic clerics are being accused of having an indirect hand in the mismanagement of a deposit taking financial institution based on Shariah Law where depositors with investments over Rs. 800 million are now being given the cold shoulder by their religious leaders.

Some members of the All Ceylon Jamiath ul Ulama (ACJU), the governing body of Islam in Sri Lanka, are being accused of obtaining loans from Ceylinco Profit Sharing Investment Corporation Ltd, now facing a liquidity crisis, and not paying them back while serving in the company’s Shariah Board.

These members are also accused of approving loans to companies and individuals upon the request of a Muslim Politician in the East without collateral or security.

Depositors accused these members of the ACJU of promoting the Islamic Financial concept in other financial institutions while ignoring the plight faced by depositors of Ceylinco Profit Sharing.

Ceylinco Profit Sharing was incorporated in 1982 and is a part of troubled conglomerate Ceylinco Consolidated. Its core business of accepting deposits and granting loans was governed under the concepts of Islamic Shariah Law.

The ACJU had nominated some of its members to the Shariah Board of Ceylinco Profit Sharing.

Depositors of Ceylinco Profit Sharing said they have not received their profit shares nor have they been able to withdraw their deposits since February of this year.

“Currently there are over 11,000 depositors with investments amounting to over Rs. 800 million,” an action committee of depositors of Ceylinco Profit Sharing said.

These depositors alleged that despite frequent assurances from the management nothing has happened to date.

Depositors have written to the ACJU requesting them to actively participate in finding a solution to the liquidity crisis faced by Ceylinco Profit Sharing but with no response.

“Unfortunately, the ACJU and their members are shying away from depositors and are now busy in promoting the Islamic Financial concept in other institutions,” Mumtaz M. Rahman, President of the depositors’ committee said.

Depositors also alleged that some members of the ACJU in the Shariah Board had obtained loans from Ceylinco Profit Sharing while serving on the board.

“This has led depositors to wonder as to how they could carry out their duties with dignity and independence. It has been revealed that some of the ACJU members had never repaid their loans and that one of them is a well known Moulavi (cleric) often seen and heard in the electronic media,” Rahman said in a letter to the press.

Depositors also said that loans had been channelled through the Shariah Board of Ceylinco Profit Sharing and given to companies and individuals without any collateral or security upon the personal request of a Muslim Politician from the Eastern Province.

“Depositors are of the opinion that apart from mismanagement that may have taken place in the company, the ACJU is also to be blamed and should take responsibility for the present crisis as they openly promoted the company,” Rahman said.

The depositors’ committee pointed out that many of the deposits had been used to invest in other companies of the Ceylinco group.

Audits have also not been done, depositors allege, with the last available audit report of the financial year 2003/04 issued in June of this year! it said.

Depositors said the company does not have money for its day-to-day expenses.

The Island

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August 28, 2009 at 6:16 am

Posted in Articles, Muslim news

Three killed in Maligawatte this morning

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three young men were killed one of them  identified as ‘Faji’ was killed together with two others following a shoot-out with police in Maligawatte this morning. Police said that the shooting occurred when they surrounded the residence of the criminal. Several weapons were recovered following the incident.

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August 28, 2009 at 5:42 am

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Passikudah to be promoted as a Tourist Zone

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The Tourism Promotion Bureau has launched a programme to develop attractive places in the country as tourism zones.

Under the new programme Passikudah area in Trincomalee will be developed.

Accordingly several new tourist hotels will be constructed in the area.

Government has allocated a land extent of 100 acres for this purpose. Several investors have already come forward to start hotel projects.

Nearly 700 rooms will be constructed in these hotels. A branch of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and a Tourist Police station will also be set up in the area.

In addition a model tourist village is to be set up in Induruwa area.

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August 27, 2009 at 5:16 am

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overnment pays attention on complaints received against Police

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President  Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed Inspector General of Police  Jayantha Wickramaratne to act swiftly to take necessary steps to investigate complaints made by public against the Police Department.

Minister of Media Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena addressing the Media today said that there are 170 complaints of indictment against Police.

Minister said that stern action will be taken against those police officers who are engaged in these malpractices.
Government is not trying to avoid the erroneous acts and behavior of the police. Independent investigations are being conducted over the brutal killing of two youth in Angulana and alleged assault on student in Malabe Campus of the  SLIIT.

According to the 2008 Annual report of National police Commission, Commission has received 1380 complaints against police for their various unlawful acts.

Commission has received 448 complaints against police as police has not acted to investigate the complaints made by public.

318 complaints have been received on the charges of misusing the Police power. Reports states that 177 complaints have been received accusing the police officers’ biased and partial activities.

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August 27, 2009 at 5:13 am

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“Muslims should be treated as equal” – A.M.Naoshaad MP

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“President states that Sri Lanka is one nation and all Sri Lankans are equal and there are no minorities. If that is so, the Muslim community also should be equal to other communities and they should not be discriminated. This is the fair aspiration of the Muslims” said Hon. A.M. Naoshaad MP speaking at an event organized by Dr. N.M.  Perera’s trust fund in Colombo recently.

Speaking further Mr. Naoshaad said that the Muslim community was discriminated by the national majority and hunted by the regional majority. This is the history since Independence. When the North and East were merged, they were made minorities. In the 2000 draft Constitution President Chandrika Bandaranaika Kumararunga recognized Sri Lanka as a nation with plural societies. Unfortunately, it was burnt in Parliament while late Leader Ashraff was talking on that debate in Parliament. When the CFA was signed the Muslims were treated as a group. A solution must be found to satisfy the aspirations of all communities in the line of President’s formula that all communities are equal.

APRC Chairman and Minister Tissa Vitharana, Dr. Ravindrakumar and Dr. Geetha Pongalan of Colombo University, PLOTE Leader Dharmalingam Siddharthan and Attorney at Law MR. K.Neelakandan also participated at this event


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August 26, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Muslim news

Registering of Displaced Muslim from Verugal started

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The registering of Muslims displaced from Verugal – Uppural started from yesterday. The Seruvila Police said they were accepting the complaints from yesterday.

81 Muslim families living in Uppural during the period 1988 – 1989 were forced out by the LTTE and were living as IDPs for the last 21 years. They had returned to their native  places on last 13th and are now involved in clearing their lands and making small houses for them.

Meanwhile the divisional secretary said that he would do all the necessary assistance to the displaced Muslim with the Tamils of the area.

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August 26, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Posted in Muslim news, News

Ban likely on Sunday tuition classes in Sabaragamuwa Province

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Governor of Sabaragamuwa Province Janaka Priyantha Bandara has said that he would pass  regulations within the next two months to ban tuition classes on Sundays and on full moon poya days in the Sabaragamuwa Province. The proposed regulation has already been discussed.

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August 26, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Posted in Common, News

H.E.President Mahinda Rajapaksa bidswell call on Ambassador of the Egypt

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H.E. the President Mahinda Rajapaksa bidswell call on Ambassador of the Egypt Mrs. Gehan  Amin at Tempal Trees on 25th of Augest 2009.

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August 25, 2009 at 8:32 am

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Muslim youth of Puttalam arrested on suspicion of helping LTTE

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Wannaththivillu Police in Puttam arrested a Muslim youth Mohamed Saleem last Saturday, on suspicion that he had helped the LTTE.

He was arrested on charges of providing information to the LTTE during the past and detained at the Wannathivillu Police Station at present.

He is accused of being supplied the maps of Vilpattu and Wannathivillu to the LTTE.

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August 25, 2009 at 8:26 am

Posted in Muslim news

Mother seeks pardon for death-row maid

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A Sri Lankan woman is here to seek a pardon for her daughter who has been sentenced to death in connection with the murder of an elderly Saudi woman.

“I am here to perform Umrah and also plead with the Sri Lankan Consulate to use its good offices and save my only daughter from being beheaded,” a sobbing Rukiamma, 51, told Arab News on Sunday.

With tears flowing down her cheeks, Rukiamma, who hails from Thirugunamale, an eight-hour drive from capital Colombo, said she had already spent 20 days of her monthlong Umrah visa to meet with her daughter twice.

“I asked my daughter, Halima Lisa, who is 32, why did you have to do this? She cried saying ‘Save me, save me’. She regrets what has happened but wants me to try my best with the help of the consulate to save her,” said Rukiamma. “I met my daughter after 12 years.”

Rukiamma, who also has a son, worked as a housemaid in Riyadh for four years after she lost her husband in a road accident in Sri Lanka 10 years ago.

Halima worked as a housemaid with a Saudi family in Jeddah’s Al-Rawdah district. Nine years ago, she ganged up with six others, including her Indian husband Naushad with whom she has two children, to stage a break-in with the intention of robbing the villa of its valuables. Halima has two other children from her divorced husband back home.

Halima was found guilty of suffocating the Saudi woman in her 70s to death with her husband and another Sri Lankan by the name of K.M.S. Bandaranaike, while four others, all Sri Lankans, were engaged in the robbery.

All of them were caught and the General Court in Jeddah sentenced in 2004 three of them to death and the other four to five years imprisonment and 500 lashes.

The case was further referred to the Cassation Court in Makkah, which upheld the General Court’s judgment. The case was next referred to the Supreme Judicial Council in Riyadh, but to no avail, according to the records with the consulate.

Rukiamma’s visit is being funded by the Colombo-based Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment, according to Sri Lankan Consul General Abdul Latiff Mohamed Lafeer. “We have been pleading with the aggrieved Saudi family to pardon the housemaid on compassionate grounds. After all, this is the holy land and the land of forgiveness,” said Lafeer. He said considering the fact that Rukiamma was underprivileged the bureau chose to send her for Umrah and enable her to see her daughter, who has been languishing in jail.

The consul general recalled another case involving a Sri Lankan who had killed an Indian worker following a financial dispute. “A generous Saudi responded to our appeal and furnished the blood money, and the Sri Lankan’s life was saved,” said Lafeer.

Arab News

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August 24, 2009 at 8:27 am

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Sri Lankan names new envoy to Saudi Arabia

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The Sri Lankan government has nominated Ahmed Aflal Jawad as the new ambassador to Saudi Arabia, the island’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Bhaila told Arab News on Sunday.

“The Foreign Ministry has  nominated Director General for Economic Affairs Ahmed Aflal Jawad as the country’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia to the High Post Committee of Parliament for formal approval,” Bhaila said, adding that the new envoy would likely be approved and posted to Riyadh before the Haj in order to have an envoy in time to help Lankan pilgrims.

Last year, around 6,000 Sri Lankans performed Haj and this year the Colombo government has requested an increased quota of pilgrims.

Jawad succeeds Abdul Ageed Mohamed Marleen who died in his sleep on June 23 in a hotel room in Sanaa, Yemen, while attending a meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation.

Jawad joined the Sri Lankan foreign service in 1988 as deputy chief of protocol and subsequently served in Stockholm, Paris and Beijing as third secretary, first secretary and minister, respectively. In 2004, he became the island’s ambassador in Oslo. In 2007 he became the director general of economic affairs at the Foreign Ministry.

Courtesy-Arab news

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August 24, 2009 at 8:10 am

Posted in Muslim news, News

Iran donates 500 tents and 500 Mats

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The Iranian government has donated 500 tents and 500 mats for the urgent use of the displaced people in Vavuniya.

The  government of Iran has made this donation on the request of the Sri Lankan ambassador for Iran M. M. Suhair.

These tents and mats are expected to be sent from Iran to Colombo via a flight within the next few days.

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August 24, 2009 at 8:05 am

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What Muslims can expect from Obama ?

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In his own word:

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August 24, 2009 at 3:44 am

Posted in World News

President Obama’s Ramadan Message

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August 24, 2009 at 3:42 am

Posted in World News

Sri Lanka is second in CIMA competition

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Sri Lanka has secured the second place at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Global Business Challenge finals. The event was staged at the National University of Singapore. CIMA Global Business Challenge is an international competition.

It is designed to bring out the best in potential business leaders among young people. The teams presented a business case to an audience of CIMA delegates on a global stage.

The judging panel included prestigious experts. Reports said the quality of the finalists’ presentation in the regional heats around the world had been outstanding. They had displayed the innovation, business acumen and communication skills required of successful business leaders of the future.

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August 23, 2009 at 4:59 pm

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Sri Lanka offers Pakistan exclusive industrial zone

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Sri Lanka has offered an industrial zone exclusively for Pakistan in a bid to promote inward investment from South Asian and Middle East regions, a media report said.

The Sunday Times newspaper quoted visiting chief of a regional business chamber, Tariq Sayeed as saying the offer had been made by Sri Lanka’s industrial development minister Kumara Welgama.Sayeed head the SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry, a body set up after the formation of the South Asian Association of Regional Corporation, which is made up of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives and Sri Lanka.

The offer comes soon after a Chinese company was handed over an exclusive industrial estate by the island’s investment promotion agency.

The SAARC organization had been trying to promote regional trade which had been blocked by high tariff and non-tariff barriers after gaining independence from Britain.

Along with other Asian nations the South Asia suffered ‘foreign exchange shortages’ after sterling currency boards were broken and money printing central banks were set up.

This led to exchange controls, trade controls, import licensing and other restrictions on the freedoms of the billions of people in the region.

Many inefficient local business lobbies which produced poor quality goods, managed to corner captive domestic markets and sell overpriced goods to a population already made poor by high inflation by incompetent central banks.

Sayeed was quoted as saying that he will promote Pakistani firms to set up joint ventures in Sri Lanka and promote trade and investment links using the benefits of a South Asian Free Trade Arrangement (SAFTA).

Multilateral trade liberalization has however been slow in South Asia.

India has led trade liberalization in recent years, striking bi-lateral deals such as the Indo Lanka Free Trade Agreement. At one time Sri Lanka was a leader in economic liberalization but India and Maldives are now ahead.

Attempts to expand the deal into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement covering services have been stalled by rising protectionist power of some businesses that have strong political connections in Sri Lanka.

The Sunday Times said Sayeed wanted to remove non-tariff barriers to trade and liberalize trade in services to achieve intra-regional trade of 20 billion US dollars by 2010.


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August 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm

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