16 January, 2022

Blog

A Mischievous Missive

By Ameer Al

Dr. Ameer Ali

In a letter addressed by Sate Minister of Production, Supply and Regulation of Pharmaceuticals Prof. Channa Jayasumana to Justice Minister Ali Sabry, a copy of which was also handed over to the Head of One Country One Law Task Force (OCOLTF), Ven. Gnanasara Thera, the professor minister resurrected a so-called fatwa issued by ACJU 42 years ago pertaining to certain unorthodox views on Islamic tenets expressed by Moulavi Rauf from Kattankudy, the largest Muslim enclave in Sri Lanka, which became infamous internationally after the 2019 Easter Sunday bombing. Ceylon Today (5 Jan. 2022) reported the said fatwa as a “sentence to death”, and the professor had asked Minister Sabry to “secure the fundamental rights” of this Moulavi.

ACJU in turn had responded to the allegation and said that it was a non-binding opinion expressed by that apex body when approached by some Muslim religious leaders and their organizations from the same town, because of concern over incidents of violence alleged to have been triggered by Rauf’s views. In that context and within the internally structured institutional mechanism to deal with Muslim religious affairs in Sri Lanka this was a legitimate approach to deal with a religious controversy. ACJU’s opinion on that matter was therefore nowhere near a death sentence as the case was in Shia Iran where Imam Khomeini issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie in Feb. 1989.

This writer is neither a lover of ACJU nor an apologist for Moulavi Rauf or for that matter any mullah. However, what is worrying in this episode is the timing and the circumstance surrounding this letter and the sinister motive of its author and personalities surrounding him. This letter was addressed in the aftermath of a visit to Kattankudy by Ven. Gnanasara Thera, an ex-prisoner and crusader against Muslim fundamentalism, and is reputed for his provocative anti-Muslim diatribes. He is also promoting himself as a Buddhist champion of Islamic Sufism. A few weeks ago, he demanded Minister Ali Sabry be sacked, and argued that as long as this minster remained in office justice would not be meted out to the victims of Easter massacre.

In Kattankudy, this venerable personality was accorded a grand reception in the mosque built by Rauf, and was briefed about troubles that Rauf and his followers had and still claiming to have with ACJU. Incidentally, Moulavi Rauf was also visited in March 2006 by the Indian diplomat, Her Excellency Mrs. Nirupama Rao. Whether that was only a courtesy call or more than that one does not know. It was also a fact that politicians of Kattankudy were also closely involved in the religious controversies between Rauf Moulavi and his opponents.

Be that as it may, Ven. Gnanasara’s quarrel with ACJU goes back to 2013 when Buddhist extremists started protesting against its halal certification program over food exports from Sri Lanka. It was purely a moneymaking exercise by ACJU, which raised the ire of not only food exporters but also local non-Muslim meat consumers. ACJU was forced to discontinue with that practice. However, the organization’s links with Wahhabi Saudi Arabia still remains an issue for Islamophobes like Gnanasara. Ironically, these Islamophobes seem to have no qualms about Rajapaksa government begging for funds and petroleum products from that Wahhabi kingdom.

Thus, Gnanasara’s enmity towards ACJU, his apparent love for Sufism and sympathy for Moulavi Rauf had obviously played a role in Jayasumana’s letter to Sabry. When this monk was appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to head OCOLTF, Minister Sabry tendered his resignation, which GR refused to accept. Given these developments, it now appears that another attempt is being made to make life in the cabinet more difficult for Sabry.

Apart from that, this mischievous missive, if provokes wider reaction against Muslims from Islamophobes, may serve a useful purpose to the regime, which is desperately looking for some issue that could divert the attention of the masses who are condemning the government over its record of economic mismanagement. The popular belief is that the government has become a den of liars, looters and loonies. Therefore, the appointment of a querulous Gnanasara Thera to handle a job, which legitimately falls within the ministerial purview of Sabry, seems to be a calculated ploy by President GR. The monk is now using a state minister to keep anti-Muslim feelings brewing.

*Dr. Ameer Al, School of Business & Governance, Murdoch University, Western Australia

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 24
    3

    Rajapaksas will stage many more dramas to keep entertaining those angry/hungry supporters. In the mean time half the gold reserves are missing from treasury. Evil Eagle any idea ???

    • 15
      1

      More hungry than angry because racism/sinhala Buddhist injection is much more powerful compared to the 3 Covid jabs😥🐃😡😥🐃😡😥🐃😡😥🐃😡

    • 3
      1

      Chiv,
      “In the meantime half the gold reserves are missing from treasury. Evil Eagle any idea???”
      Good question!
      Understand that his ‘BROKEN RECORD’, IS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING ‘MENDED’.
      Be assured he will be back soon!!!!!!!!!

    • 2
      1

      Play one scene two ” camera lights and action ” a grenade was found by STF in a leading church in Colombo. EVIL Eagle talk of the town is CB admitted disposing $ 150 million worth gold reserves from treasury.

      • 0
        0

        Scene 3 , politician Ranjith claimes police glanced at CCTV and found what they wanted but did not go through the entire video recording. Because much earlier in the day a man walked in limping and placed a bag did prayers but not the right way as regular church goers tradition , walked out without any limp. As planned, police got the message came in and arrested both a 13 year old boy who is a helper and the church custodian.

        • 0
          0

          Scene 4 Litro Gas Chairman is fired morning so that he can be rehired the same day by evening Apparently Sir Fail visited Litro office personally, inspected their cylinder bombs, being satisfied with it’s performance ordered rehiring.

  • 15
    8

    Why can not the SL Muslims identify themselves as Tamils like the Tamil Nadu Muslims in India. Singhalese have managed to bring the country to a very pathetic condition by violent SUPPRESSION of the minorities over the last 74 years. Divide and rule worked for the British and NOW for the Sinhala Buddhist

    • 16
      3

      Naman,
      Sri Lanka Muslims are themselves do not know their own identity because their home language is Tamil, Business language is Tamil and Sinhala and their religion is Islam (Muslim). They do not know how and when they become Muslims. They had an opportunity to work with Sri Lankan governments which are against to Tamils of Sri Lanka. It gave them substantial benefit to Muslim politicians and its community. They were not treated as minorities by majority until the end of war in 2009 which made Tamils to become weak in terms of population, economy, education. After 2009, Sri Lankan majority thought that it is time to go against Tamil speaking Muslims whose are economy, population, and education is better than majority community and it should be weakened. That is why Muslims were targeted now because there is no one to share their pathetic situation. They successfully used the same Muslims who worked against Tamils to attack Muslims. The Easter Bombing is a kind of tactics now Muslims are termed as “Terrorists”. Still some Muslims believe that they may get benefits by associating with Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalism.

      • 2
        0

        Muslim politicians in slanka are just traitors / except few/ many of them are produced to be the butlers to crook sinhala politicians. .
        Best example of the day is Ali sabry/ the cheap man who betrayed his soul for self greed but betraying his community.🐃😥😡
        He as a lawyer but if he did the job well/ Gota the criminal would nt have been the president but became a prisoner./ how come he became a lawyer not having the least heartedness to serve and protect his community/ at the time burial rights of the muslims were brutally violated/ Ali sabry did nt move enough but was seen as a torch bearer/ 😥🐃😥🐃😥🐃😥

    • 3
      18

      Naman,
      “Singhalese have managed to bring the country to a very pathetic condition by violent SUPPRESSION of the minorities over the last 74 years.”
      —-
      You must be kidding. Sinhalayo who accommodated minorities in their country did not carry out violent suppression of minorities. It was the descendants of minorities who settle down in Sinhale, the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo who resorted to violence and terrorism since the time Sinhalayo gained independence and ruined this country. Be reasonable. Do not try to clean your blood-soaked hands by blaming Sinhalayo.

    • 4
      17

      Identification is a two-way street.
      The credit goes to P Ramanathan for the first stone. His provocative remarks offended Muslim leaders.
      *
      In Tamilnadu, thanks to the self-respect movement, the Muslims felt at home compared with Muslims elsewhere in most of India.
      Hindutva did not touch Tamilnadu significantly. The more progressive Kerala, however, had a past with a Hindu-Muslim conflict. Various factors have encouraged Muslims to assert their distinctness. But it is not hostile in attitude.
      The Indian Union Muslim League is an Indian political party based primarily in Kerala.
      *
      Look at the Tamil hostility towards Muslims on these pages. Tamil nationalists do not treat Muslims or Hill Country Tamils as equals.
      Also more than 2/3 of the Muslims live in predominantly Sinhalese areas and rightly refused to agree to secession.
      Let us not oversimplify matters with analogies.

      • 5
        1

        “Look at the Tamil hostility towards Muslims on these pages. Tamil nationalists do not treat Muslims or Hill Country Tamils as equals.”

        I don’t see any Tamil Hostility against Sinhalese or Muslims or Hill Country Tamils in this forum. Some philosophers in this forum are against to Tamil Nationalism in support of Sinhala Buddhist nationalism. All communities in this island have problems but Buddhist Sinhala nationalism is much powerful and violent against other communities.

        • 8
          2

          We all know that SJ is a constant apologist for Sinhalese racism and Muslim opportunism against the island’s Tamils. He sees no harm in this but always blames the victim for what happened. It was not the island’s Tamils who were powerless themselves, who marginalized the Indian origin Tamils, committed violence against them, or passed legislation to make them stateless and made them impoverished. It was the Sinhalese using their majority unfairly. 99% of the island’s Tamils hardly live amongst Indian origin Tamils let alone discriminate or marginalize them when they themselves are discriminated against and severely marginalized by the Sri Lankan state. As for the Muslims, the Tamils have always stated they are fellow Tamils and wanted them to be part of them and never stated they were outsiders. It was the Muslims for petty political and economic benefits spurned and denied the overtures made by the island’s Tamils and still do. Joined the Sinhalese to marginalize and commit war crimes on their fellow Tamils and now crying unfair when their Sinhalese copartners in the anti-Tamil dance, have now turned against them. SJ’s memories and arguments are very selective.

      • 4
        1

        IML played similar role as Lanka Muslim leagues and now carry just a few pockets in Mallapuram area. One time they were king makers but now even the Muslims cannot stand them. Whereas Christian parties still carry some clout among community but not significant enough to dictate terms
        any more.

      • 1
        0

        “Identification is a two-way street.
        We know well for long here that you travel on both sides of the road simultaneously, at the same, to split both side travelers by a double yellow lane wedge. Years ago, when SSS was writing his comments on Ceylon Muslims’ originality, I requested him to bring his finding independently, instead of inserting them in his replies to you, because it may make it to appear like that you were enjoying easy successes.

        The credit goes to P Ramanathan for the first stone. Though you cannot be one for A Ramanathan, but you could be the most reliable witness on Sir. Pon. Ramanathan throwing stones at Muslim before he goes to London to get the judgement against Muslim & Governor General in British parliament (do you think if the crow cry the Ox will fall down and die?). But is there anything you happened to witness what happened in the Kandy Perahera in 1915. (But I know that you are not the one to standardize as one pebble rice is the sample for one pot). Was it Ramanathan who throw the first stone Don Stephen did it?

        Let us not oversimplify matters with analogies. While most of the Badiudeen PhDs are pensioners, one cannot expect senility creating any less Savams in UOJ Saddampies.

    • 5
      4

      To answer your question, Naman — Why should they? So long as they continue to regard themselves as Sri Lankan? Dont push them to a point where they, too, look for separation.

      • 2
        1

        They can be Sri Lankan Tamil and Muslim which is their real identity. Asking them to acknowledge the truth, instead of stubbornly sticking to myths and lies is not pushing them. It is these myths and lies that have created all this mess.

    • 3
      1

      Naman,
      Muslims is religious classification and not racial classification.
      Muslim religious followers in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales as example are classified as English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh.
      Why only in Sri Lanka, country with Task Force on ‘One country, One law’ by the renowned, but non-reverend Monk Gnanasara have warped thinking, Muslims have got caught to????
      If one remembers the famous saying by Martin Niemöller,
      ”they first came for the communists———————-, then when they came for me, there was none to heed my call”
      Briefly on his biography, which has similarities more than that to the Muslims and Sri Lanka’s recent history!!
      Quote
      Martin Niemöller was born in Germany on January 14th 1892.
      After being discharged from the German Navy during WWI for disobeying orders, Niemöller began training to become a priest, got married and had six children.
      LIKE MAJORITY OF THE GERMAN POPULATION, NIEMÖLLER BELIEVED THAT GERMANY NEEDED A STRONG LEADER, THEREFORE HE SUPPORTED HITLER.
      In 1934, Niemöller had a change in political stance, after meeting with Hitler and realising that Germany was under a dictatorship. Niemöller then began to openly oppose the Nazis.
      Unquote
      Thuggish Priests wanting a Hitler is not without previous experience! Eh!!

    • 5
      2

      Despite all DNA studies showing that Sri Lankan Muslims are as Dravidian as the island’s Sinhalese and Tamils and that there are hardly any Arab or other western Asian ancestries in them but they originated from South India, they still keep on stubbornly denying this truth and claim that they are descended from the Arabs. They think it is beneficial to them and a lie often told becomes the truth. From the time of the British and later all Sinhalese-led governments from independence, who deliberately wanted to divide and rule the Tamils, have brainwashed them, with the myth, that they are of Arab or other western Asian descent and to hate their actual Dravidian Tamil heritage and origin. There may be a bit of Arab amongst the classes but definitely not amongst the masses who make up 98% of the island’s Muslim population and the ones from the north, east, and northwest coast are 100% Tamil. Even this bit of Arab does not qualify them to claim Arab descent. They are still Dravidian Tamils. Some with a dash of Arab. As Siva Sankaran stated this is actually a form of genocide too, as you are not allowing a group of people to acknowledge and celebrate their true origin, culture, and origin but worship and revere another imagined alien origin and culture in the name of their religion.

      • 5
        2

        You can see that even educated Muslim columnists here, however liberal and broadminded, still refer to themselves as ” Moors” and different people from the Hindu and Christian Tamils. Their elite, especially the ones living down south and politicians, saw immense benefit and power for themselves in this artificial separation of the island’s Muslims from the rest of the Tamils, therefore encouraged this imagined largely western Asian origin and brainwashing the island’s purely Dravidian Tamil origin Muslim masses to consider themselves separate and superior to the island’s non-Muslim Tamils, due to their largely western Asian origin and in the name of their religion revere anything remotely connected to the Arabs and hate everything connected to their actual ancient rich Tamil origin. They stated you are just Tamil speaking but not Tamils but Arabs. The vast majority of them live amongst the Sinhalese 72% and distancing themselves from their Tamil origin and heritage and making their religion their main identity, as well as claiming the very little Western Asian ancestry as their main identity for themselves, was seen to be very beneficial, to escape Sinhalese racism and anti-Tamil hatred. To Justify this and for immense opportunistic economic and political advantages, they also joined the Sinhalese and were their co-partners in their anti-Tamil crusade.

        • 5
          2

          The Sinhalese cunningly and cynically used them, until they achieved their aim of marginalizing the island’s Tamils and have now turned against them as they are now of no use and have now become too powerful politically and economically, due to all the benefits that were showered upon them to gain their support to marginalize their non-Muslim Tamil sisters and brothers. Even a homeland was promised for them in the Tamil east, where they arrived as refugees, ironically fleeing Portuguese and Sinhalese persecution in the Kandyan areas. They may speak and may even excel in Tamil, but they have no real love for their own Tamil language, culture, or even their rich 1000-year-old Tamil Islamic culture, that they brought from their original South Indian Tamil homeland. In the name of their religion and an imagined Western Asian origin, they have been brainwashed to revere and worship the alien Arabic language, the desert Arab culture forms of dress, names. Everything and anything connected to the Arabs. You can see that everywhere now.

          • 5
            2

            The Sinhalese by trying to use the island’s Tamil Muslims to marginalize the rest of the Tamils, especially the indigenous and native Tamils from the north and east, by encouraging them to create an artificial ethnicity and identity by using their religion and minute amount of Western Asian origin/heritage. Have only succeeded in creating a now largely radicalized highly Arabized. local Muslim population that is now even threatening them and challenging them. What was successfully used and encouraged to marginalize the island’s Tamils, especially in the east, has now come to bite them too and now they are trying to curb this, as it has started to affect them too. This is what happens when you encourage evil and myths. May benefit you in the short run but in the long run will come to bite you.

      • 1
        8

        Rohan25,
        “Despite all DNA studies showing that Sri Lankan Muslims are as Dravidian as the island’s Sinhalese and Tamils…)

        DNA studies misinterpreted by writers in this forum. Some of them are Professors.
        Sinhalayo are not Dravidians. They are indigenous people in Sinhale who speak a unique language.

        • 4
          1

          Chingkallams are Dravidians so are the island’s Muslims. What is unique about the Chingkallams. They are largely descended from Indigenous Dravidian Thamizh tribes like the Yakka and Naga who converted to Buddhism and mixed their Thamizh dialect with the Pali of Buddhism to create a new language called Chingkallam. Later they mixed with other Indian immigrants again largely from the then Thamizh country and some from the North East Bengal region. The ones who did not convert to Buddhism or converted and reconverted back to their ancestral Saivite religion remained Thamizh.

    • 1
      0

      NAMAN,
      .
      possible reasons could be

      Srilanken muslims are in a ID crisis from the I know them.
      TN population is 70 or more
      Sirlanken Muslims are not even 3 million s
      Tamils are more than the size of muslim population in the country

      And the muslim leaders have betrayed their everything for selfish gains except few leaders.
      .
      This is not the case in like minded other countries where minorities fight for their own rights.

      Just imagine, srilankens life line has been SINHALA diaspora working as labourers to Middle east countries. In that context, Ali Sabry or the likepowerful men in incumbnet govt should be able to convince murderous sinhala politicians about being fair towards the mionrities. Dont you think so ?

  • 9
    1

    The sentiments I have imbibed over time, on Muslim religious practices / controversies warns me to stay away from this subject; but, I override my own judgement, believing that I have something to contribute, because of OCOLTF.
    What was the need for OCOLTF at this stage of our political predicaments, in Sri Lanka. It smells of a sinister move by the Regime in general and by the president in particular.
    .
    Therefore, Ameer Ali is right in raising up the issue.
    .
    Ali Sabry has failed to put his foot down against Gnanasara Thera, for fear of losing his confidante-status with Gotabaya. His resignation threat looks a big farce.

  • 12
    4

    While tamils were being persecuted raped and killed including by muslim paramilitaries working for the sinhale forces sri lanka muslim politicians went to UN and other world bodies and said that there were no human rights violations in sri lanka. Now what happened. All of a sudden them muslims are complaining of persecution which them muslims also brought about by supporting amendments to the sinhale constitution that gave absolute powers to Gota. You reap what you sow!!. Happening to the sinhalas and the muslims while tamils are flourishing in their overseas countries .

    • 2
      5

      Gus,
      The Government of Sri Lanka and the Armed Forces who were wrongly accused for committing war crimes and violating human rights had to tell the truth to the UN and the international community that it was Tamil terrorists who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity e.g. grabbing children and recruiting them as child soldiers, keeping about 300,000 innocent civilians as a human shield and shooting at those who tried to escape.

      “…went to UN and other world bodies and said that there were no human rights violations in sri lanka.”

      • 1
        4

        Gus,
        “…while tamils are flourishing in their overseas countries.”

        Good riddance!
        We know how majority of them are flourishing.

        • 4
          0

          EE,

          You noble sentiments as to Good Riddance was manifest recently when the Pakis despatch a sinhala. I am sure you will have great empathy with you fellow Paki mental cohorts.

          In addition when I come across a sinhala overseas it is mostly blue collar. Ceylonese tamils mainly professionals who employ sinhala servants.

          You seem to be living in Cuckoo land .

          Hopefully the majority sinhala have YOUR this mental approach and that will hasten the Karma for the murdered and raped tamils!

          NERO was fiddling when Rome was burning?

      • 5
        0

        EE

        The periodic riots including the 1983 riots looting rapes and murders of tamils in barbaric sinhale never happened. My friend said that he stayed in a sinhale house in colombo during 1983 and the back yard was piled with LOOTED from tamils goods but of course it never happened.
        The missing tiamils in North and East never happened. So where are they?
        The murders by the sinhales soldiers of tamils never happened.

        NEXT.
        When them barbaric sinhales start killing their own inevitable as the stage will come for beggar sinhales to feel it is better to diie than live in beggar sinhale it also never happened.
        NOW: Barbaric sinhales are dying because they cannot afford medication never happened. I should say Good Riddance ?
        FUTURE: Barbaric sinhales after china stops putting into their begging bowl will be seeking funds from the Good Riddance overseas tamils for sustenance and I for one will dump the begging letters in the bin as was done in the past by my friends who received such correspondence from sinhale government.

  • 9
    2

    While people are dying of Covid, hunger, and gas cylinders blowing up, this idiot minister thinks he can divert the attention of the suffering people by recalling a fatwa issued 42 years ago. There is no place for fatwas in a democratic society. Instigating racism through hate speech, especially by a government minister, is even more condemnable.

  • 18
    2

    If anyone would address Gnanasara as a priest has to get his or her head examined. He is a THUG!

    • 3
      8

      B
      Have you heard of Rev. Ian Paisley?

    • 1
      2

      Buddhist 1,
      A thug is better than the priests who gave their blessings to terrorists.

      “He is a THUG!”

      • 2
        0

        Gnanasara is a THUG of the ilk that despatched the sinhala in Paki land. Gnanasara is of the ilk of buddhist monks that throw babies in the fires in Myammar. Now what happened them buddhist are being killed by their own barbaric buddhists. The fate that is ineveitable for sinhale land.!!!!

  • 4
    0

    Before 1960,s other than few muslims from the south the eastern muslims never had a own muslim identity was waking behind other major political party,s like blind monkeys.IT IS THE FOOLISH FEDERAL PARTY THAT MADE THIS GUYS TO GET UP FROM THEIR SLEEP AND MADE SOME THEIR LATER LEADERS TO LEARN POLITICS AND BECOMES LEADERS.SOME MEMBERS ELECTED FROM FEDERAL PARTY LATER SWITCHED THEIR CAMPS FOR MONEY AND MADE MONEY using their 1/2 or 1/4 minister position.still this foolish tamil leaders inviting THIS SELFISH MONEY MAKING LEADERS LIKE HAKEEM KAAKA AND RISHARDKAAKA FOR ALL TAMIL SPEAKING PARTY LEADERS MEETING IGNORING THE TOHOPPY PRADDY NATURE OF THIS GUYS.

  • 5
    2

    Professor Ameer Ali , Sri lanka today is in the hands of the Rajapasksa cult, who would do anything to remain in power until they are wiped out entirely from the political domain. However, even elected Muslim parliamentarians from the east are supporting this regime neglecting the people who elected them. Mr. Sabry minister may also be as opportunistic as others. Gnanaser is known much as a thug than aThero amongst the majority of Buddhists. Sri lanka would become a Chinese colony as its over-dependence on them.

  • 3
    2

    Hi all,
    Well, history is repeating itself, as it does most of the time and has been seen repetitively!
    “First they came for the Communists,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Communist!
    Then they came for the Jews,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I wasn’t a Jew!
    Then they came for the Catholics,
    and I didn’t speak up,
    because I was a Protestant!
    Then they came for me,
    and by that time there was no one
    left to speak up for me!”
    That explains the situation.
    Replace, “Martin Niemöller” with “Galagodaatte Gnanasara”
    That solves the puzzle!!!!

  • 1
    4

    They came for the Sinhala Buddhists
    and I didn’t speak up
    because I was not a Sinhala Buddhist
    Now there is nobody to speak for me

    • 3
      0

      Please stick to herding reindeer in Viking land. The only person who came for you is a Viking sugar daddy.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 5 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.