Why insecure men and immature and irresponsible women want marriage guardianship
At a time when calls for reforming the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act (MMDA) are getting stronger, we find a devious move to scuttle the reform process altogether by some UK-based bigots obsessed with depriving our Muslim women here of a basic human right.
One such is the so-called ‘Strengthen MMDA’ movement and their mouthpiece, a woman going by the name of Shifana Sharifudeen who, instead of fighting for Muslim Rights in the UK, are championing a lost cause here.
The issue at heart here is the consent and legal capacity of a Muslim woman, to enter into a marriage contract at her own discretion. The present MMDA does not allow an adult Muslim woman even in her 30 s to contract a marriage without the permission of her Wali or ‘Marriage guardian’ who is an agnate relative, such as father or, in his absence, her brother. That this is a violation of a basic human right any reasonable person would agree.
The reforms envisaged include getting the written consent of the bride and from what we gather dispensing with the need for the marriage guardian to sign the marriage register. Proposed reforms put forth by more reasonably-minded Muslims include allowing the bride to appoint her wali rather than putting her at the mercy of an agnate in this connection. In fact, a proper study of Islam shows that the wali is actually an agent of the bride who contracts the marriage on her behalf and with her consent. This is why most Muslim countries have entrenched the right of the adult Muslim bride to contract marriage at her own discretion and appointing a wali, be it her relative or any other person of her choosing to do so. This meets the Islamic requirement and addresses a basic human rights concern.
It was in order to sabotage this move, that the reactionary group ‘Strengthen MMDA’ recently issues statements and videos against these changes. So let’s see what motivates these people to take such regressive actions in sabotaging the reform process. They have been told that Islam clearly upholds the right of a Muslim woman in this connection, a fact supported by both the Qur’an and the Sunnah, or traditions of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). So what motivates them?
We have plenty of these types in our community, insecure men who take pleasure in subjugating women and trampling on their very basic human rights. The only reason they do this is because they are thoroughly insecure about women making independent choices. This, of course, badly reflects on their manhood because it’s always a weaker, more vulnerable segment they want to trample and walk over, which is of course the women.
Another is a misplaced misogyny. They believe women are not intelligent enough to make a free choice in a matter like this. Of course we know that Muslim women today are actually more intelligent than Muslim men in a lot of ways and this becomes apparent in any social media platform to start with. It’s also pretty obvious in their educational level where in every university we have Muslim females outnumbering Muslim males. So this is not a valid argument at all.
Yet another is the immaturity of these men. When they think of an adult woman, they are always thinking in terms of a minor 16 year old girl and her eligibility in marriage. So basically these guys look at an adult woman with a head of her own as if she were a young girl entering sixteen or so. Even retarded is not sufficient a word to describe this mentality.
IMMATURE AND IRRESPONSIBLE WOMEN
At the same time we have some very immature, irresponsible women supporting the same. They believe that a Muslim woman should not be given the right to choose her partner. There are reasons for this of course and these only reflect their absolute immaturity.
Firstly, by assuming that their fellow women are not intelligent enough to make such an important decision, they are questioning the intelligence not only of other women, but their own intelligence as well. They are simply saying “Hey look, we don’t have the brain to make a choice, let my father or brother make it for me”.
Secondly, they are weak and pathetic. They think that when her kinsman gives her away, he would always be watching over her. In fact one argument I have heard is that when her kinsman consents to the marriage and gives her away, it implies he is giving her to the groom with a warning as well. That he’ll be coming after him if the marriage turns sour. What a pathetic argument. These types are so insecure even about the man they are marrying. Even when they enter into matrimony it is this that is in their heads. There is a lack of love and trust between her and her man because psychologically she is attuned to the fact that her guardian would stand up for her, even at the expense of her husband whom she is duty bound to love and obey. Which honourable, self-respecting man would want to live with a woman who has this attitude? Is it any wonder that the marriages of these immature women end up in the rocks?
Thirdly, they are utterly irresponsible. For one thing, if they are not happy with their men, they put the blame on their fathers or other relatives. In fact I know of one married woman who was having an affair with another man, and I questioned her about it, only to be told that her husband was NOT HER CHOICE, BUT HER FATHER’S. Imagine that, we now in Islam that both a man and woman freely enter into marriage on their own free will. If they commit adultery, they have a price to pay, and a heavy price at that. In other words, both spouses have a duty to safeguard the marriage bond, and to turn round and say after all those years “I did not have a choice” is pathetic to say the least!
For another, these women think that if the marriage turns sour or ends in divorce, they could always run back to the homes of their fathers or brothers because they were the ones who gave her in marriage in the first place. They need to ask themselves is this a healthy attitude they are having? Marriage is all about understanding the other and giving in and sacrificing. This of course works both ways. It is only when one learns and respects the likes and dislikes of the other, that the marriage can over time reach the equilibrium so necessary for its continued existence. So to disregard this ideal in place of a mistaken notion that they can always go back to their kinsmen and get another marriage contracted by them is unhealthy to married life to say the least. It is also an additional burden on their own menfolk, taking in such a fickle-minded woman.
So now you know what drives these people. Let alone marriage, they are not fit to exist in society!
Ven Ajahn Brahmavamso visits Sri Lanka in May
by Nanda Pethiyagoda
The next month, soon to be upon us, is of special significance to the majority of Sri Lankans since we Sinhalese and Tamils celebrate our New Year, with festivities continuing for a week or more in mid-April. The month of May is significant to Buddhists as the three major events of the Buddha’s life are commemorated at the Vesak full moon poya. This year, May carries another significance, joyful and to be grateful for. Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso arrives here towards the end of the month for about two weeks. The Ajahn Brahm Society of Sri Lanka (ABS) has completed all arrangements for the visit which is full of great good happenings.
The last time Ven Ajahn Brahm was in Sri Lanka was 2017. I well remember the day long sessions of his speaking to the audience in the BMICH, delivering so easily and absorbingly the Word of the Buddha and conducting meditation. 7000 persons were present to listen to the venerable monk from Australia, spreading themselves in all the BMICH halls and a few even seating themselves in the corridors. The sessions, with Ven Ajahn Brahm moving from hall to hall, with of course TV presentations in them, were deep in significance and of immense benefit to us. However, as is his manner of presentation, the gravity of what was being imparted was tempered by Ven Brahmavamso’s informality and constantly smiling, benign face. One indication of his informality is shortening his religious name to Ajahn Brahm.
This time it is one session on May 30 that the monk will conduct at the BMICH. Passes were available at announced venues from the 15th of this month. I am certain they were all snapped up, so eager are we to listen to this great teacher.
His programme, most efficiently arranged and made widely known by the ABS under the guidance of Ven Mettavihari, includes a resident meditation retreat from May 22 to 30 in Bandarawela for 150 participants inclusive of bhikkhus, bhikkhunis and lay persons.
A singularly unique forum will be held exclusively for professionals and business persons at the Galle Face Hotel on May 29. These sessions are by invitation, sent out well in time by ABS.
The much looked forward to Dhamma talk and meditation instructions for the public will be at the BMICH from 7.00 to 11.00 am on May 30. Anticipatory of the large crowds that will flock to the BMICH on that day, the ABS has organised sessions with the venerable monk moving from the Main Hall to Sirimavo Halls A and B so all can see and hear him. He will speak in English, followed by summarizations in Sinhala.
More information could be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For WhatsApp messages the number is 0720735837. The filled applications are to be submitted before 10th April 2023.
It seems superfluous to give details, even brief facts on Ven Brahmavamso, as he is well known in this country of ours. However, it appears pertinent to mention facets of the life of this very blessed Bhikkhu.
He was born in London in 1951. Having read widely on Buddhism, at the tender age of 16, this promising student and keenly interested teenager considered himself a Buddhist by conviction. When in the University of Cambridge following his undergrad course in Theoretical Physics, his strong interest in Buddhism and gravitation to meditation went alongside his studies. After earning his degree he taught for one year, He then decided to follow his greater interest in Buddhist philosophy and practice and so proceeded to Thailand. He followed meditation under a couple of Thai masters. Convinced of his future as a Buddhist Bhikkhu, he was ordained a monk at the age of 23 by the Chief Incumbent of Wat Saket. He then went for further training to the famous meditation teacher – Ajahn Chah. He spent nine years studying and training in the forest tradition. In 1983 he was invited to help establish a forest monastery near Perth, Western Australia. Within a short period he was Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, Perth. He is also the Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia and Spiritual Patron to the Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore. These are but two of the spiritual responsibilities he undertakes. His pragmatic approach and his deep conviction in Dhamma have made him a much sought after Buddhist teacher throughout the world.
We Sri Lankans are truly blessed to have him visit our land and share his knowledge, his conviction in the Buddha Word and his encouragement to meditate.
The team that calls itself the Ajahn Brahm Society Sri Lanka of multi-talented and multi-skilled men and woman are all deeply dedicated to helping us, the public of Sri Lanka, benefit from Ajahn Brahm, acknowledged as an excellent teacher and exponent of the Dhamma. We are most grateful to them and Ven Mettavihari who guides the ABS.
One of best development administrators SL ever had
Mr. K. Thayaparan (KT), who retired from the government service after serving as a development administrator for more than thirty years passed away on Jan 05 at the age of 86. He was born in 1937 in Malaya, which was then under the British rule; his father had migrated there in 1916 for employment. His father was employed in the Malayan Railways, and the family was living a happy life. In the late 1940s, there erupted a terrorist movement launched by Communists of Chinese origin. To fight with the terrorists the British Government had issued a conscription order for all school leavers above the age of 17 years to join the military. Many families with male children over 17 years fled to Ceylon to avoid conscription. Since KT’s family also had a male child who had been noticed to report for military duty, his family members too other than his father left Malaya in 1951 and came to live in Ceylon. In Jaffna, KT resumed and completed his school education. In 1958 he entered the University of Ceylon at Peradeniya to undertake studies in geography, economics and history.
During the university days, KT had won university colours in badminton. He graduated in 1961, and served as a school teacher in the Matara district. In 1962, after sitting a competitive examination, KT joined the Government Divisional Revenue Officers’ service. In 1963, together with the other officers of the DROs’ service and comparable services, KT was absorbed into the Ceylon Administrative Service that had been created in place of the Ceylon Civil Service, which had simultaneously been abolished.
Till 1975 KT served in the district administration in the northern districts, first as DRO, then as Asst. Government Agent and as Addl. Government Agent. From 1976 to 1979 he worked in the Ministry of Fisheries as Deputy Director Planning, and contributed to the development of the National Fisheries Development Plan 1979 – 1983. The Fisheries Development Plan, among other activities had concentrated on exploitation of the fish resources in the Sri Lanka’s exclusive economic zone, which was proclaimed in 1977, and utilisation of irrigation reservoirs and village tanks for development of inland fisheries. The Government made a policy decision to implement an accelerated programme to develop inland fisheries and aquaculture. For this purpose, a new Division called the Inland Fisheries Division was set up in the Ministry, and KT was appointed its director.
The accelerated development programme had a number of activities to perform. Establishment of fish breeding stations in different parts of the country, recruitment and training of scientific and technical officers to serve at fish breeding centres, import of exotic fish species suitable for culture in Sri Lankan inland waterbodies, training of youth in inland fishing and aquaculture, promotion of investments in shrimp farming, etc. Funding agencies like UNDP, ADB and individual countries on bilateral basis came forward to support the accelerated inland fisheries development programme by providing funds for development of infrastructure, providing technical assistance, providing foreign training for the scientific and technical staff who were mostly young people without experience, and providing advisory services. It was heavy work for KT, but he managed the Division and its work smoothly.
KT was a firm believer in team work. He knew workers in all outstation inland fisheries or aquaculture establishments by name. He distributed foreign training slots offered by donor countries or agencies to every scientific or technical officer on an equitable basis. He listened to everybody, and was quite loved by his staff. KT was quite neutral in politics. However, in spite of his hard work to develop the inland fisheries sector, he was transferred out of the Ministry in 1985 to the SLAS Pool.
In 1979 when KT took over the responsibility of developing inland fisheries and aquaculture in the country, the total national inland fish production in Sri Lanka was 17,400 tons. During his tenure of nearly six years, the national inland fish production steadily increased and in 1985, the year he was transferred it had increased to 32,700 tons, showing an increase of nearly 90%. Also, there were 4,500 inland fishing craft operating in reservoirs, and the number employed as fishers, fish collectors, fish traders, etc. was over 10,000.
After leaving the Ministry of Fisheries he served different assignments such as Director Regional Development, National Consultant or the World Bank funded Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Project, Secretary to the North-East Provincial Council Ministry of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries, and Secretary to the State Ministry Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs. In 1995, he was appointed Addl. Secretary Development of the Ministry of Fisheries, but his stay in this post was brief since the then Minister replaced him with one of his political supporters. His last government assignment was as Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Plan Implementation, National Integration and Ethnic Affairs. In 1997, he retired from the government service, but continued in a few foreign funded projects as institutional development consultant. He once told that his most productive period in the government service was as Director Inland Fisheries. After retirement he authored several books, Reminiscences of Malaya 1937 – 1951, Stories of Some Brave Men and High Achievers, and Introduction to Some Known High Achievers.
Although he was quite suitable to be appointed the Secretary to a Ministry, he was never considered for such a post. In the final years of his career, he was compelled to serve under his juniors. But he carried on regardless and did the best in whatever the capacity he served.
It was not Central Bank bond scam
I was surprised and sorry to read a journalist attached to The Island writing about a central bank bond scam: surprised because, the editor of The Island, in his inimitable editorials, consistently refers to a treasury bond scam; sorry, because it is simply factually wrong. I have driven home that point several times in The Island and assumed that that canard was dead. Would you permit me to flog a not-so-dead horse?
There never was a central bank bond scam; there could not have been, because there was no market in central bank bonds. The central bank has not issued its own liabilities at least since 1967. The currency notes issued by the Central Bank are liabilities of the government (aanduva/state?) of Sri Lanka. (Should you not clear up that mess confusing ‘state’ with the ‘government’? It is one thing to have faith in the state of Sri Laska and quite another to have faith in the government of Ranil Wickremesinghe.) The Central Bank issues those bills (it does currency) on behalf of the state/government of Sri Lanka and they are not the liabilities of the Central Bank or the Monetary Board. There was a scam in government bonds in 2015 as well as in 2016.
As became clearer in the course of the Chitrasiri Commission, the then-governor of the Central Bank and a few other officers of the Central Bank were parties to that financial fraud involving government bonds. The Central Bank is simply the agent of the government/state who markets government liabilities. Those liabilities do not become the Bank’s liabilities. When you carry Sri Lanka currency, you carry liabilities, much like government bonds, of an entity whose credit is low. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is not in the picture.
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