21 September, 2018

Blog

Izeth Hussain Passes Away

Veteran diplomat, academic, author and columnist Mr. N.M.M. Izeth Hussain has passed away today.

Izeth Hussain

Born in 1927 and educated at St Joseph’s College, Colombo, and University of Ceylon between 1946 to 1950. Graduated with a BA (English Honours) in 1950.

He held the post of Assistant Controller of Immigration and Emigration from 1951 to 1953. He was a member of the Foreign Service from 1953 to 1988. Served in diplomatic missions in the UK, Pakistan, France, Egypt, Philippines, and China. He was an Ambassador in the Philippines from 1982 to 1985. Even after his retirement from the Foreign Service, he was appointed as the Ambassador to Russia from 1995 to 1998.

He has published a large number of articles, seminar papers etc. on a wide variety of subjects including Islam, the Sri Lankan Muslims, International relations, Sri Lankan politics, and literature.

He was a member of the Board of the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies from 1989 to 1994. He has been actively involved from the inception in the effort to establish the Sailan Muslim website.

He has written more than 200 articles to Colombo Telegraph voluntarily like most of our contributors.

The funeral will take place tonight at 10.00 p.m. at the muslim burial grounds, Dehiwela Jumma Mosque, hospital Road, Dehiwela.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    16

    sad news.
    a brilliant writer and a decent one at that.
    a good god loving person.
    RIP.

  • 8
    10

    Every cloud has a silver lining …Poor Edwin Rodrigo has lost a forum to use his sakili language

    • 4
      2

      Not so fast, Rajash. I am still here commenting. As long as I am careful not to write anything that CT considers as an insult against the ‘owners’, they will be published. As a tribute to Izeth Hussain, we should try to score at least 200 in this too.

    • 4
      11

      Rajash,

      he should have learnt it after being banned to CT several times.
      Even a high criminal deserves his second choice. Edwin s problem is he cant see it beyond. That is how he has been raised. I wonder how the boy surivived campus life. I could not even manage to continue 1 year at Pera,b but ER has completed his degree.
      IH was also sometimes so blunt. But I thought he was nevertheless an exemplary candidate specially to lanken muslim community. No means second to anyone .. or perks.. Azwer or Hakeem are both servile to Rajapakshe donkey.

      • 0
        1

        Benjamin Fernando:I could not even manage to continue 1 year at Pera>>>why Benjamin why? enlighten us

  • 9
    13

    In the Sri Lankan world of ethnic and other parochial controversies Izeth Hussain’s was a sane voice. As a public servant and Foreign Service professional he served the country with distinction. While he was an outstanding member of the Muslim community, he never lost sight of the fact that he was first and foremost, a Sri Lankan.

    • 8
      8

      HL Seneviratne ——————“While he was an outstanding member of the Muslim community, he never lost sight of the fact that he was first and foremost, a Sri Lankan.” ———————————-However he never knew when to quit gracefully.

      • 1
        9

        Yes, it was just he thought the life was eternal.

        Did you ever guess that IH was nonagenarian. He is in my fathers age. He sounded as if he is no second to sexagenarian Edwin Rodrigo sometimes.

      • 1
        3

        The man is no more you fool, at least leave the dead in peace.

  • 12
    14

    No matter what, Izeth should be respected. May his soul rest in peace ! He lived a full life and contributed a lot..great guy, even if we don’t agree with his point of views !
    He could have avoided Tamil hate writings, after all. Tamils have no bad feelings about Muslims in my opinion.
    Sorry to say this, but Izeth and HLD Mahindapala generated a lot of unpleasant feelings among the communities ! Where we all needed the opposite !!

  • 8
    17

    He had the potential and the abilities to have left his foot mark on Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, he condemned himself to being a strand in the senseless ethnic politics of Sri Lanka.

    In an attempt to be polite to the dead, we bestow a halo that does not shine on any Late Him/Her.

    Let us accept every one for what they were and remember them for just that that. That is truth. We are all part of a mosaic in every attribute we claim as human- the good, bad and the ugly. We are part of the ordinary. Izeth was ordinary. He could have been extra- ordinary. We needed that quality in our time, on this earth.

    Izeth Hussein was no less and no more human than we are in terms of what we know of him through his writings.

    In fact, I had stopped reading his contributions in CT and the Island some years back.

    He lived to a ripe old age and yet had the ability to write copiously even towards the very end. This has to be appreciated. I wish he had written more sensibly and left an indelible mark on our political landscape. He should have helped us heal.

    I wish him goodbye and condole with his family.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 4
      13

      a beautiful, truthful tribute.

    • 2
      12

      Mr Narendran,

      I get to read yours after a long long time. Where had you been ? Hope everything is fine with you.
      I even thought Gota or MARA may have abducted you since we did not hear anything about your being.

      • 1
        10

        I share the sentiments expressed by reader Sinchoappu about the earlier intervention of the versatile Dr. Narendran Rajasingham. He used to enrich these pages with his knowledgeable and intelligent
        comments. I too hoped all was well with the able Veterinarian who gave many indications of what many of us hope for – an inclusive Sri Lanka formed in peace, unity of all Sri Lankans viz:- Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and others.

        Backlash

        • 4
          0

          Hate speech masters think alike- like the birds that flock together was the only poem and a copy by baludostara.

        • 0
          0

          [Edited out] We welcome debate and dissent, but persistent trolling will not be tolerated. For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

        • 1
          8

          Sichapou and Backlash,

          Thanks for your concern. I am engaged in a village development project in Batticaloa, since a year back . This demands much from me in terms of time and effort. I hence decided to comment only when absolutely merited. Age is also biggining to take its toll.

          Dr.RN

          • 2
            7

            Dr. Narendran, We wish you many years of good health to serve our tested country, in your own way. I pray my country be blessed with millions of citizens of your calibre. Please continue to enrich our minds with your thoughts, when time permits.

          • 0
            0

            [Edited out] We welcome debate and dissent, but persistent trolling will not be tolerated. For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

      • 1
        0

        sinchoappu ————-He is managing a couple of projects in the East, water supply etc.

    • 5
      0

      “”Let us accept every one for what they were and remember them for just that that. That is truth. ” Only the truth is right you have never been truthful about tamil women being raped by army officers because you make tea in your pyjamas. you must know that his writings alone has led to the rape of 3 female tamil kids at muttur- baludostara bagawas!!.

  • 2
    8

    as Buddhist i pray for his soul,
    he may attain nibbana

  • 4
    11

    I was sad when I heard the news from one of my friend Mr. Abul Hassan of Akkaraipattu, a fan of Hussain. I loved his writing so much. He has contributed a lot to clear doubts and misunderstanding about Islam. What we need is to pray for his Jannah. May he attain Jannathul Firthous. As readers, we have planned to organize a special prayer for him with true sense of gratitude for his hard work and contribution. Muslim society lost a true Sri Lankan.

  • 2
    8

    Izeth Hussain wrote brilliantly and he educated all of us. There are many aspects of Islam that he illuminated for me.

    He was also a brilliant scholar of English, whom I had first heard of more than forty years ago. It was wonderful to read what he wrote, all too occasionally, on English Literature and Culture. Those aspects of him were to the fore in my mind when I looked him up, just once, in his Dehiwela home. I think that we both enjoyed the meeting.

    However, there was that other side of him. He could come down harshly on those who disagreed with him. Sometimes he could not forbear getting over-involved in the mutual hurling of insults. I wish it had not been so.

    Over-all however, it was good that we had him active for so long. He told me that he enjoyed all the controversies he got in to. May he Rest in Peace and have the reward that he deserves for being always an honest man.

  • 4
    5

    I disagreed with many of his writings especially when he attacks Tamils needlessly.

    However, he was a great thinker and analyzer with imagination.

    He deserves due respect for his integreity in expressing whatever he thought was right.

    Sri lankan hypocrites and opportunists are no match to him.

    Let his soul rest in peace in the hands of Allah.

  • 1
    1

    Izath Hussain was a brilliant scholar and an erudite academic.

    His demise is a great loss to the entire academic community in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
    0

    This is a great loss for the country.This brilliant intellectual has departed at time his services are most need.How ever yours is a life well lived Sir and your many articles will continue to enlighten us.

    Is there anyone among the Muslim community in Srilanka who can match his brilliance? Who can continue from where left off?

  • 0
    0

    IH even at his ripe age had been writing quite eloquently on any subject he covers however much controversial. He used his mighty pen to highlight social injustices and the futility in harbouring hate . His writings on both Islamophobia and wahhabism shows that he was equally harsh in his criticism of any hard lined approaches. His demise was a big loss to the Muslim community in particular and the country in general at this challenging time for this country. May Allah bless him with Jennah.

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