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Creating religion -based communities an FR violation -SC

(June 02, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian)  The Supreme Court held today that building 500 houses for tsunami victims around Deeghawapiya, with the objective of creating a community based on religion, violates fundamental rights.

A Supreme Court panel of judges headed by Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva pronounced this judgement after hearing a fundamental rights petition filed by the leader of the Jathika Hela Urumaya, the venerable Ellawala Medhananda Thera.

The petition cited the District Secretary of Ampara, the Divisional Secretary of Akkaraipattu, Minister Ferial Ashraff and several others as respondents.

The petitioner pointed out that 500 houses had been built with aid received from the government of Saudi Arabia for families displaced by the tsunami in 2004.

The petition charged that by giving all those houses based on religion, it affected the culture and identity of the nearby Deeghawapi sacred area.

Accordingly, the court ordered the payment of Rs. 150,000 as compensation to the petitioner.

The court also ordered that when allocating these houses, fresh applications should be called for and a transparent mechanism followed.

Meanwhile, the venerable Athuraliye Rathana Thera said that there had been several basic demands that they had made.

“One was that it is illegal to provide housing based on religion segregation. Therefore, housed should be provided for those who lost their homes in general. Our main accusation was housing was given based on segregation. So the Supreme Court has accepted this and that it violates fundamental rights and religious freedom.
-Sri Lanka Guardian


Unknown said...

Providing shelter is an humanatarian issue and it is disheartening to note that Buddhist clergies have gone to the extent of depriving these houses to the Mulims when the land does not belong to the Deegavpiya site and it belonged to the Sugar Corporation and remained neglected for a long time. Further it is known that the Minister has provided houses to Sinhalese in a scheme confined only to them and another scheme for the Tamils only. Of course,a legal measure has been used by the clergies to their advantange. Yet what about the moral aspect of it. Is the action fair by Buddhist principles. The other question is,while the housing project has been initiated by a Minister of the Govt. members of a party (JHU) in the same Govt. have taken this action. What has the President got to say about this.

bodhi Dhana said...

Mohamed also can take his pleas to the courts if he really thinks that housing and other privileges have been given based on race. If anyone (mulslims or toherwise) lost houses to the Tsunami, this judgment does NOT DEPRIVE them of the right to such houses. It merely stops housing being given based purely oON RELIGION.

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