Sri Lankan leaders seek action to stop harassment against Muslims

Updated 13 May 2014
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Sri Lankan leaders seek action to stop harassment against Muslims

Muslim parliamentarians in Sri Lanka have called for President Mahinda Rajapaksa to intervene in order to stop the continued hate campaign, intimidation and threats perpetrated against Muslims by some Buddist extremists of the Bodu Bala Sena and other allied organizations.
With the exception of A.H.M. Azwer and A.R.M.A. Cader, 16 out of the 18 legislators signed the petition sponsored by the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka (MCL).
Speaking to Arab News from Colombo, MCL President N.M. Ameen said that the campaign carried out against Muslims by the Bodu Bala Sena, Sihala Ravaya and Ravana Balakaya is alarming and dangerous.
“We have full confidence in our president and we believe he will take appropriate action to resolve this issue,” he added.
The petition urges the president to immediately intervene to stop the harassment against Muslim IDP’s who have lived in different parts of the country as refugees and as a “forgotten” people over the last 23 years.
“We, the Muslim parliamentarians, wish to bring to your Excellency’s kind attention that these groups have been targeting Muslim places of worship, Halal food, the Muslim attire and now the resettlement of the Muslim lDPs who were expelled by the LTTE in 1990 in the worst act of ethnic cleansing in the history of our nation,” the petition read.
These Muslim lDPs were labeled as “old lDPs” and did not even benefit from the resettlement scheme implemented by the government and international agencies including the cash grants provided by the UNHCR, it said.
In the absence of any substantial support for their resettlement, the Muslim religious, political and civil society leadership has been soliciting support for their resettlement from benevolent donors of Muslim countries and individuals. There has been some positive response from some of these donors and a number of houses have been constructed with their support,” the petition noted.
These houses have been constructed following due procedures of land distribution through the Divisional Secretariat and the Presidential Task Force for resettlement.
The Sena and some sections of the media are highlighting the resettlement now as illegal, stating that they have encroached upon the Wilpattu National Park.
Signatories to the petition included, Senior Minister for Urban Affairs A.H.M. Fowzie, Justice Minister Rauf Hakeem, ALM Athullah, Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, Basheer Segu Dawood, Kabir Hasim, Faizer Mustapha, MS Thowfeek, Faisal Cassim, Hassan Ali, M.S M. Aslam, M.H.M. Haleem, M.L.A. M. Hisbullah, Unais Farook and Mustapha Bawa Farook.


FaceOf: Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, Saudi ambassador to Russia

Raed bin Khaled Qarmali
Updated 17 June 2018
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FaceOf: Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, Saudi ambassador to Russia

  • In 2011, Qarmali was appointed deputy director of bilateral relations and head of the general directorate of the US at the Saudi Foreign Ministry

The Saudi Embassy in Russia, headed by Saudi Ambassador to Russia Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, has confirmed that there were no Saudis injured in the accident in central Moscow on Sunday.

The embassy added that they were immediately in touch with the competent Russian authorities to ensure that no harm befell any Saudi citizens, and also expressed their wishes for a speedy recovery to any injured individuals.

Russia has lately been the center of attention with the World Cup happening in its midst. 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited Moscow on June 14 prior to Saudi Arabia’s opening World Cup match.

He was received by Saudi Ambassador to Russia Raed bin Khaled Qarmali, and accompanied by the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov and Mohammed Al-Mutairi, the Saudi military attaché in Russia.

In 2011, Qarmali was appointed deputy director of bilateral relations and head of the general directorate of the US at the Saudi Foreign Ministry; he became the ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Greece in 2012. By March 2015, the king appointed him as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador in Rome.

Qarmali was sworn in before King Salman in November 2017, to maintain his fealty to the Kingdom and not betray its state secrets and to fulfill his duties as ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Russia, replacing his predecessor Abdurrahman Al-Rassi.

He attended the inauguration of  the General Culture Authority’s Saudi Cultural Exhibition in Russia on June 15. 

The exhibition aims to shed light on Saudi Arabia’s culture and arts to enable visitors to get to know the rich heritage of Saudi culture and enhance their awareness about the talented creative minds in Saudi Arabia.