No place for extremism in Sri Lanka, says envoy

Updated 09 July 2014
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No place for extremism in Sri Lanka, says envoy

Sri Lankan ambassador to the Kingdom Vadivel Krishnamoorthy has allayed fears of the Sri Lankan Muslim expatriate community amid growing concerns about the anti-Muslim campaign on the island saying that Islamic traditions are well respected in the South Asian country.
His remarks came at an iftar party held recently for Sri Lankan expatriates in the Kingdom. The Sri Lanka Muslim community in the Kingdom raised concerns when violence broke out in Sri Lanka on June 15 after a rally led by the ultranationalist Buddhist Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) organization left four Muslims dead, 80 injured and destroyed numerous homes and businesses in the town of Aluthgama and its surrounding areas. The attendees at the iftar were united in their common fear for the safety of the Muslims back home.
Addressing the event, Krishnamoorthy said: “There is no place for extremism in Sri Lanka. We respect Islamic traditions and bigotry, fear and exclusion have no place in our beautiful island. Generations of patriotic Muslims in our country have demonstrated that Islam, like many other faiths, is part of our national story.”
He said Sri Lanka recognizes the importance of Ramadan and the government is committed to creating bridges of understanding and respect that will bring people of all faiths together and build stronger bonds of communication and cooperation.” He said the
Mohamed Shafraz, an expatriate worker who hails from the recently affected Alutgama area of Sri Lanka, said that although the violence is over, the fear still lingers.
“My family back home was witness to the violence and are still restless,” he said, adding that assurances are being given but the root cause of the problem is not being dealt with.
At the end of the event, Sri Lankan Muslim philanthropists who had contributed generously were thanked profusely for making the program a grand success.
Separate arrangements were made for women and children to break their fast. The program for the day included three speeches on the significance of fasting in Ramadan by Hijaz Moulavi and Rahumin Nizer, followed by dinner.
During the iftar, traditional “Kanji” (porridge) were served along with typical Sri Lankan treats and fresh juices to the guests.


Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

Updated 27 min 25 sec ago
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Jamarat facilities ready to receive pilgrims for Hajj in Saudi Arabia

  • Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival
  • Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year

JEDDAH:  Jamarat facilities in Mina are fully prepared to receive Hajj pilgrims during the throwing of stones.

The Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs has deployed sunshades, cooling systems, escalators, closed-circuit TV, guidance and awareness-raising signboards and facilities, and information services.

The ministry’s projects include the installation of fixed and mobile cameras along the paths leading to the holy sites to monitor and manage pedestrian movement.

Fixed and mobile stairways are located throughout the Jamarat area to facilitate pilgrims’ arrival.

 

Amenities

Many organizations and entities have provided amenities to help pilgrims on Arafat. Umbrellas have been distributed to provide shade and avoid heat stroke, cold water has been provided to quench pilgrims’ thirst, and food and beverages have been handed out. 

Holy Qur’ans have also been distributed to help pilgrims perform an Islamic ritual that abolishes worshippers’ sins.

Saudi Arabia considers it a privilege to expand and improve its services to pilgrims every year.

 

Live broadcast

The Media Ministry has launched a live broadcast of Hajj rituals on social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook, as well as on YouTube.

The ministry has provided 19 channels transmitting in Arabic, English, Urdu, Malay, French and German.

 

Free internet

Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) has announced it will provide 1GB free for every pilgrim who uses its prepaid services as a gift to pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season. The gift is aimed at facilitating their experience during Hajj on the day of Tarwiya and Arafat.

STC chairman, Nasser bin Sulaiman Al-Nasser, explained that the company’s gift came as a result of instructions from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to all governmental and private bodies related to the service of pilgrims.

 

Educate pilgrims

Dr. Abdul Fattah bin Suleiman Mashat, deputy minister of Hajj and Umrah, said the ministry has launched an awareness campaign in six languages — Arabic, English, French, Russian, Chinese and Persian — to educate pilgrims on Hajj regulations, provide them with health advice, and help them follow schedules in order to avoid overcrowding.

The ministry has launched the Manasikana smartphone app to provide pilgrims with services in eight languages, Mashat added.

The app informs pilgrims of grouping and transport plans, helps them find camps, lodgings and companions, and enables them to send reports and complaints to concerned authorities at the ministry.