Connect with us

International

9 ministers, 2 Guv from Muslim community in SL resign over Easter bombing allegations

Press Trust of India

Published

🕒

on

IST

Colombo: Nine Muslim ministers and two provincial governors from the minority community resigned on Monday to allow the Sri Lankan government to investigate allegations against some of them on links to an Islamist extremist group blamed for the deadly Easter suicide bombings.

The Muslim politicians also protested what they term the government’s inability to ensure the safety of their community which constitute 9 per cent of island’s 21 million population.

There are 19 Muslims lawmakers in the 225-member Parliament and nine of them held Cabinet, state and deputy ministerial positions.

 

“Until security of the people is ensured and until investigations are done by the police’s Crime Investigations Department (CID) is finalised we will stay as government back benchers,” Rauff Hakeem, a lawmaker for Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, told reporters.

Their resignations came four days after thousands of people, including majority Buddhist community monks, launched a protest in the pilgrim city of Kandy, demanding the expulsion of three Muslim leaders whom they alleged were linked to the National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) – the banned outfit blamed for the attacks on three Colombo hotels and three churches.

Following the 21 April attacks that claimed 258 lives, some Muslim politicians representing the government came under criticism for their alleged support extended to the rising Muslim militancy. Industry and Commerce Minister Rishath Bathiyutheen was accused of supporting the ISIS linked NTJ.

The Sinhala majority nationalists were demanding the sacking of Bathiyutheen. The Opposition moved a motion of no confidence in the Parliament against Bathiyutheen, who has denied links to the NTJ and its terror activities.

In the wake of the bombings, majority Sinhala community mobs attacked Muslim-owned properties in towns north of the capital killing one Muslim man and leaving hundreds of homes, shops and mosques vandalised. “We took this decision (to resign) as a responsible community who is keen on ensuring reconciliation and peace in the country,” said Kabir Hashim, a senior minister.

He said since the Easter Sunday attacks, the Muslim community had volunteered to give information on the NTJ.

Hakeem said the Muslim community is concerned over the arrests of some innocent Muslims for alleged connections to the Easter Sunday attacks. He said that police must hold a proper inquiry and punish anyone if the terror group had been supported by them.

Western Province Governor Azath Salley and Eastern Province Governor MALM Hisbullah, handed over their resignation letters to President Maithripala Sirisena in response to protests by the Buddhist monks, officials said. Salley and Hisbullah, both Muslim allies of Sirisena and appointed by him, were under pressure to resign after being accused of being linked to extremism. Both Salley and Hisbullah have rejected the allegations.

Buddhist monk Athuraliye Rathana, who is also a parliamentarian from a Sirisena allied party, staged a hunger strike in the central town of Kandy near the foremost Buddhist shrine, the Temple of Tooth. “I will end my fast only after the president will sack the two Muslim governors,” Rathana said at the commencement of his protest.

A crowd of about 10,000 Buddhists held demonstration at the famous temple on Monday morning raising anti-Muslim slogans. Firebrand monk Galagodaaththe Gnanasara, released from jail on a presidential pardon last month, was also present. Gnanasara has long been accused of instigating hate crimes against Muslims.

The head of the Catholic Church in Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, also travelled to Kandy on Monday to express solidarity with Rathana. Shops and offices remained closed in the city, 115 kilometres east of Colombo, while black flags were raised in support of Rathana.


Advertisement
Loading...
Comments

International

Pakistan among the few countries to successfully turn tide against terrorism: Imran

Agencies

Published

on

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the country condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. The PM stated that Pakistan is “among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism”.

Addressing the 19th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Khan reiterated that Pakistan is ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. He added that growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. He further said that Pakistan will remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives.

Speaking on Afghanistan, PM Khan said that “the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution”, adding that Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for “peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process”.

 

“Excellencies, The world stands at a crossroads. For the first time in ages, we are seeing the advent of a multi-polar global order. Epicentres of economic power and growth momentum are shifting eastwards. Regional integration is speeding up. Disruptive technologies are maturing. Threats from terrorism to climate change to narcotics to bacterial resistance continue to loom large,” said PM Khan.

“There are increasing barriers to open trade and innovation. Meanwhile, growing intolerance and Islamophobia are threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. For its part, Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including State-terrorism against people under illegal occupation. We are among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism,” added the Pakistan PM.

“Pakistan remains ready to share its experience and expertise in counter-terrorism. We will also remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives. Excellencies, There is finally a realization that the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution. Pakistan is fully supporting efforts for peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process,” further said Pakistan PM Khan.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reiterated India’s strong stand against terrorism and appealed that countries supporting, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable. PM Modi highlighted the spirit and ideals of SCO to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism even as Khan looked on.

Without naming Pakistan, a country that has made state-sponsored terrorism its biggest policy to counter India for the last several decades, PM Modi said every country needs to come together, unite and fight against the scourge.

Continue Reading

International

Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state

Agencies

Published

on

Moscow: Vladimir Putin has said Russia will fight for an independent Palestinian state, and called for the issues of the Middle East to be resolved through peaceful means.

Despite international criticism over Russia’s own role in the Ukrainian crisis, Mr Putin was hailed last week by a St Petersburg Cossack group for his ability to “bring order and stop wars”.

In an address to the Arab League summit in Egypt on Saturday, Putin spoke against foreign intervention in countries’ internal disputes and spoke of the role Russia can play in diplomatic channels.

 

While Russia openly opposes the stance of US-backed Israel on the Gaza crisis, its position in the Middle East is complicated. Putin is one of Iran’s key allies, but as he spoke on Saturday the core nations of the Arab League engaged in air strikes on the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

His attempts to urge a peaceful solution in Yemen haven’t had much of an immediate impact – on Sunday, the Arab League agreed to the creation of a joint military forces comprised of around 40,000 elite troops to resolve the future “challenges” of the Middle East.

As one of the “Quartet” entities involved in Middle East peace negotiations, Russia has played a key role in talks about the fallout of last year’s Gaza crisis.

He told the summit this weekend: “Palestinians have the right to establish an independent and habitable state with a capital in East Jerusalem.

“Russia will continue to contribute to achieving this goal through bilateral and multilateral channels,” he said.

Continue Reading

International

Trump claims Queen had fun with him during his UK visit

Agencies

Published

on

Washington: US President Donald Trump claimed that Britains Queen Elizabeth II had more fun during his state visit to the UK than in the last 25 years."I have such a great relationship, and we were laughing and having fun. And her people said she hasnt had so much fun in 25 years. Then I got criticized for it because they said we were having too much fun,” the Hill quoted Trump as saying.

Trump`s comments come two weeks after his first state visit to London to meet the 93-year-old monarch. During his three-day visit, the president dined with the Queen, members of the British royal family and other British politicians at Buckingham Palace.

Trump and the queen reaffirmed the importance of the Washington-London relationship during an elaborate state banquet.”On behalf of all Americans I offer a toast to the eternal friendship of our people, the vitality of our nations and to the long cherished and truly remarkable reign of her majesty, the queen,” Trump said in his toast during the event.

 

He also met Prime Minister Theresa May. Opposing Trumps visit, thousands of people hit the streets. TheTrump Baby` blimp was flown by the demonstrators outside the Houses of Parliament, according to CNN, alongside a 16-foot robot version of Trump sitting on the toilet and tweeting.

Other activists came dressed as gorillas, with signs reading that they “only eat chlorinated chicken” — a nod to concerns in Britain that a post-Brexit trade deal with the US would mean a decline in food standards for imported produce.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Latest News

Subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Kashmir Monitor and receive notifications of new stories by email.

Join 1,011,240 other subscribers

Archives

June 2019
M T W T F S S
« May    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
Advertisement