28 September, 2020

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Full Text: End Of Mission Statement – United Nations Special Rapporteur On Freedom Of Religion Or Belief

Simmering ethno-religious tensions in Sri Lanka require urgent action by the authorities to strengthen respect for freedom of religion or belief in Sri Lanka, says UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shaheed.

“There is a serious deficit of trust among ethno-religious communities in Sri Lanka following the deadly Easter Sunday bomb blasts and subsequent mob violence this year, and these tensions must not be ignored,” Shaheed said, presenting a report at the end of a 12-day mission to the country.

Ahmed Shaheed – United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

“While the Government promptly brought the situation more or less under control after the bomb blasts, many religious communities remain very concerned about their security because of incitement to hatred and violence by some religious extremists.

“The Government must take action against the hate propaganda targeting Muslim communities that is being spread through unregulated media and is instigating ethno-religious tension for political gain.

“Failure by the State to take action to address incitement to hatred and violence will allow extremism to escalate and pose serious challenges to peace-building. The ethno-religious tension must not be treated as mere sporadic incidents; the underlying unease and hostility existed long before the Easter attacks and subsequent violence.”

Shaheed said the long-standing traditions of religious harmony and co-existence in Sri Lanka, as well as tolerance and sustainable peace were at risk from religious and political violence, lack of accountability, distrust of institutions and resentment against perceived majoritarian privilege.

“It is time for Sri Lanka to vigorously adopt measures to protect the rights of all people and to hold perpetrators accountable, regardless of their ethno-religious background,” said the expert.

“Women’s experiences of ethno-religious hostility including violence, displacement and stereotyping must also be effectively addressed.

“There is a need for sustainable intercommunal and interreligious dialogue for trust and peacebuilding as well as reconciliation. Space must be provided for moderate voices, for concerns to be flagged and for grievances to be addressed,” the UN expert said.

“I have seen encouraging initiatives by different State institutions, civil society organisations and religious leaders on the issues of reconciliation and promotion of peaceful coexistence.

“However, freedom of religion or belief is not about religious tolerance alone, it is about the right of each individual to be treated equally in their choice to believe or not to believe, and whether to manifest it in private or in public.”

The UN expert said resilience against religious extremism could be built by a range of measures including strengthening the rule of law, addressing root causes, improving education for all and protecting religious diversity.

“I call on the Government and all others to create an enabling environment for the exercise of fundamental freedoms, in the lead-up to elections and not to use ethno-religious tensions for electoral gain,” Shaheed said.

During his mission, Shaheed met Government officials and local authorities. He visited the north, east, central and northwest parts of the country and also held meetings with representatives of ethnic and religious or belief communities, civil society organisations, and the UN.

The Special Rapporteur will present a report containing his conclusions and recommendations to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2020.

Preliminary Findings Of Country Visit To Sri Lanka By The Special Rapporteur On Freedom Of religion Or Belief – Full Statement

Introduction

I am happy to have undertaken, at the invitation of the government of Sri Lanka, a visit from 15-26 August to assess the situation of the freedom of religion or belief in the country, in my capacity as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. My visit is the second by a UN mandate holder on freedom of religion or belief since the late Asma Jahangir undertook a country visit in 2005 to identify any existing or emerging obstacles to the enjoyment of the freedom of religion or belief in Sri Lanka by all.

At the outset I would like to pay respect to the memory of all those who were killed in the Easter bombings and in other acts of violence that followed and extend my condolences to their loved ones. I wish those who were injured a speedy recovery and solidarity to everyone else affected by these senseless acts of violence.

I am grateful that the government decided to proceed with my visit, which had been planned from last year, at this time, despite the challenges faced by the authorities in addressing issues arising from the Easter bombings and subsequent violence. I wish to thank the Government for the cooperation extended in facilitating my visit and for the great support by the UN team in Colombo.

During my visit, I met with the Speaker of the Parliament, the Leader of the Opposition, the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Hindu Affairs and Buddhist Affairs, the Attorney General, the Secretary for Christian Affairs, senior officials dealing with Muslim Affairs, and the Director General of the Archaeology Department. I also attended a Government’s stakeholder meeting chaired by the Foreign Secretary bringing together senior representatives of relevant ministries and agencies.  Furthermore, I met with the Chairpersons of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation and National Human Rights Commission.  Outside Colombo, I met with the Governors of the Northern Province and of the North Western. My field visits covered Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, Jaffna, Trincomalee, Kanniya, Batticaloaa, Kattankudy, Kandy, Digana, Kurunegala, Kottamba Pitiya, Puttalam, Negombo, Kottaramulla, Pasyala, Divulapitiya, Minuwangoda and Ja-Ela. In Punthotam and Pasyala, I met with some refugees who faced religious persecution from their country of origin. Additionally, I  met with representatives from different religious communities, civil society organisations and research institutions.

Today, I present my preliminary findings, including some main observations to which I wish to draw your attention. The official final report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March 2020. In preparation of the report, I will continue to engage and work in consultation with the Government and all relevant stakeholders to receive more information and clarification of these preliminary observations.

  • Religious landscape and political development

According to 2012 census, the Sinhalese make up 74.9% of the population and are predominantly Buddhist, or belong to the minority Christian community. Tamils comprise approximately 15.3% of the population and are mainly Hindus, with some belonging to Christian churches. The Muslim community, form the third largest ethnic group at 9.2% of the population. Buddhism is the largest religion of Sri Lanka with 70.2% of the population practicing the religion; then, there are Hindus with 12.6%; Muslims with 9.7% and Christians with 7.4%. The census indicates that most Muslims are Sunni while the Christians are mainly Roman Catholic. There are small numbers of Baha’is, Shia (Bohra community), Sufis, Ahmadis, Jehovah Witnesses, Methodists, Pentecost and Evangelicals.  There are also the Veddas, an indigenous community,.  who practice traditional belief.

The country has emerged from a long internal conflict, which generated tremendous security challenges.  The evolution of the conflict, and the details of these events have been  described in various reports of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The reverberations of the ethnic conflict continue to be felt however in the political, social and economic spheres and impact on the enjoyment of the right to freedom of religion or belief. While some progress has been made in the post-conflict issues pertaining to transitional justice, significant gaps exist, particularly with regard to upholding accountability, as well as strengthening guarantees of non-recurrence.

Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2015 brought in a government with a pledge to strengthen fundamental freedoms and the rule of the law that comprises of inclusiveness, justice and respect for human rights to all of the people of Sri Lanka.  This led to the adoption of Human Rights Council resolution 30/1 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, co-sponsored by the Government of Sri Lanka, by which the government pledged to implement a robust transitional justice process and reaffirmed that ‘all Sri Lankans are entitled to the full enjoyment of their human rights regardless of religion, belief or ethnicity…’.

The situation in the country has been dramatically affected by the recent terrorist attacks on 21 April 2019, allegedly organized by three local Islamist terrorists groups. These attacks killed more than 250 people and were the deadliest ones since the end of the internal conflict.

In response, the government proclaimed a State of Emergency and security forces were given sweeping powers to arrest and detain suspects for extended periods. Under the State of Emergency, some religious communities have been affected in their practice and manifestation of religion or belief, while the suspicion and distrust among religious communities also increased over time and led to an increase of hate speech and violence against the Muslim community. Many complained that they have faced increasing harassment and victimisation based on their religion or belief identity. The State of Emergency has now lapsed.

  • Positive developments in Sri Lanka

As noted by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association in his end of mission statement of his visit to Sri Lanka (18-26 July 2019)1 , Sri Lanka has taken significant initiatives to strengthen its democracy and rule of law by introducing the nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 2015. The Government has also taken the positive step to reinstate the Constitutional Council with an enhanced role in approving and designating members to the independent commission and institutions as well as the selection of the President for the various offices. The work of National Human Rights Commission has been granted A-status according to Paris Principle. Furthermore, the Government has also established the Office on Missing Persons (2016) and the Office for Reparations (2018) in line with Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1.

Generally, I have received reports of many new initiatives for promoting reconciliation and peaceful coexistence launched in the country. I note the establishment of the Select Committee of Parliament (SCP) on 4 September 2018 to study and report on Communal and Religious Harmony in Sri Lanka that comprises 24 members of Parliament from ruling and opposition parties.  Since its appointment, the SCP has identified existing challenges, provided a list of recommendations to overcome some of the challenges2 and come up with an implementation plan for the proposed recommendations. Moreover, the SCP launched a “Diyawanna Declaration” at the Special  All-Faith and All-Party Conference in April 2019, which among others,  recommended “the need for all party leaders including  the President, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition to work in cooperation with each other regardless of narrow political, religious or party differences in order to ensure all citizens are able to exist without fear or suspicion and to ensure the security of the country and its people”.

I am also encouraged by the work of the Office for National Unity and Reconciliation (ONUR). The 2017 National Policy on Reconciliation and Coexistence Sri Lanka4 provides good practice guidelines that include equality, human rights, justice and rule of law as well as diversity for the overall direction to national reconciliation and coexistence. ONUR also launched a project known as “Heal the past, build the future” that brings together the religious leaders, youth, government representatives and civil society actors to raise awareness in transforming conflict. It has also specific committee appointed for peacebuilding and reconciliation process.

At grassroots levels, I have seen active religious leaders coming together across different religions to promote interreligious harmony. For example, there are quite a number of District Interreligious Committees functioning under the support of National Peace Council of Sri Lanka and Interreligious Forum by Caritas Sri Lanka.  The civil society is also highly vibrant in the work of promoting freedom of religion or belief.

The government’s response to the displacement of refugees and asylum seekers by violent mobs or other pressures after the Easter bombing by offering them temporary shelter deserves praise and I hope these measures will continue until the few remaining families are re-settled.

  • Main challenges to the right to freedom of religion or belief (FORB)

State obligations in regard to the protection of the right freedom of religion or belief include both negative obligations to respect the rights of individuals to exercise their freedom of religion or belief within the law, and positive obligations to protect these rights against infringement by third parties/non-state actors. The latter also includes facilitating arrangements that would enable the exercise of these rights. While some concerns were aired about the former set of obligations, namely state interference in the ability of individuals to exercise their freedom of religion or belief, the main challenges to the enjoyment of this right in Sri Lanka manifest in the state’s failure to fulfil its positive obligations towards rights-holders.

The State does not appear to impede the freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief and the country has a long tradition of embracing religious pluralism. The choice of an individual to have, to adopt or to change one’s religion or belief is guaranteed in law in Sri Lanka and broadly conforms to international standards.

However, even where the state does not impose specific restrictions on the manifestation of religion or belief, there were frequent reports of acts of intolerance from one religious community to another along with the failure of the state to protect individuals and communities targeted by such hostility. Often, the Muslim communities and new Christian churches in particular faced a range of harassment and assaults. This ranges from interruption of worship, damage to places of worship, physical assaults on clergy, intimidation, mob violence towards the community or clergy, demands for registration of the church or mosque and restricting the use of places of worship, the obstruction of religious rites such as those related to burial ceremonies or access to cemeteries, incitement to violence to the community and many other acts of intolerance.

The Muslim communities have faced increased hostility especially after the April bombings. Prior impunity has strengthened the anti-Muslim groups. Weak and un-coordinated responses to anti-Muslim violence have seen the rise in violence and attacks on individuals and the communities in some parts of the country.

The right to proselytise and conversion

As I learned from my interlocutors, the right to proselytise does not appear to be respected or protected in Sri Lanka.  The Supreme Court decided in 2003 and 2017 that the right ‘to propagate’ one’s religion is not protected by the Constitution. The decision has affected many of those whose religion requires them to share their religion or belief with others.  It should be clarified that writing, issuing or disseminating relevant publications on one’s religion or teaching in places suitable for these purposes is part of freedom of expression and manifestation of religion or belief that is protected under international law.

Hostilities towards non-Roman Catholic Christians and Muslims appear to be grounded in a fear that possible conversions that take place threaten established hegemonies or that such efforts “insult” the doctrines and beliefs of the dominant religion in a given area. Other perpetrators of intolerance attempt to justify their prejudice by claiming that conversion involves ‘exploitation’ of vulnerable persons.

Discrimination based on religion or belief in law and in practice

While the Constitution of Sri Lanka protects freedom of religion or belief and its manifestation under Article 10 and 14 (1) e, Article 9 of the Constitution declares, “Buddhism shall be given the foremost place by the State”.  The Government argues that this does not reduce the protection provided to other religions as guaranteed under Article 10 and 14 (1) e as well as Article 12 that stresses equality of all. Controversially, a 2003 Supreme Court ruling determined that the State was constitutionally required to protect only Buddhism, as other religions were not accorded the same fundamental right of state-provided protection. I heard frequently from my interlocutors that they feel that the State was structurally unable to treat other religions on an equal basis owing to this provision and ruling.

Many of these religious communities pointed to the fact that the State has allowed Buddhist monks to erect shrines or Buddhist statutes even in areas where there is little Buddhist presence whereas other communities were told that they should not hold prayer services even in private homes in areas where there are few Christians or with a Buddhist majority. There are also competing claims to historic religious sites and a perception that State agents are not sufficiently impartial in these cases. Often, many described problems of double standards in law enforcement depending on which community offends or finds itself offended by the actions of other. For instance, I heard of cases of violence against minorities perpetrated by the majority community where perpetrators are clearly identified in video recordings but remain unaccountable for years after the incident.

Reversely, many complained, that when a complaint is brought forward by members of the Buddhist community, action is swift and, at times, disproportionate. I heard examples of some arrested under the ICCPR Act for seemingly trivial reasons (a fictional story, a symbol in a dress) that were deemed to provoke “religious disturbance”, while I heard of impunity for serious incidents of incitement to violence such as those that led to the Aluthgama riots in 2014.

Registration

There is moreover a lack of clear guidelines for the registration of religious organisations or places of worship. State should recall that registration is not an obligation but an offer by the State to enable any religious community to acquire legal personality for various operational and functional purposes. The right to practise and to believe is not subject to permission by any State.

Minority communities complain that the registration process is opaque and slow; that registration requirement is not clear and is a cumbersome process, and that it also results in monitoring and harassment by local police and authorities. Permits for construction of houses of worship may also be denied based on the opposition of the local community. Unregistered houses of worship have been closed. For example, the National Evangelical Christian Alliance of Sri Lanka reported that 30 churches were forced to close in 2014 while many mosques that have completed their constructions are left unusable as well.

Education

There are also complaints of discrimination at schools where the intake of the students from different religious communities is not based on a fair quota system.  Information on different religious denominations is not taught and there is little understanding among the younger generation of the religious pluralism that characterises Sri Lanka.

Refugees

Deficits in the application of the rule of law appears to have significant impact on communities and individuals in vulnerable situations. Refugees and asylum-seekers in the Negombo area, all from Muslim-majority countries, were targeted, threatened and displaced in the aftermath of the Easter bombings. While some have been resettled to third countries or relocated in the country, there are still at least 55 people who have no means to survive if they were to leave Punthahom. Some Muslim groups expressed dismay that they were unable to offer these refugees support and safety for fear of inviting increased attacks on the community and for the lack of funding.

Women and gender-based discrimination

I received reports that the government refuses to acknowledge the order of Bhikkhuni nuns. Bhikkunis are not permitted to have their ordination on their National Identity Card (NIC) whereas Bhikkus (male) are afforded this privilege.

Women’s experiences of ethno-religious hostility including violence, displacement and stereotyping do not receive attention nor redress. Many of the conspiracy theories and tropes about Muslims target women and their reproductive capacity. Women’s human rights activists appear to be at risk from fundamentalist members in their own religious communities. Their work, beliefs and religious identity are discredited by male leaders who claim that they are violating religious norms.

Members of LGBTQI+ community also reported that religious teaching is a significant factor in the marginalization of the LGBTQI+ communities and leads to deep personal struggles for those who attempt to reconcile their religious identity with their sexuality.  Often, the perspectives of LGBTQI+ and women are excluded from inter-religious dialogues and processes of reconciliation. Reconciliation, through ethnic and religious lenses, without considering gendered impacts, is not inclusive.

After the April bombings, one measure included in the emergency regulations proclaimed by the government was the ban on face-covering in public places. This has led to a rise in intolerance towards those who observe religious dress codes, especially among the Muslim women in public institutions such as hospital, schools and public transport. Some people stop Muslim women and girls simply with hijab or abaya from entering some hospitals or exam halls, or make verbal insults at work places. I also received reports that alleged violations of the ban on the face-veil were sometimes met with harsh reaction, including imprisonment, which is  a draconian measure.

Furthermore, the entire Muslim community is excluded from the General Marriage Ordinance i.e. there is no option for Muslims to opt-in or opt-out of the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA). The application of the MMDA has long been a subject of concern for those advocating for gender equality and has been the subject of several reviews, focusing on both substantive aspects of the law and its administration. Based on patriarchal readings of sharia, the MMDA violates international human rights standards including those articulated by the UN CEDAW. Furthermore, the law set up Quazi courts to settle marriage disputes, but women are not permitted to be Quazi judges. However, the long-awaited reform of the MMDA has started to progress recently.

  • Religious extremism and politicisation of religion

Following the Easter attack, the media have pointed to the fact that Sri Lanka was a victim of the global trend of Islamist extremism. Even within the Government, there is little recognition that religious extremism of all sorts might have been an underlying problem in the country. Instead, they referred to “sporadic small incidents”. Many interlocutors with whom I spoke to however indicated that many were already highly concerned by the influence of extremist views of different religious figures, including the Buddhists, from earlier on. Besides, concern was expressed that some politicians intentionally instrumentalize religions, possibly for political gain, especially during elections.

As religious extremism has been used to incite violence  in Sri Lanka, it would be important to identify and respond to the root causes of such extremism. While radicalization processes remain contested, deficits in good governance especially the capricious application of the rule of law that undermine trust in  public institutions are frequently implicated, as are persistent perceptions of insecurity, injustice, inequality and alienation. Moreover, such tensions can become a tinderbox that could flare up with even the slightest quarrel or incident, as had happened on several occasions since 2014. Building societal resilience against extremism and fear requires a broad-based approach that relies on good governance, respect for the human rights of all and building bridges across communities.

  • Ethnic and religious Identity

In most of the conversations I had, people often identified themselves as Muslim, Sinhala, or Tamil.  Otherwise, they identify themselves by religion such as Buddhist, Christian, Hindu or Muslim. It is apparent that there is a deeply rooted identity politics, closely linked with religion and ethnicity. From the point of freedom of religion or belief, identity politics risks
a) over emphasizing communal interest of a religion or ethnicity over individual rights or freedom;
b) giving priority or prominence to the given majority in a specific area, hence, marginalising the rights of minorities or those perceived not fitting into the recognised identities from the traditional mosaic of a society.

Such identity politics will continue to undermine all the peacebuilding, coexistence and religious tolerance or harmony projects as each group of people become territorial in all spaces, whether politically, socially or economically.  I would like to refer to the SCP findings pointing to a considerable amount of the blame for ethno-religious tensions to politicians of all political parties, creating and instrumentalizing communal disharmony in an attempt to strengthen their power bases.

While there is recognition that the Sri Lankan national identity represents some diversity, including religious and linguistic diversity; those who are members of a  religious community that does not  belong to the four main line religions in Sri Lanka appear not to enjoy the same rights and freedom as those officially recognized even though the law provides equal rights for all. Even among those who are recognised, the communities who are outnumbered by others in different areas claim that they are marginalised or  at risk of being ‘colonised’ by the majority. Similarly, the majority would argue that the ‘invasion’ of new religious communities in certain areas is not welcomed as they do not fit, or use the pretext that the new religious groups have undermined religious harmony in certain areas or hurt religious feelings of the majority people.

Although the constitution frames freedom of religion or belief as a fundamental human right, the collective dimension of the right appears to be more emphasised in practice than the individual rights dimension, especially in the societal understanding of the right. This is likely the result of the strong links between ethnicity and religion, and a reliance on a ‘toleration’ model of freedom of religion or belief, whereby individuals are seen as part of a community on whom both the state and the individual rely to negotiate rights and duties. A toleration model however might not embrace horizontal equality of all citizens, which requires policies of inclusion; it may include privileges to the preferred or dominant community; and it may privilege collective rights over individual rights.

One of the challenges the country faces is perception of the lack of horizontal equality amongst religious communities, and a threat to their identity, which forms the basis for claiming for their rights. There is resentment amongst several groups that their identity and privileges based on that identity are under threat from the changing religious landscape in the country; while the majority community itself feels insecure in its position unless it asserted itself more stridently as the majority community.

  • Lack of rule of law, accountability and impunity

Many complained about the role of the authorities in protecting communities against violence, citing the inability or the unwillingness of the authorities to protect communities against threats and acts of violence. Some expressed surprise and dismay that large mobs could openly and for several hours rampage through minority community neighbourhoods without hindrance or reaction from law enforcement authorities, or that these authorities fail to make adequate provision for protection even when some of the rioting continued on for several days.  In some cases, these attacks took place during curfew hours. These happened during the riots in Kandy district last year, and yet again in May this year in several locations in the Western and North Western provinces.

Some also expressed concern about perceived bias in the way the police addressed complaints. This was particularly the case were the assailants were members of  the majority community. Many complained that either police failed to register and investigate complaints raised by them or that they would act in a punitive manner on complaints raised against them while failing to take similar measures when they were the target of attacks, or that generally the police were unsure on how to act in responding to infringements of the law by Buddhist monks.

Some blamed politicians for influencing law enforcement citing examples where politicians were allegedly involved in pressuring the police to release persons arrested following violent attacks. Others blamed a more deep-seated culture of impunity which undermined the rule of law and human rights.

  • Role of media and hate speech or campaigns

Many complained about the role of the media in promoting hateful narratives towards Muslims and inciting to hostility and discrimination against them. While some blamed journalistic sensationalism, others noted that the privatised and politicised electronic media play a large role in demonising individuals and groups. Some highlighted the negative role of the media in perpetrating the narrative that Muslim medical professionals were secretly carrying out large-scale sterilisation of Buddhist women.

The role of social media in generating fear through fake news and incitement to violence was noted by many with serious concern. The government shut down some social media platforms during the riots in March 2018 and following Easter bombings earlier this year. While all hate speech should be rejected, the likelihood of such speech causing actual violence can depend greatly on the context and the overall climate. A combination of impunity, privilege, scapegoating and exclusion can form a tinderbox of hatred.

Although inciting to discrimination, hostility and violence is criminalised under the ICCPR Act, many argued that the Act was not applied in a manner that would protect minorities against incitement. Arrests under the act are non-bailable for a period of 14 days and signals the seriousness of inciting to violence. However, when the Act is invoked to protect religions or beliefs against criticism or perceived insult, rather than to protect individuals, communities may find themselves even more vulnerable to incitement to discrimination and violence.

While speech that reaches the high threshold of incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence should be criminalised, positive measures that seek to counter hate speech through positive and inclusive speech is equally important. Although there have been many good examples of inclusive speech following Easter bombings that appealed for calm and prevent a backlash against the Muslim community, some of the measures taken appear to have increased stigmatisation of the Muslim community.
A recurrent complaint was the role of the media and social media in fomenting hatred and disinformation, the failure of the police to protect minority communities and the inability to hold perpetrators to account. The recurrence of such episodic violence has fostered a climate of fear amongst Muslim groups and if unaddressed, it is likely to cause an exodus of Muslims from the country.

  • Conclusion and recommendations for immediate consideration

The long-standing traditions of religious harmony and co-existence in Sri Lanka must be reinforced to address the challenges of the modern context of the country. This is characterised by growing politicisation of religion, polarisation of communities through segregated education based on ethno-religious identity,  opening up of under-regulated spaces for communication  through privatised electronic media and spread of social media, simmering resentment against perceived majoritarian privilege, growing frustration over capricious law enforcement, and the spread of religious extremism.

The legal protections for freedom of religion or belief, though with some exceptions, reflect the international standards on freedom of religion or belief. The key deficits relate to protections offered to the propagation of religion across faith boundaries and the deficits in the guarantee, in practice, against discrimination, especially for women. However, the legal protections are undermined by the capricious implementation of the rule of law, especially in regard to the prohibition of incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence, and against actual acts of violence against minority religious communities.

Paradoxically, a provision that may have been designed to preserve good relations and harmony among religious communities, namely the criminalisation of giving offence to religion is not only problematic in terms of the right to freedom of expression, but may also hinder efforts to foster a climate of tolerance by ruling out the possibility to challenge extremist narratives based on religion or belief.

I will formulate detailed recommendations in my final Report, but I wish to conclude my preliminary findings by recommending the following measures, some of which are particularly important to create an enabling environment to exercise fundamental freedoms in the lead up to elections:

  • The State must prosecute those responsible for violence and incitement to violence, make efforts to dismantle the networks of hate, and facilitate access to justice to victims of hate crimes.
  • The State should develop systems and mechanisms to monitor and respond to hate speech in conformity the with international human rights standards. The guidance provided by a number of tools developed by the UN system, notably the Rabat Plan of Action on responding to hate speech and the Fez Plan of Action on Responding to Incitement to Mass Atrocity Violence would be valuable for use in training law enforcement officials. These tools should also be disseminated to media persons, civil society actors, religious leaders and political leaders.
  • As recommended in the above-mentioned tools, government leaders and religious leaders must speak out against hateful narratives and reject efforts to ostracise and stigmatise minority communities and persons in vulnerable situations.
  • Urgent reforms to the education system must be initiated to foster inclusive identities. International obligations require Sri Lanka to fulfil the right to education in ways that prepare children for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin.5
  • The State should also consider incorporating the elements identified in the Action Plan included in Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18 of 2011, which inter alia calls for fostering inclusion of minority communities, conducting outreach programmes with them to build bridges, promoting inter-religious dialogue.
  • State should utilise the Beirut Declaration and its 18 Commitments on Faith for Rights in its activities designed to promote inter-religious dialogue. Such dialogues must be inclusive with voluntary participation of all communities, bringing together not just religious leaders but religious actors that work to advance peacebuilding and human rights, including women and members of religious minorities and the non-religious.
  • The social media platforms should invest more in the ability to monitor and respond to incitement to violence while protecting freedom of expression and access to information.

________

1/ https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=24818&LangID=E

2/ See Interim report of the Select Committee of Parliament to study and report to Parliament its recommendations to ensure Communal and Religious Harmony in Sri Lanka. https://www.parliament.lk/uploads/comreports/1554456616036598.pdf#page=51

3/ See Wiyawanna Declaration https://www.parliament.lk/en/committee-news/view/1701

4/ See National Policy on Reconciliation and Coexistence Sri Lanka http://nirmin.gov.lk/web/images/pdf/national-policy-english.pdf

5/  CRC Article 29 (1)d and 1981 Declaration Art 5.3

 

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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

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        Guys, guys, guys ………… and gals, gals, gals …………

        Calm down.

        Why boil ye blood over what this clown has written? ……. He is paid to do a job.

        He has a cushy job at the UN …….. and he has to just write some crap to earn his keep.

        Let the poor sod write something no one will take the trouble to read ……… other than people who are paid to read the darn thang.

        Why worry?

        To hell with all the Special Rapporteurs ………… for the last 71 years no one has dictated terms to us we ourselves have been the masters of our own fate.

        The fine state of the nation is a testament to our tremendous efforts and handiwork.

        Hold ye heads high and be proud ……. we ourselves did all the hard work without any help from anyone. ………… Yeah! where were the goddamn rapporteurs when we needed them most?


        Let’s all celebrate our achievements ……. time for a good ol’ all-night Baila sing-song/dance …….. I’ll bring the grog ……… if Native brings the gals ………..

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          Facebook which spreads hate speech and has been used to mine data and rig elections by companies like Cambridge Analytica and will be used to create religious riots and destablize Sri Lanka to protect US puppet Bondscam Ranil before the elections should be shut down first -but this UN guy will not say this because Facebook is part of the US military-business- intelligence complex!

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            Shaheed’s statement is priming and setting the stage in for the next big attack to weaponize religion in Lanka, by the US-Saudi Special Operations forces (SOF), to create inter and intra-religious conflict and violence, divide, distract the people, in order to keep US puppet Bondscam Ranil in power and perhaps delay elections, and ensure the Financially illiterate finance minister of Sri Lanka, Mangala the Moron, will sign the MCC compact and SOFA for a measly 480 million USD.
            But after the Easter Sunday terrorism staged “with love from America” – which was; 1) an attack on Chinese Investment in Sri Lanka, 2) economic terrorism against the SL business community and 3) weaponize Muslim-Buddhist religions and cause riots and de-stabilze the island to set up US bases, even 480 BILLION would not be enough!. Sri Lanka is not for sale, just as Greenland was not for sale, and we want justice for the victims of US barbarism at Easter Sunday
            The American Octopus Cyborg – Marvel’s Spiderman anti-hero Doctor Octopus is a good metaphor of how US has spread its tentacles around Sri Lanka and is squeezing and strangling the island economy and people.
            Trumpland must be charged for State sponsored superpower TERRORISM against Sri Lanka and in many other parts of Southeast Asia at this time -to make America great again!

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              There are a lot of small incidents or small disasters happening to distract and lead up to the big riot to game the elections in favor of US puppet Bondscam Ranil.

              After the post-Easter lull, no again, various mysterious disasters are happening focused on distrubing ethnic and religious harmony, particularly in the northeast. Also–discoveries of weapons in the northeast, forest fires in land, protests by university students stuck in a time warp with IUSF owned ant operated by Aussi and US agents while police use water canons in Colombo, while JVP has been bought just like UNP and PP by US funds.
              US economic terrorism is also on the rise with the rupee being crashed..The de-stablization of Sri lanka is on going at this time – all to turn the country into America’s unskinkable air craft carrier.

        • 6
          2

          Nimal Fernando
          ‘Nava gilunath band tune’ -while ship sinks let the music play.
          That’s why we are in this present state of near anarchy. A nation of proud fools, lotus eaters. Name calling of UN Advisors, Rapporteurs, Secretary General whoever is our past time. Only fools laugh at others.

    • 8
      1

      JD, Lanka Perera, Paragon, Mano, somass, Johnny, ………….

      Brilliant.
      Thanks for keeping it brief.
      Thanks
      Keep up your good work.

      Did you order him to go to Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya, ……………… or hell?

    • 0
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      Despite all these minorities breed at record numbers!

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  • 27
    3

    The rapporteur failed to comment on the facts that:-
    More than 99% of members of the armed forces and police are Sinhalese and Buddhists.
    And, that the armed forces in addition are granted ‘police powers’ – unlike in any other country which professes ‘democracy’.
    He would not know that the senior most member of the navy was appointed Commander of the Navy, but was compelled to retire within a few months as he was not a Sinhala Buddhist.
    P.S
    A female regiment of the army composed entirely of Hindu Tamil women was formed a few years ago, there was a marchpast shown on the media, and the regiment was apparently disbanded quietly, a few months later.

    • 14
      2

      Ahmed Shaheed – United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief,

      RE: Full Text: End Of Mission Statement – United Nations Special Rapporteur On Freedom Of Religion Or Belief,

      “There is a serious deficit of trust among ethno-religious communities in Sri Lanka following the deadly Easter Sunday bomb blasts and subsequent mob violence this year, and these tensions must not be ignored,” Shaheed said, presenting a report at the end of a 12-day mission to the country.

      Thanks for bringing this issue to the front burner. In a nutshell, it is about Para-Sinhala “Buddhism” and the hegemony of monks, mean IQ 79, who are abused as 7-year old as child monks, and they in turn want to abuse others who are not Para-Sinhala Buddhists, and the Para-Sinhala politician are going along with it., ignoring the Law of the Land,.

      This mistrust was always there, under the surface. What caused the 30-year Separatist War with the Tamils? Why did the Para-Tamils mistrust the Para-Sinhala “Buddhists””? in 1956 and later on? Who killed the late Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike? A Para-Sinhala Buddhist Monk. Want to know more? Read up on Buddhism Betrayed,.

      RELIGION, POLITICS, AND VIOLENCE IN SRI LANKA By STANLEY JEYARAJA TAMBIAH

      https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/B/bo3618620.html

      In order to understand the freedom of language and religion,in the Land of Native Veddah Aethho (Sri Lanka) ILLEGALLY occupied by the Para-Sinhala (foreign-Sinhala), Para-Tamils (foreign-Tamils) and Para-Muslims ( foreign -Muslims), you need to understand them and their brainwashed worldview of Para-Sinhala Buddhist brainwashing over the past 2,500 years, and the lies and imaginations in the Chroniclers, Chulawamsa and Mahawamsa.

      In a nutshell, because the Para-Sinhala arrived illegally before the other Paras- they have more rights and therefore have the right to treat and discriminate the other Paras differently, and as second-class citizens.

      • 3
        12

        Beware! One of the assassins of culture and heritage (sanscruti ghathakayo) of Native Sinhala Buddhists that run into thousands of years is back in action again.

        • 10
          2

          Blind eagle,
          What sanskruti are you talking about? Is it the one where monks are allowed to play with their toy-boys in temples?
          Or the one where Sinhala women are sex slaves in the Gulf?
          Or the glorious history where 75% of the king’s killed their mothers , fathers, or siblings to get power?
          Wow!

      • 10
        1

        Amarasiri

        FT flashed out “Army Commander plans upgrade of military intelligence”.

        Is it possible to upgrade Army Commander’s intelligence leave alone the entire military?
        Any genetic editing, cell implant, head transplant, ………………. currently available?

        • 4
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          Native Vedda,

          There is a technology called CRISPER. That could be tested with the Army Intelligence, the Paras, the Monks, the priests, the Ulama, the politicians and the voters, to see if it makes a difference in the mean IQ 79. Evolution simply takes too long to bring these Para-imbeciles, simpletons to an acceptable standard.

    • 10
      1

      Justice:-
      “…was appointed Commander of the Navy, but was compelled to retire within a few months as he was not a Sinhala Buddhist.”
      Was His Caste a requirement too?

      • 9
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        Hamlet,

        Certain Nikayas are restricted only to Govigama Buddhists, excluded the Karave caste Buddhists. This is Para-Sinhala- Buddhism as practiced in the land of Native Veddah Aethho.

        So the Karave formed the Siyam Nikaya ,was ordained by going to Siam, Thailand.

        The Para-Sinhala Para-Buddhism has evolved into a distortion of Buddhism, and as an insult to the Buddha.

        Wonder why there are are hardly any Tamil Buddhists in Sri Lanka? Were they disgusted by the way the low IQ Para-Sinhala were prostrating to the low IQ imbecile Para-Monks, who got the Monk treatment and training as child monks?

        • 2
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          Hamlet,

          Amarapura Nikaya,

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amarapura_Nikaya

          As a consequence of this ‘exclusively Govigama’ policy adopted in 1764 by the Siyam Nikaya, the Buddhists in the Maritime provinces were denied access to a valid ordination lineage.

          In 1799, Walitota Sri Gnanawimalatisssa a monk from the Salagama caste, departed for Siam with a group of novices to seek a new succession of Higher ordination. But during the trip, they had an incident where the ship suddenly stopped moving. Once it was able to move again, the Dutch national Captain of the ship suggested that Buddhism was in a more flourishing condition in Amarapura, Burma than Siam. The monk agreed to the suggestion of the Captain obtained the necessary introductions to the religious and administrative authorities in Amarapura. The first bhikkhu was ordained in Burma in 1800 by the sangharaja of Burma.

          After their return in 1803 they established a udakhupkhepa sima (a flotilla of boats moved together to form a platform on the water) at the Maduganga River, Balapitiya and, under the most senior Burmese bhikkhus who accompanied them, held an upasampada ceremony on the uposatha of Vesak. The new fraternity came to be known as the Amarapura Nikaya

          Several subsequent trips to Burma by Karava and Durava monks as well, created by 1810 a core group of ordained monks and provided the required quorum for Higher Ordination of Amarapura Nikaya monks in Sri Lanka. The higher ordination denied to them in 1764 by the Govigama conspirators had been regained and they were soon granted recognition by the colonial British government. However, the radical change of ordination rules by the Siam Nikaya in 1764 and its continuance despite it being contrary to the teachings of the Gautama Buddha, plagues the Sri Lankan Buddhist Sangha, which remains divided on caste lines.

    • 5
      17

      justice,
      “More than 99% of members of the armed forces and police are Sinhalese and Buddhists.”

      Because Sinhalayo are the Native people in Sinhale who developed the economy and saved this country from ‘‘Para Demala’, ‘Para Parangi’, ‘Para Landesi’, ‘Para Ingirisi’ invaders. ‘Para Demalu’ invaded this country 52 times starting from 3rd Century BC. During colonial rule, ‘Para Demalu’ joined British and massacred Sinhalayo. Tens and thousands of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo shed blood and sacrificed their lives to save the country from ‘Para’ invaders.

      • 13
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        Eagle Blind Eye

        FYI
        Sinhalayo = Descendants of Kallathonie Converts.

        • 12
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          Sinhala Modayas are karawa fishermen from Kerala, Salagama cinnamon peelers from Saligramam in India, berawe drumbeaters, toddy tappers, Kandyan kings from Tamilnadu- let us send these Sinhala dumbos out of the island.

      • 13
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        Truth is only 1% can run the show
        99% Modaya security members have no brain ..or backbone because they are genetically weak.

        KeKeKeKe it took 30 years to challenge LTTE .only after receiving help from 134 countries,….this is the Kuwality of Modayas.

        April 21 st bomb attack is a clear proof that all Modayas are genetically weak.

        Podi Menikes ..Punchi Nona in the south now giving birth babies with Chinese face …maides returning from M.E carry babies of Arabs ..Glory of Modayas.

        Cheers

      • 13
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        Developed economy ????

        KeKeKeKe

        Drug business…Maides Service to Arab sure.

        Lazy Modayas refused to work in coffee and tea plantation..major revenue to this cursed country is by
        Tamils..who gave not only their sweat but also their bodies to tea plantation .

        If not tea plantation Modayas would have cultivated Ganja and Opium .

        Cheers

        • 3
          12

          Cholan,
          This country has a history of thousands of years. Sinhalayo developed the economy by constructing a massive irrigation system and making this country not only self-sufficient but to export grains to Hindusthan. Sinhalayo converted this country to a trading center where Chinese brought their products and traded with Arab traders. Go and see archeological sites in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. These Kingdoms were vandalized by ‘Para Demala’ invaders.

          Sinhalayo did not go to work in plantations of colonial parasites not because they were lazy but because Sinhalayo did not want to work as laborers. They could live without working as laborers. ‘Para Demalu’ from Hindusthan who were starving were willing to work as slaves to colonial parasites. If Tamils in Hindusthan had a good living conditions, there was no need to go as slaves to unknown places in Myanmar, Malaya, Fiji, Madagascar and several African countries.

          • 9
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            Eagle Eye,
            You are a Bird of prey. Looking only for your next victim. Chingalayas of yesterday’s years were not Lotus Eaters.
            Missing the wood for the trees. If not for the Indian plantation workers you will not be exporting tea among other crops. Hard working women.
            Better than than working in Arab Hones and being abused. Nobody wanted to be slaves.
            Colonials made them slaves.

          • 7
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            KeKeKeee

            Modayas constructed dams
            In the past then why the
            Mahaweli ..Kotmale..Maduru oya projects constructed by western companies ????

            Same apply to the so called dams..All contruted by experts from Greece who were a developed nation in the past.

            Can you explain why your Buddha ‘ s nose resemble Greek nose ????

            KeKeKeKe

            Modayas are all genetically weak..they will live with fear for LTTE from cradle to grave.

            It is your women today are servicing to dirty Arabs and Chinese.

            Mahavamsa is a comic book and even a patient at Angoda hospital will not believe.

            A crap ..fabricated comic book written in Pali first by Buddhist Ayotullahs .

            Cheers

          • 3
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            Blind Eye, you don’t seem to see facts. The history you talk about 2500 years really. So you believe in Mahawamsa?? The chronicle which states that your proudly claimed Sinhala king VIJAYA from INDIA a renegade prince was SINHALESE. Your Sinhalese forefathers bear the furs of the LION from your KING vijaya that’s why you are so brave???

            How many of the kings of the irrigation you talk about are SINHALA. They were Tamil or foreign as well if you could go and check with your not so blind eye. They ran to INDIA for every little cough. Got down their wives, maids, craftsmen etc from there so wher is the hardworking Sinhala?????

      • 9
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        “Because Sinhalayo are the Native people in Sinhale who developed the economy”

        And the state of the economy is a testament to their abilities and skills!

        • 0
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          nimal fernando ,

          Year 2017
          The total value of exports – US $ 11,741 Million .
          The total value of imports- US $21,316 Million .
          The top product of export – Tea .
          The top five export destinations – US , UK , India , Germany , Italy .
          The top five import destinations- India , China, U A E , Spore JPN.
          Source – World Integrated Trade Solution .

          Migrant Remittance for the same year:
          Saudi – US $ 2,264.6 Million. U K – US $ 525.1 Million.
          U A E – US $ 652.6 Million. India – US $ 519.5 Million.
          Qatar- US $ 508.4 Million.
          Source – countryeconomy.com

          “Because Sinhalayo are the Native people in Sinhale who developed
          the economy” ?

      • 7
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        Eagle Eye,
        “……………………………..……………….52 times !!! Can you please divulge your source of this information.
        “Para Demalu” designation is not anywhere in the constitution.
        Where did you find it?

        • 1
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          Justice,
          This is an excerpt from a speech given by President Chandrika Kumaratunge.

          “On the other hand, I dare say, that there are reasons to justify the fears of the Sinhala. History records that ancient Lanka was invaded 52 times in 14 centuries by South Indian rulers, and was conquered and ruled by a few times. This may be sufficient to sow fear in the common conscience of the Sinhala people.”
          Pre-requisite for peace, stability and prosperity in a democratic and pluralist state-by Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga. If you want the source go to dbsjeyaraj dot com/archives/2000.

          • 0
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            ‘Invaded 52 times by South Indian rulers . . .’

            Luckily before that many, many more mongrel Indians had come over from other parts of India and given birth to Sinhalese race.

  • 24
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    All what some Sinhalese Buddhist extremists ( both some politicians and some monks) want is to create a communal tension to win election. Some of these racists are ungrateful people. They are going against Buddhists teaching and national interest. It is in the national interest of Sri Lanka to promote peace. They can not expel all Sri Lankan Tamils into Tamil Nadu. They can not send all Muslims out of Sri Lanka. Will they able touch any Upcountry Tamils, If they do Tamil Nadu will boil. Can these Buddhist radicals send all Christians out the country. If not, why not these racists learn to live. Let us live and let others to live. Sorry to say some these racists are inflicted with jealousy and hatred.

    • 4
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      Why were those both SLFP & UNP governments of the past seven decades never considered the moderate Tamils demands even during the Tiger Terror decades Now you will get through few more decades with no solution but educated Buddhist Preis Philosophy and Army Rule & Law

    • 6
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      Larkana,

      In a nutshell, Para-Sinhala Para-“Buddhism “, is a a distortion and corruption of Buddhism, and an insult to the Buddha.

      The Para-Sinhala racists have weaponized Buddhism, just the same way others have done.The Question is will the Sinhala Buddhist populace, mean IQ 79, have the common sense and intellect to see through this?

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    • 7
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      Truth is only 1% can run the show
      99% Modaya security members have no brain ..or backbone because they are genetically weak.

      KeKeKeKe it took 30 years to challenge LTTE .only after receiving help from 134 countries,….this is the Kuwality of Modayas.

      April 21 st bomb attack is a clear proof that all Modayas are genetically weak.

      Podi Menikes ..Punchi Nona in the south now giving birth babies with Chinese face …maides returning from M.E carry babies of Arabs ..Glory of Modayas.

      Cheers

  • 0
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  • 1
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    My comment may look out of place but it is relevant. Could he have not written all this without ever visiting Sri Lanka? The answer is YES. Judging from the “Yes Minister” series reports, press communique are drafted well before the event. There isn’t a single word or part of a sentence regarding what he actually saw or heard while he was in Sri Lanka. The general theme of a voluminous report on wide-ranging issues is that Sri Lankan Government is unable to govern properly. For what purpose is that theme? Oho! The country needs some peace-keepers say like the IPKF we had in the North and the Eastern Provinces those days. Many claim abuses on the part of the IPKF. So, the Peace Keepers must have diplomatic immunity and the ability to move around “freely” in Sri Lanka in their uniform. THE CAT IS OUT OF THE BAG. Will all this help Sri Lanka to put its house in order? NO! NO! NO! Only allegations of misuse of Sri Lankan Women and Children.

    • 2
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      Good Sense,
      I fully agree with your observation. The guys visit the country but by the time they come to the country draft report prepared by others who have vested interest is already in their laptop. Unless these guys fall in line with the agenda of those who pump money, they can’t survive. So what! Let me tell what they want and save my a*s.

    • 5
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      No worries soon US soldiers will move in North and East.

      Cheers

  • 8
    4

    Why doesn’t he, on behalf of United Nations, recommend our government to adopt measures to ensure Muslims in Sri Lanka to be treated minimum to the same degree as non Muslim minorities are treated in Muslim majority countries. Our Muslim brothers and sisters should stand up and demand that. They are entitled to it. I will fight to death for their right to be treated as they do to others.

    Soma

    • 3
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      Well said Soma.

    • 11
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      Sri Lankan Muslims are set of cheap opportunists, they don’t care how they get treated as long as that will benefit them monetarily. They don’t have any class except handful of them. And one can’t compare these cheap Muslims with Sinhalese in that sense. Sinhalese waited patiently before all these, and then these opportunists went over the limit, building mosques, changing culture to look aliens among others, involved in all possible illegal businesses, always tried to achieve something through back door. Govt should have initiated some control on them but govt didn’t, so people got themselves involved with Easter incident. The very first thing missing among Muslims is discipline. Only way they can learn some discipline is by scattering themselves from Muslim densely populated areas such as Maligawatte, Aluthkade, Dematagod, Aluthgama or elsewhere. I am a Muslim too so I know them better.

    • 4
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      somass

      It is difficult decode what exactly you want from UN.
      Why do you let those Muslims and Non Muslims go to Muslim majority country?

      • 0
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        NV
        “It is difficult decode what exactly you want from UN.”
        All I want from UN, as I made clear is in my comment, is to recognise our Muslims’ right to be treated the same way non Muslim minorities are treated in Muslim majority countries.
        It is their fundamental right. I will put up my life for that right – they are our brothers and sisters.

        Soma

    • 3
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      In terms of action the UN has done nothing against Sinhala supremacist tyranny in Sri Lanka. Neither has any other foreign power. Sometimes they condemn whats going on in SL. But you never seen any kind of action against the island so far.

      • 4
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        JohnSiva

        The Sinhala/Buddhist fascists need to keep the target population in constant fear using all kind of lies, threats, …if they want to reign the stupidest people of this island.

        “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
        -Joseph Goebbels: On the “Big Lie”

      • 1
        3

        JohnSilva
        There is a problem. There is no way, ABSOLUTELY NO WAY, to punish the Sinhalese without facing a 1000 times stronger reaction. Sri Lanka is an island and Tamils (all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion, caste or the date of arrival) are scattered across the country. If economic sanctions are imposed for example Tamils will go hungry first. Got it John bass?

        Soma

    • 1
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      Soma ,

      No , Soma , I don’t think Silankan Muslims are interested in
      building the wold largest Mosque in Srilanka like the
      Buddhist Temple at Borobudur in Indonesia ! Indonesia has
      the world largest Muslim population .

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  • 12
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    We don’t need freedom of religion in SL, but freedom from religion! All these crazy superstitions, creation myths, 72 virgins etc. ditched in favor of reason, science & enlightened humanity.

    • 2
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      Lak DeSilva

      “All these crazy superstitions, creation myths, 72 virgins etc. ditched in favor of reason, science & enlightened humanity.”

      Is that why the politicians of this island adamantly retain the Chapter II of the constitution even though they refuse to adhere and practice Buddhism in this island?

  • 3
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    Until the leaders in this country, try to show unity, stop playing games pitting one against the other, and work hard to prevent any ethnic violence, this country is doomed, and has no hope. Let’s start by arresting rabble rousers and hate mongers, even if they wear saffron robes, and keep them in jail, and any politician making that stinking call asking for them to be released, should be thrown in jail too. Anyone caught spreading false rumours should also be held accountable.

  • 9
    0

    The report is totally biased towards the Muslims. He is only concerned about the rights and security of the Muslims. What about the Christians? What about the rights and security of the Christians? what about the compensation packages that are yet to be given to the victims? what about the Muslim extremist groups? what about the half baked investigations that were carried out by the Government? Without the knowledge of the politicians in the east this could have not happened! There were training camps in the region and non of the politicians knew about them? Are they living in Colombo? It would have been better if the UN sent a non Muslim or a non Christian to review the situation in our country! The UN rep should have spoken to the Cardinal who is very unhappy about the investigations. As an UN Rep he should have given a unbiased Report! Extremely disappointed!!

    • 4
      0

      Whether the report is right or wrong, biased or unbiased, it is fundamentally flawed. When meting out justice, it should appear that it has been done correctly. UN has erred in sending a person who is from Maldives and a Muslim to give this report. This has led to speculation among some Sinhalese that there may be some bias.What guarantee can UN give to the cynics that this person has no vested interest in this matter. His failure to condemn Muslims for their role or praise Catholics and Tamils for the restraint shown is a blot in his report. Investigator should have been from a country not in the region preferably an African and not a Muslim or Buddhist as the conflict is between them.

      • 1
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        Sri Lanka is a country where there is always a high level of ethno religious tension. One of the significant ethno religions group is the Muslim group. I believe the report itself is factual and effort had probably been made to collect accurate details. It had finally been reviewed and approved by a Muslim person. That’s the mistake. Final review and approval should have been done by a neutral person.
        This report is timely because the presidential election is to be held soon. This is the period for fake news creation. In Sri Lanka the security forces are often involved in fake news creation. Recently the president had been coerced into appointing Shavindra Silva and him appointing a new secret service head is probably related to this. They will work towards creating fake news to heighten the tension between ethnic groups. It is easy to guess which presidential candidate will benefit from it. The main sufferers will be the minority communities. This will also severely affect the progress of the whole country.

  • 2
    1

    ““There is a serious deficit of trust among ethno-religious communities in Sri Lanka following the deadly Easter Sunday bomb blasts and subsequent mob violence this year, and these tensions must not be ignored,” Shaheed said”

    So he visits the country for 12 days, talks to a few VIPS, and thinks there is no trust between the different communities. Sri Lanka has actually improved since 1983. There were no riots after the Easter Attack and the Christian community (led by its excellent Cardinal) came together with Buddhists. The armed forces went after suspected Muslim attackers, but that is to be expected. Someone should have told this envoy that the (Muslim) suicide bombers were well off, which means they did not face discrimination from the Sinhalese. The suicide bombers were influenced by a Saudi Wahhabi ideology that has nothing to do with S. Lanka. The envoy should concentrate on condeming this ideology, as it is causing genocide in Yemen at the moment. What happened to priorities?

    • 7
      3

      Lester

      You have a great country,
      you have a great hydraulic civilisation
      you have great a people,
      you have great Sangha,
      you have great security forces,
      you have great culture, heritage, written history, ….
      you have great academics,
      You have great politicians,
      You have great economy,
      you have great engineers, innovators, inventors, ……………
      …..
      ….

      Why does this country want to be part of the UN system and get humiliated by it’s functionaries (whom the Sri Lankan never elected) very often than not, …..

      Why should this island remain part of UN system?
      Being a great nation why can’t it pull out of the UN system and sever diplomatic relation with most of the Western Countries, who seem to be acting against our interest?

      • 3
        1

        Native,

        UN is a business, it is not a human rights organization. The agenda of the UN is set by the 8-member security council, who hold permanent seats. The largest donor to the UN is the United States. That is why the UN could not stop the US from invading Iraq, or Saudi Arabia & UAE sponsoring genocide in Yemen, or Saudi Arabia & its partners sponsoring ISIS to destroy Syria, and many other situations. The UN sponsors sanctions against North Korea, Iraq, Iran, and Cuba, which cause the people in these countries to live in great poverty as their countries cannot trade, the currency is devalued, and essential items like food and medicine are only sold on the black market.

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        • 2
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          Lester:

          “The agenda of the UN is set by the 8-member security council, who hold permanent seats. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………”

          There are only five permanent members as follows: China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

          What has rest of your typing go to do with this island?
          Please get to the point.
          Though I am bit thick I think I have fair knowledge of contemporary history. Therefore please stop teaching the same lessons again and again and again, ….

          If you treat your family well strangers and neighbours will find no excuse to grope your women folks, including your mother, wife, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmas, ……………………………

          • 2
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            Native,

            I don’t know why you are obsessed with groping and private things. Anyway, I will tell you this: Sri Lanka is the least racist country I have encountered. Historically, the real issue was not racism but lack of economic development. Even during the war, there was a party called “Tamil National Alliance” (TNA) with a separatist agenda, that was permitted to speak in the Parliament. Which other country will allow that? It is hard for foreigners like the UN Rapporteur to see these little things; they have one goal, to distribute funds for development.

      • 4
        1

        KeKeKeKeKe

        We are Mahavamsa comic book super power…every Modaya leaders travel to Greater China with bowl to beg

        Part of this cursed island is already sold to Greater China.

        Api anduwa

        Let’s dance for free attack.

        Cheers

        Cheers

        • 1
          1

          I don’t why my comment about historical FACTS was removed, but this comment about “modaya leaders” is okay? I made a correction, there are 15 countries on the UN Security Council, not 8, with 5 who hold permanent seats. Readers may research into the behavior of these 5 permanent members.

      • 1
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        Native Vedda

        I have suggested enough times that Sri lanka leaves the UN and the Commonwealth and revert to a state ‘impartial’ and non-aligned’ but that is a bridge too far for those in high office. They crave for the kudos that goes with membership but not with the responsibilities. Best of all is watch the main culprits guzzling the cocktails on the circuit whilst rubbishing those who provide it. Only in Sri Lanka. (Remember, we are pioneers in the diplomat-slapping stakes.)

  • 2
    3

    This Report is partial.
    .
    –under Introduction:
    Para 2: Has the UN ever paid respect to the memory of those killed by LTTE?
    .
    –under Religious landscape and political development:
    -Para 1: Twisted statistics. Tamils don’t represent 15.3%. Sri Lankan Tamils comprise 11.1% of the population and Indian Tamils comprise 4.1%. There is a difference.
    .
    -Para 2: I am totally against the usage of the term “internal conflict.” The UN Special Rapporteur should know that “ethnic or internal conflict” is not a synonym for “LTTE terrorism” where unarmed civilians were brutally killed in tens of thousands using human bombs, metal bombs, swords, mortars, C4s, grenades and landmines.
    .
    -Para 6: is totally bias.
    The government was COMPELLED to proclaim a State of Emergency to PROTECT CIVILIANS.
    The security forces were given “necessary powers” to STOP THE CARNAGE and arrests and detains were mandatory to control the savage killings.
    It is totally wrong to say that the State of Emergency affected only “some” religious communities. Your partiality to a “particular community” is a pain.
    It is NOT the State of Emergency but the brutal suicide bombings which prevented communities from practicing their religions. For an example, major Buddhist festivals; Vesak and Poson were totally disrupted. The highest venerated Buddhist Temple, Dalada Maligawa had to be closed down temporarily while no Mosques were closed. Other Buddhist Temples too, became empty which were otherwise full of devotees. The mainly affected community were Sinhalese Buddhists, not Muslims.
    Hate speech and violence against Muslims were sporadic.
    It is a pity that you did not mention the incredibly quick major role played by the Cardinal of the Catholic Church and the Chief Prelates of the Three Buddhists Chapters to mitigate provocations for religious riots, while at the same time soothing and calming down the shocked citizenry.

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      CONTINUED….. 2
      .
      — under Positive developments in Sri Lanka
      .
      – Para 1: You made me laugh.
      You say, the 19th Amendment strengthened the democracy? On the contrary, it has violated the Constitution by it not being made approved by the citizenry through a Referendum, as stipulated in the Constitution.. Also, the final document was not approved by the Supreme Court. Therefore, the Constitutional Council and all Commissions are illegal. Further, the 19th Amendment has violated the fundamental rights of citizens by placing political parties and Members of Parliament above ordinary citizens by exclusively allowing ONLY people from those categories to contest for Presidency. No independent citizen is allowed to contest for the Presidency which is undemocratic. Moreover, it has introduced an age restriction too. Under Sri Lanka’s Constitution, all Sri Lankans over 18 are considered as eligible voters, recognizing them as adults who can make sound political decisions. This right is violated as the 19th Amendment has barred all adults under 35 from contesting for Presidency.
      .
      About the OMP, the composition of the OMP is bias. The Chairman is a human rights lawyer who represented and still representing terrorists while other civil Commissioners were former civil society activists who worked against the Army.
      .
      -Para 2: Reconciliation and elimination of terrorism are not connected. It is necessary to introduce tough anti-terrorism measures to ensure existence of all citizens without fear or suspicion.
      .
      -Para 3: ONUR is against Buddhists. Last year they funded certain script writers and producers to telecast trashy teledramas with titles similar to Buddhist religious phrases, discrediting Buddhism and ridiculing the family based Sinhala Buddhist society to hurt Buddhists. Later, the authorities had to suspend those teledramas due to protests from Maha Sangha, Opposition politicians and devotees.

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      Sri Lankan , Indian , as well as the so called Sri Lankan Moors are all Tamils by ethnicity. United they make up a powerful 25% of the country’s population , however deliberately divided, on the basis of religion and origin , first by the British and then by all Sinhalese ruling governments , they are weak and fighting with each other whilst the Sinhalese rule. Now Gulf funded Islamic Wahhabi extremist are creating further divisions and havoc by Arabising the Tamil Muslims and brainwashing them to hate their own language and culture. Sinhalese encouraged this thinking it will further weaken the Tamils and thought this will never affect them only the Tamils.

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    I appreciate the United Nations Rapporteur’s, concern, of the fears of SL Muslim community in the aftermath of the troubles here. Naturally protecting the vulnerable minority should be a priority to both the government and all decent people of SL.

    However, it must be emphasised that it’s not only the Muslim community but everyone living in SL fear the fundamentalists and extremists of both the Islam and Buddhist faith. Muslim extremists have for decades terrorised the world, with indiscriminate and gruesome killings. It is easy for the ‘Muslim’ UN Rapporteur to plead the safety of the Muslim community only. Has he visited the Muslim states like Saudi Arabia, and asked them to STOP THE PROMOTION OF FUNDAMENTALISM across the world? In the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bombing, we see the Saudi hand behind the extremists teaching schools and financial backing in places like the eastern province of SL. We also see how the so called Muslim refugees who were embraced with open arms by the people and governments of UK and Europe are now themselves facing a Muslim invasion and open violence against their western religion and culture. Youtube footage show Muslims in England and France, blocking roads at prayer time and attacking motorists using these roads at such times . They also have the Muslim police in the UK; how about that? Some areas like in Australia (NSW), there are Muslim only areas. It seems that the ‘Muslim’ Rapporteur wants everyone to show tolerance and understanding towards the Muslims but doesn’t want to see the same being reciprocated. Why not go and appeal to Saudi and the other Muslim states to permit equal religious rights in their countries to Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, etc? Why allow your Muslim brothers to migrate to Christian countries in the first place, why won’t Muslim states open their doors to the Muslim refugees? I am not a bigot or racist, but cannot stand those who preach to the passive whilst ignoring the aggressor of this conflict.

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    Dear CT editor, I am no frequent writer to CT (but a keen reader) , I thought it is essential to comment on the recent visit by the so-called UN Rapporteur Mr Ahmed Shaheed and his remarks about Sri Lanka, without commenting on the remarks per se.
    /
    Ahmed’s comments can’t be accurately interpreted without paying attention to the mechanisms establishment of a UN mafia known as the System of Special Procedures under Kofi Anan’s two tenures as SG. This force is led by the Rapporteurs (who are known as Special Mandate Holders, but not UN Officials). Countries are not obliged to allow them access. The Rapporteurs were extracted largely from the global NGO network funded by the CIA and other Western governments in the 1960s, based on their loyalty to the neocolonialist agenda..
    /
    The UN system was turned on its head by the Zionist neocolonialists with a view to break the backs of non-Aligned country governments clamouring for international justice beyond nominal ‘independence’ at the time.
    /
    Both the Rapporteurs who visited SL recently, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule (of Togo) and Ahmed Shaheed (of Maldives) are ‘pawns’ of the international mafia. Togo has been one of the few ‘lonely’ traditional supporter of America at the UN, including to the recent attempts by now buried Nicky Haley to bully the world to vote for the US agenda. CT readers need to read a bit of West African history to understand what is said here.
    /
    Ahmed Shaheed has been cultivated over nearly two decades (by Robert Blake primarily) to assist the US mafia at the UN. He was a Maldivian politician, and was Minister of Foreign Affairs twice from 2005 to 2007,and 2008 to 2010; as an associate of he was a Maldivian politician and human rights defender. He served as Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs from November 2008 to December 2010; previously.

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      Thanks for this! it is very clear from the Shaheed’s statement who his paymasters are, because he never mentions the need for the Sri Lanka govt to do a proper investigation into the foreign hands that staged the Easter attacks or expose Saudi Arabia and the US as the authors behind so called Islamist terrorism and IS.

      Everyone knows that the Islamic State is owned and operated by the US Special operations forces (SOF) and so called Islamist terrorism is a US creation to militarize the world, and de-stablize countries by Weaponizing Religion and creating Buddhist Muslim conflicts in Asia, and to set up US military bases in Sri Lanka.
      US weaponization of Buddhism during the Cold War with the Asia Foundation is detailed in the Yale University book by Eugene Ford : “Cold War Monks: Buddhism and America’s Secret Strategy in Southeast Asia.

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      Dear Susil Jayamanne,
      .
      When you told me that Dr Ahmed Shaheed was a Maldivian I learnt it for the first time. For the Maldives only (where I taught English for three years in all) I have the means of checking, as will be clear from this article written by me:
      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/the-maldivian-parliamentary-elections-2019-where-a-happy-result-can-be-predicted/
      .
      Ahmed Shaheed’s record is good. I will have to give you the details later – need to sleep now, it’s 1.45 a.m.
      .
      The response I posted yesterday would have exceeded the word limit. I’ll have to write it offline on a Word Document, and then post it.
      .
      While it is true that the Maldives constitution decrees that all citizens must be practising (Sunni?) Muslims, Nasheed is much more liberal, and he is a fine man. How he gets on with the current proxy-President, Ibu Solih, ought to be an example to our politicians.
      .
      Details, tomorrow!
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe

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    Truth is only 1% can run the show
    99% Modaya security members have no brain ..or backbone because they are genetically weak.

    KeKeKeKe it took 30 years to challenge LTTE .only after receiving help from 134 countries,….this is the Kuwality of Modayas.

    April 21 st bomb attack is a clear proof that all Modayas are genetically weak.

    Podi Menikes ..Punchi Nona in the south now giving birth babies with Chinese face …maides returning from M.E carry babies of Arabs ..Glory of Modayas.

    Cheers

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        Eagle Blind Eye

        Brilliant.
        Thanks for keeping it brief.
        Thanks
        Keep up your good work.

        Sinhala Buddhists = Descendants of Kallathonie Concerts

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          we distroy all buddists at correct time. Allah will help us. we will make bangla2.

          – MTZ

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            Musulims can dream …Mecca God is unable to save Bedouin Saudies ….US troops are again landed to save Allah.

            Cheers

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              CT
              Sinhala_Man NEVER writes anything unprintable. I am too increasingly getting rejected for no understandable reasons.

              Soma

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                Thanks, Soma.
                .
                That is a generous defence of me, especially because we don’t always toe the same line.
                .
                It may be that we’ve been exceeding length and need to get our comments written off-line so as get a word count done.

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    Eagle Blind Eye

    Brilliant.
    Thanks for keeping it brief.
    Thanks
    Keep up your good work.

    Sinhala Buddhists = Descendants of Kallathonie Concerts

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    Mr. Ahmed Shaheed: I suppose, you are working for an agency which protects International laws. Asian politicians believe that the International Laws must be rejected. The reason; It is not because of simple lack of respect to International Laws but because of the heavy abuse of the International Laws. Mostly, not United Nation’s,UN agencies have become redundant Internationally.

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    The biggest deficit in his report is Mr. Ahmed Shaheed avoided mentioning that he was systematically made to avoid meeting any North East Tamil minority, (especially the Tamil Christians whose Churches Wahhabis bombed for Aanduwa,) by the Muslim – Sinhala Aanduwa and his interlocutors. He met purposefully the Tamil Buddhist in North, to black out Tamils’ religious needs. In Lankawe Tamils are discouraged practice Hinduism or Christianity, but forcefully converted to Islam and Sinhala Buddhism. But disappointingly Mr. Ahmed Shaheed is attacking the Tamils who are forcefully converted by many techniques. He is very obscure in ICCPR. He did not clearly mention the situation of hate speech and justice for that. The current legal existing provisions are strictly applied against Tamils as LTTE terrorism & hate speech. When government sponsored ISIS, Zahren made speeches against national unity; the 6th amendment was never applied to him. When Muslim refused to allow him to bury in their area cemeteries, they were buried in Hindu cemeteries. When Hezbollah spoke in election meeting that he will make North East Tamils Blood River will flow, Muslim – Sinhala Aanduwa government rewarded him with a Governor post for Tamil dominant East. Mr. Ahmed Shaheed did not mention it was Tamil TNA who opposed and had cancelled the hate speech bill because it was a special arrangement to suppress the voice of the Tamil, over and above the 6th Amendment.

    From 1948 to until last month always Muslims were domineering ministers in the Muslim-Sinhala Aanduwa. It was Muslims Education Minister introduced Standardization against Tamil students. After 2009 genocide of Tamils it was Muslim ministers led the entourage of the Sinhala government to Geneva and condone the Muslim – Sinhala Aanduwa as best in the history of the Muslim life in Lankawe.

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    Even now 10 Muslims ministers are working in the government. The highest numbers of institutions holders in the Cabinet are Muslims Ministers. They are accused as the Funders for the 4/21. But PSC white washed them all. It is accused the needed funds for 4/21 were transferred from SA through these ministers. There were unbelievable amounts of money were spotted by CID in some their bank accounts. These are done by a well-planned act by the Muslim-Sinhala government, called Foreign Exchange Fraud Amnesty Act (2017). These ministers personally organized and supervised attacks on Tamil courts. But they are not punished with anything for the attacks on judges.
    Mr. Ahmed Shaheed half-baked pointless MMDA comment is really funny. MMDA was presented to Male Muslim politicians for their support to disenfranchise the Tamil Estate workers by the Muslim Sinhala Government. This was drafted by the ACJU, a Muslim extremist organization. While Tamil were fighting for their freedom from Solomon West Ridgeway Dias’s Sinhala Only and Badiuddin Mahmud Standardization, Muslim women has been fighting in parallel for their freedom from MMDA. It is the Muslim organizations, Ministers, ACJU are the people bribing the Muslim Sinhala government with SA’s Wahhabi funds and blocking the MMDA changes. Muslim-Sinhala government consented to act only after the ISIS attacked Tamil Churches.
    It is so sad because the entire report is ignoring the Tamil Christians, whose Churches were bombed by the Muslim-Sinhala government by hiring the Local ISIS. It seems to Malayalee Vije Nambiar had done a better job for Tamils at UN than this Maldivian Racist. The report is punishing the victims and honoring the perpetrators. This is the exact format of justice Muslim-Sinhala government is providing for Tamils with Sinhala Only Jurors.

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    Questions UN must answer.
    ..
    Is the organization run by the donations of war mongrels?
    ..
    What’s the difference between a religion and a cult?
    ..
    Why do you support to fulfil sexual appetite?
    ..
    What kind of sexual preferences is not harmful to the future generations?
    ..
    Do you not care about the future generations or only the current which matters?
    ..
    Do you have the capacity to exert pressure on powerful countries?
    ..
    Which country was made better by the help of UN or do you only create mess?
    ..
    What’s your opinion and strategies to eradicate poverty?
    ..
    The issue economic disparity is the fault of the system or the people, according to your expert opinion?

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    A man who believes that apostates must be killed is the United Nations Special Rapporteur On Freedom Of Religion Or Belief! Deiyo Saakki!

    Soma

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      Soma you hold the same belief as him tooo. If no Buddhist and No Sinhalese they have no right to live in SL nad they should be dispatched elsewhere or killed????

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        R.L.
        No I am asking them to choose between a separate Homeland for all Tamils (all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion caste or the date of arrival) OR the right to live anywhere , while pleading to choose the latter option.

        Soma

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    Mr.Shaeed:

    Simmering ethno-religious tensions in Sri Lanka require urgent action by the authorities to strengthen respect for freedom of religion or belief in Sri Lanka, says UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Ahmed Shaheed.

    *** Sri Lanka on itt own free will not address the issues above. UN and the International Community have given Sri Lanka a free hand to act with impunity. The fault lies with you . Sri Lnka has gone back on every promise she gave to the UN. It is time you refer Sri Lanka to the International Crimininal Court.

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    United Nations Special Rapporteur Ahmed Shaheed’s ‘End of Mission Statement
    {” On Freedom Of Religion Or Belief”} shows that UN has taken to diplomacy. The no-nonsense approach by the past UN Human Rights Commissioners does not work with SL.
    UN founded following the genocide and holocaust is today meek spectator of the Burmese Junta genocide of the people of the of the non-Burman Rakine Province based on race.

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    PART ONE

    I agree with those comments which complain that the United Nations is muscle-bound and it seems sometimes to exist so that its officials can sustain life-styles which the poor among us cannot aspire to. I also agree that ideally we should have had someone from outside out area, and with no links the religions that have controversy surrounding them. However, Dr Ahmed Shaheed’s job covers the entire world, so it was he who had to be sent. It is valid to say that the UN has now got trapped by the bureaucracy it has created etc.

    It transpires that the visit had been planned long before Easter 2019, and was not as a result of the event. That event was horrendous, and it was clearly an example of how forces from outside our country can affect the lives we live here. There’s no point dwelling on that sad event; analysing some of the unhealthy aspects to be seen in our society, and among Sri Lankan Muslims in particular is more to the point.

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    PART TWO
    .
    This is a good document, all those told. Right now it is the Muslims who are under threat. Not the Christians. What is the way forward? That is what we have no clue about in Sri Lanka.
    .
    For centuries the Maldives has been a 100% Muslim country, although before that it had been Buddhist. Such things do irk us, but what is important to note is that we see progress from that situation now in the Maldives. I give this as just an example:
    .
    https://maldivesindependent.com/politics/maldives-parliament-approves-first-female-supreme-court-justices-147750
    .
    I understand that when Shaheed was in Sri Lanka both President Ibu Solih and current Speaker Mohamed Nasheed visited Sri Lanka on private visits and met Shaheed. These people are personal friends and they would have ensured that nothing silly has been put in this report. Most of these Maldivians know Sri Lanka pretty well – especially Nasheed, the most important Maldivian, and a thoroughly good man who is trying to bring about change. Those changes have to be gradual, and they are taking place. I’m pretty sure that Nasheed will do noting to exacerbate what he sees as bad in Sri Lanka.
    .
    I think that we should see this report as one that challenges us to get our act together.

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    On the 8th of Jan 2015 Mahinda loses the election to Sirisena by about
    four hundred and fifty thousand votes and Mahinda attributes this
    loss to Muslims and Tamils, from the popular ‘ Window’ of his Tangalle
    residence .The election results clearly indicate that the majority of
    Buddhist Sinhalese didn’t buy the stories U N P led Sirisena camp was
    marketing to them . The allegations levelled against the whole bunch of
    Rajapakshas were not only hard-to-believe or prove corruptions but also
    huge frauds and swindling of public money , on each and every Sirisena
    platform ! After all , the accusers were none other than men from
    Mahinda’s closest circle just a couple of days before the announcement of
    their choice of candidate ! It’s time we should put the pieces together to
    make the picture .In my reasonable opinion , it is the very same reason
    the majority of Buddhists chose to vote for Mahinda , was chosen to vote
    against Mahinda which paved the way in for Siisena ! It is RACISM that is
    widespread and contagious in the country . Religions just provide the
    necessary cover for Racists on all sides . This traditional politics is using
    its last trump that is religion now openly because they have run out of
    other resources . Statements from some Muslim politicians at the P S C
    that they were invited for talks by Saharan at election times prove beyond
    any doubts how low these politicians have stooped to gather few thousand
    votes ! The message here is , Buddhists and Muslims allow their religions
    to destroy them for politics .

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