Radical Buddhists need to be restrained: Lankan minister

Updated 02 July 2014

Radical Buddhists need to be restrained: Lankan minister

Sri Lankan Justice Minister Rauf Hakeen called on his government to bring the perpetrators of recent violence in the country to justice.
He lamented that those responsible for waging anti-Muslim violence were roaming free and stressed need to arrest them to restore law and order, the minister said while speaking with Arab News in Colombo.
“The organization and the person who instigated the violence have not been held accountable for their crime,” Hakim said. He praised the Mahinda Rajapaksa government’s efforts for taking relief measures. Hakeem, who is also the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), said Muslim families living in remote areas felt insecure in the aftermath of recent incidents of violence.
“A radical group is responsible for all this and unless they are properly dealt with, Muslims cannot live in peace in the country,” he said, recalling the group has been involved in sporadic attacks against Muslims over the past two years.
He regretted that religious worshipping places were also attacked. Security forces are deployed to maintain law and order in the country and there is a legal system to address citizens’ concerns.
“The Muslim community in the island is outraged, angered and frustrated by the violence,” Hakeem said and hoped the government would take action to stop recurrences of violence in the island.
Around 10 percent of the country’s 20 million population are Muslims, most of whom had formed an effective vote bank for the ruling government, but the recent incident has reduced support, due to loss of confidence in the government, Hakim said.
He stressed, “The rule of law should be strictly followed; no one can be above the law, whether he is a Buddhist or a member any other community.” He said despite the violence unleashed by the radical group, the moderate Sinhalese are for communal harmony and want to co-exist peacefully with other communities in the island.
Sri Lanka has in recent times witnessed a spate of violence against the country’s Muslims, the latest being on June 15 when the ultranationalist Buddhist Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) provoked a rally to violence that left at least four Muslims dead, 80 injured and many houses, both residential and business, destroyed in the town of Aluthgama and surrounding areas.

TheFace: Saudi-Argentine fashion designer Safiah Alaquil

Updated 27 April 2018

TheFace: Saudi-Argentine fashion designer Safiah Alaquil

I am a Saudi-Argentine fashion designer who was born in San Francisco, California.

Growing up, I studied in the US, Saudi Arabia and Argentina, before returning to California to obtain my undergraduate degree in psychology.

I feel very fortunate to come from such a diverse heritage.

I began traveling at an early age, which is probably why I love exploring, learning and being constantly on the move.

Through my travels, I learned that each country is culturally unique. Its people, their traditions, food and the arts constantly impact my growth and development.

Who am I?

I am a product of all the international experiences and exposure I have gained through the years.

With every country I visited, I realized what a powerful and humbling experience each was, and how they helped mold and develop me as a person.

The more I traveled, the more I wanted to give back. It was no longer enough for me to simply explore different cultures.

I wanted to understand them and contribute what I could back to society as a favor returned.

It was with this in mind that my fashion line Badawiah was born.  



Safiah Alaquil (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)