By M. Zulkifli Nazim –
On 12th February 2013, at the TNL studios, where the debate between the Bodu Bala Sena and the representatives of the Jamiathul Ulama, the General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena, Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, a very significant and valid remark was made, which caught the attention of the general public, where he referred to a specific financial problem faced by the Muslim community as a result of them depositing their hard earned monies and life-savings with the Ceylinco Profit Sharing & Investment Corporation Ltd., (This includes the Ceylinco Global Profit Sharing & Investment Corporation too) where the members and representatives of the All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama (ACJU) were in the so-called Shariah Council and who are visibly missing from the scene now. Where is the “halaal” aspect of this deception and what have they got to say now? He asked.
A statement very valid and well grounded in logic.
I would like to contribute something further to this. When Ceylinco Profit Sharing and the Ceylinco Global Profit Sharing had their opening ceremonies to open their offices as well as their branches in various locations the main people on stage and who preached, spoke, encouraged and advocated to invest in these companies, were the members and representatives of the All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama (ACJU).
The majority of the Muslims generally and especially those in remote areas, did not know of Lalith Kotelawala, the Chairman, they did not know who K.A.S. Jayatissa, the Deputy Chairman was, but they knew and placed their full reliance and trust on the members and representatives of this All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama whom they respected and believed without any doubt whatsoever, that these sacred and religious personalities will not represent this institution if there is anything wrong with it.
That was the confidence and faith the Muslim community had.
The majority of those who had invested were poor people and retired persons who had invested their life savings so that they may be able to get some returns for their survival. What did the members and representatives of the All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama do? The first thing they did was to obtain personal loans to the tune of millions of rupees, compromising their position as members of the so-called Shariah Council.
It looks as if though they lured the unsuspecting Muslim community and those of other communities to deposit in this disastrous and chaotic institution for them to obtain their loans. We too ask the same question from the representatives of the All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama, what the Venerable Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero asked. Vis-à-vis – The ACJU who are talking of halaal certificates, can they tell us how they were able to deceive the community at large, who had placed their trust in this supposed organization of religious scholars? Is this attitude and behavior which had caused so much misery to hundreds of people come within the ambit of the doctrine of halaal and halaal certificates?
The Monthly tabloid of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, “Al-Islam”, in their December 2012-January 2013 issue had written an open letter, calling for explanation and challenging the President, of the All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama, Rizwi Mufthi, on this issue, which had disastrously affected the Muslim Community financially and mentally. He remains silent to this day.
It is quite apparent, what the members and representatives of the All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama had done, was to involve themselves with these companies in the Ceylinco Group in aiding and abetting this fraud plotted against the communities at large, where they benefited the most. Therefore, it follows that it is not only the two companies of the Ceylinco group who are to be censured severely, it is the members and representatives of the All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama who had been the principal element in instituting this fraud too should be taken to task, berated and chided socially and legally for enticing and tempting the incognizant and unsuspecting members of the community, who are in dire straits today.
We can conclude without hesitation that the main cause and problems facing the Muslim Community in Sri Lanka today, is because, whatever the All-Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama (ICJU) did. They went overboard, to extremes and naturally there has been a backlash and an adverse reaction to both political and social scenarios. The repercussions created an explosive surge targeting the Muslim Community and they are still, unbelievably, very dogged about it.