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Mahinda Rajapaksa on the right direction: Sri Lankas bid for observer status at Organisation Islamic Conference

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Masihudeen InamullahFormer Consul General of Sri lanka in Jeddah, KSA

President Mahinda Rajapakshe reported to have held meetings with Heads of Arab Muslim states at the sidelines of his recent visit to UN, among other matters of bilateral and multilateral interests President has expressed his nations intention in securing observer status at Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations which has membership of 57 states spread over four continents.

As a Muslim Diplomat who served in Jeddah, where the Head Quarters of the OIC is situated, I dispatched a detailed report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Year 2006 on the importance of seeking observer status at OIC for which I received no response from the Ministry until I completed my tour of duty in July 2007

By securing the observer status at the OIC it is no doubt that Sri lanka would enter into a new chapter in her External Affairs that had been ignored for decades due to lack of correct vision and strategy with regard to building up bonds with Arab Islamic nations except for import of petroleum and export of tea and un-skilled Manpower.

Sri lanka remained a friend of Islamic nations for decades by her solidarity with the People of the occupied Palestine and recognition of the State of Palestine and maintaining the diplomatic ties with it at the cost of her own interests at times.

Sri Lanka has been in the forefront in supporting the just cause of Palestinians President Mahinda Rajapakshe considered a close friend by the people of Palestine by Leadership of Sri Lankan Solidarity Movement with the people of Palestine for over last Three decades.

Throughout this period Mahinda Rajapaksa supported the activities of the committee. Thirty years of the Solidarity Committee coincided with Mahinda Rajapaksa taking the mantle of premiership. He hosted a party at Visumpaya to celebrate three decades of the fruitful services of the Solidarity Committee at Visumpaya. During this function which also marked the annual general meeting of the Solidarity Committee Labour Minister Athauda Seneviratne and former Information Minister Imtiaz Bakeer Markar were elected as co-presidents of the Solidarity Committee which continues to date.

Sri-Lankan Ministry of External Affairs has to concentrate on formulating a well-studied strategy as to how to develop friendly bonds with Islamic nations to safeguard her interests without indulging in complicated internal, regional and multinational disputes or struggles among Arab Muslim nations or allowing sectarian ideological and historical differences to engulf and influence the peace loving Muslim community in Sri Lanka.

Muslims of Sri lanka , represented in civil, academic, religious and political leaderships would no doubt unite in one voice to woe support for Sri lankas bid for observer status at the OIC.

The Organization is the collective voice of the Muslim world and ensuring to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world.

The Organization was established upon a decision of the historical summit which took place in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco on 25 September 1969 as a result of criminal arson of Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

In 1970 the first ever meeting of Islamic Conference of Foreign Minister (ICFM) was held in Jeddah which decided to establish a permanent secretariat in Jeddah headed by the organization’s secretary general. Prof Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is the 9th Secretary General who assumed the office in January 2005 after being elected by the 31st ICFM.

The Organization is composed of the following main bodies:

The Islamic Summit, composed of Kings and Heads of State and Government of Member States, is the supreme authority of the Organization. It convenes once every three years to deliberate, take policy decisions and provide guidance on all issues pertaining to the realization of the objectives and consider other issues of concern to the Member States and the Ummah.

The Council of Foreign Ministers, which meets once a year, considers the means for the implementation of the general policy of the Organization by, inter alia:

a. Adopting decisions and resolutions on matters of common interest in the implementation of the objectives and the general policy of the Organization;

b. Reviewing progress of the implementation of the decisions and resolutions adopted at the previous Summits and Councils of Foreign Ministers;

The General Secretariat, which is the executive organ of the Organization, entrusted with the implementation of the decisions of the two preceding bodies.

The Organization has consultative and cooperative relations with the UN and other inter-governmental organizations to protect the vital interests of the Muslims and to work for the settlement of conflicts and disputes involving Member States.

In safeguarding the true values of Islam and the Muslims, the organization has taken various steps to remove misperceptions and have strongly advocated elimination of discrimination against the Muslims in all forms and manifestations.

Any State, member of the United Nations, having Muslim majority and
abiding by the Charter, which submits an application for membership may
join the Organisation if approved by consensus only by the Council of Foreign Ministers on the basis of the agreed criteria.

Observer status

Decision on granting Observer status to a State, member of the United
Nations, will be taken by the Council of Foreign Ministers by consensus only and on the basis of the agreed criteria by the Council of Foreign Ministers.

Observers

1. United Nations (UN) joined in 1976
2. Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) 1977
3. League of Arab States (LAS) 1975
4. African Union (AU) 1977
5. The Russian Federation 2005
6. Kingdom of Thailand 1998

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB)

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB), a specialized institution of the OIC, is an international financing institution. . The Bank was formally inaugurated on 20 October, 1975

The purpose of the Bank is to foster the economic development and social progress of Member States and Muslim Communities individually as well as collectively in accordance with the principles of the Shariah.

The functions of the Bank are to provide equity participation and grant loans for productive projects and enterprises. It also gives financial assistance to member states in other forms for their economic and social development and to foster foreign trade among member countries.

The authorized capital of the Bank is six billion Islamic Dinars divided into 600,000 shares among subscriber. The value of the Islamic Dinar, which is the unit of account of the Bank, is equivalent to one Special Drawing Right of the International Monetary Fund (SDR). The subscribed capital of the Bank is 4 billion Islamic Dinars. One Islamic Dinar =1.3 US Dollar. – Asian Tribune –

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Written by lankamuslim.com

October 1, 2010 at 10:29 am

Posted in Articles

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