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.


Ministers discuss winning media war in fight for Yemen’s legitimacy

Media ministers speak during a meeting in Jeddah on Saturday. AN photo by Ghazi Mahdi
Updated 24 June 2018
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Ministers discuss winning media war in fight for Yemen’s legitimacy

  • More than 13,000 journalists were kidnapped by the Houthis and we are demanding the international community seek their release
  • The coalition has managed to restore and liberate more than 85 percent of the Yemeni territory

JEDDAH: Media ministers for member states of the coalition for supporting legitimacy in Yemen held their fourth meeting on Saturday to discuss the ways of coordinating efforts and providing media support for coalition countries.

Saudi Minister of Information Awwad Al-Awwad said: “Houthi militias are one of the tools of Iran to threaten the stability of the region, and their ambitions have not stopped at attacking Yemenis and seizing their lands, but they exceeded that to threaten the security of Saudi Arabia by launching more than 152 ballistic missiles intercepted by our air defense forces and prevented from reaching their targets.”
He added: “The coalition has managed to restore and liberate more than 85 percent of the Yemeni territory with its full commitment to the rules of engagement and the protection of civilians and support of the Yemeni people and its legitimate government in resisting the enemy.”
Al-Awwad pointed out that the coalition’s support has not been limited to military operations, but has extended to other economic, security, relief and service aspects, infrastructure development projects, paving roads, rehabilitating ports and increasing their capacity.
Al-Awwad told Arab News that the meeting highlighted the blatant interference of Iran in the region, especially in Yemen, through its support for the Houthi militias.
“Some news agencies transmit news that may not be authenticated,” he said. “We want to tell them that there are reliable sources… that can be consulted. Therefore, news agencies were told to coordinate and publication shall be consolidated.”
He continued: “You are aware of what media stations hostile to the coalition countries and the legitimate government in Yemen are doing to falsify, deceive, fabricate stories, propagate rumors, broadcast distorted information, influence minds and emotions, and downgrade Yemeni army and coalition force success in diplomatic and various fields.
Yemeni Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said: “The Houthis will not go to peace until their military stalemate is broken and we have no choice but to cut (off) Iran’s arm in Yemen.
“More than 13,000 journalists were kidnapped by the Houthis and we are demanding the international community seek their release.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Information Additional Secretary Shafqat Jaleel said: “Pakistan calls for unconditional restoration of the legitimate government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and withdrawal of rebel forces from the territories seized by them, including the capital Sanaa.
“Pakistan contributed $1 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen last year and welcomes the Saudi initiative of providing relief to war victims in Yemen. Pakistan supports all efforts for peace in Yemen and calls for a political settlement, which can ensure lasting peace in the country,” he added.
Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber, chairman of the National Media Council of the UAE, said: “The restoration of the legitimate government … enhances the chances of reaching a peaceful solution and puts pressure on the Houthi militias to sit at the negotiating table and break the deadlock in the political process.”
Bahraini Information Minister Ali bin Mohammed Al-Rumaihi stressed that “the security and stability of our Arab region, our identity, our unity and the sovereignty of our country, impose on all our media moral, professional and national responsibilities as a basic weapon and a strategic partner with our armed forces in the face of extremist terrorist organizations and blatant external interference.”
The conference was represented by media ministers from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Sudan, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Djibouti, Malaysia, Senegal, Yemen and Pakistan.