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Islamic fundamentalist threatens ex-Muslim within PCoI premises

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Rishvin Ismeth, known as an ex-Muslim in Sri Lanka among the general public, has been threatened by an ally of the former leader of Sri Lanka Jamaat Islami, Rasheed Hajjul Akbar on 26th October around 11.45 pm at the premises of Presidential Commission of Inquiry investigating Easter Sunday Suicide Attacks, Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka (CEMSL) yesterday said in a press release.

CEMSL said that Rishvin Ismeth was the present spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka and the only public face of the organisation for those who had left Islam to become areligious. Ismeth was present at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry to cross-examine the former leader of Sri Lanka Jamaat Islami, with the permission of the Commission.

“His questions to Rashid Hajjul Akbar mainly focused on the plan of capturing Sri Lanka through an armed struggle to establish an Islamic State, publishing Jihadist and extremist materials in Alhasanath, the official monthly magazine of Sri Lanka Jamaat Islami and sending Sri Lankan Muslim youth for Jihadist fighting and training to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Kashmir.

The incident happened on his return at the end of the day’s session. The following day, Rishvin Ismeth reported it to the Commission. The Chairman of the Commission, Court of Appeal Judge, Justice Janak de Silva issued an order to National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crimes and Witnesses to take the necessary steps,” the press release said.

CEMSL said that a teacher named Mahroof from Kekirawa had threatened via social media on 31 Oct. to harm Rishvin Ismeth’s mother. The organization added that Ismeth was one of the few who had alerted the law enforcement to suspected Islamic terrorist activities, months before the Aliyar Junction incident at Kattankudy on 10th March, 2017.

The media statement said: “His first complaint was made in July 2016. Before the Parliamentary Select Committee, he was able to expose the Islamist extremist materials in Sri Lankan school textbooks issued free of charge by the government to schoolchildren. One of these books mentions that the punishment for those who leave Islam or accept other religions is “KILLING” and the same book has been used to educate Muslims students about cruel Stone Age punishments such as amputation, flogging and stoning to death. Even though Sri Lanka is not an Islamic country, it is very difficult for an ex-Muslim to live as an ex-Muslim openly, so all other ex-Muslims in the country are forced to stay in the closet.”

CEMSL said that Rishvin Ismeth had been under continuous threats and harassment by Islamists and extremist elements for years, and, therefore, the recent threat at the premises of the Commission probing terrorist attack in could not be taken lightly. “The threat the Commission premises shows the strength of the Islamist network in this country. The Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka requests the government to take strict action against Islamist extremism to prevent catastrophe.

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COPE meets online for first time in its history

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by Saman Indrajith

The Parliamentary watchdog committee – COPE (Committee on Public Enterprises) created a history by meeting online for the first time ever on Thursday.

The COPE had Secretaries of three Ministries joining in with its committee meeting through online (ZOOM) becoming the second parliamentary committee holding an online meeting in the country.

Thursday evening’s COPE meeting chaired by its chairman Prof. Charitha Herath connected online with Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Dr) H. S. Munasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Industries W. A. Chulananda Perera and, Secretary to the Ministry of Public Services, Provincial Councils and Local Government J. J. Ratnasiri via zoom technology.

The Environmental Audit Report on water pollution of the Kelani River was brought before the committee and the meeting held between the Chairman Prof. Herath, Ministers and Members of Parliament and secretaries and other officials continued without any technical hitches.

Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dasanayake said that facilities have been provided to hold meetings and discussions using online technology in two committee rooms in Parliament.

He said that Parliamentary officials had been working relentlessly for months to install the requisite technological tools and that the efforts have borne fruit and future Parliamentary meetings could be held online as a result.

The Committee on High Posts under the chairmanship of Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena also held a discussion with the new Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Kenya, who was living in Kampala, using online technology recently.

 

 

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Legatum Prosperity Index highlights SL’s development of education and healthcare sectors

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During the past decade

One of the key highlights of this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index was the improvement in Sri Lanka’s education and healthcare sectors over the past decade. These improvements were key to increase in prosperity within Sri Lanka, it was noted.

The London-based think-tank Legatum Institute launched the 14th Legatum Prosperity Index on November 17 2020.

The event commenced with the welcome address by the Chair of the Legatum Institute, Alan McCormick. 

Addressing the audience, the Chief Executive Officer of the Legatum Institute, The Baroness Stroud said that according to the Legatum Index, the global prosperity was at its highest level ever with 147 countries seeing their prosperity rise over the last decade.

Speaking at the launch, the High Commissioner of Sri Lanka in the UK, Saroja Sirisena said that the end of the terrorist conflict in 2009 and the ensuing peace dividend, led Sri Lanka to achieve steady progress within the last decade.

She highlighted that the universal free education and healthcare policies of the country over seven decades are the pillars on which prosperity is built.

Director of Policy of the Legatum Institute, Dr. Stephen Brien explained to the audience as to how the Legatum Index is used to measure prosperity across the world.

The event was also addressed by the Founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in Africa, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, Biologist and Writer, Matt Ridley and Ambassador of Georgia in the UK Sophie Katsarava.

Legatum Prosperity Index is a global index that analyses the performance of 167 nations across 65 policy-focused elements, measured by almost 300 country level indicators and it is the only global index that measures national prosperity based on institutional, economic and social wellbeing.

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Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India with Sapna Mehra

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The Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre (SVCC), High Commission of India, Colombo, will be holding an online cookery demonstration on ‘Snack Time: Quick Snacks and Party Recipes from North India’ on December 5 at 11.00 am on its FACEBOOK page https://www.facebook.com/ICCRSriLanka.

This festival season, the Cultural Centre will present a virtual cookery demonstration by Sapna Mehra. Cooking has been a passionate hobby of Sapna since her childhood days. Growing up in a large family of 17 members, she was very keen on bringing variety to the dining table, and that’s when her cooking journey began, preparing simple wraps, and snacks.

She now specializes in cooking dishes from a variety of cuisines. Originally from Bangalore, she has lived in many cities across India and Sri Lanka, and at present resides in Delhi.

She has a Postgraduate degree in Marketing and has over 12 years work experience in the professional field.

All are cordially invited to attend. For more details, contact the Swami Vivekananda Cultural Centre on telephone No: 2684698 or Email: iccrcolombo2@gmail.com

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