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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2681

Supreme Court to Hear Sufi Sect Case on February 27, 2008

Colombo, 23 February, (Asiantribune.com): The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka issued an order on Thursday, February 7, 2008 for all parties connected with the Fundamental Rights Case relating to the denial of access to their homes filed by members of the Sufi Sect to appear before the Court on February 27, 2008. This was in sequence to the case filed by All Ceylon Thareekathul Mufliheen, a Sufi Order, to exercise their belief and practices in Kathankudy and other parts of the country for their long struggle spanning for over 12 years. The Supreme Court has also ordered the Petitioners and Respondents (All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama, Kathankudy & the Urban Council, Kathankudy) to be present on Thursday, March 27, 2008 to review the situation.

The attempt on February 21 by the Sufi sects to re-enter their homes in Kathankudy, in accordance with the earlier Supreme Court Order failed as they were prevented from doing that by local thugs who assembled there and threatened them. The Inspector General of Police, Senior Superintendent of Police and the Officer- in- charge of the relevant division had been notified to facilitate entry to Kathankudy through Arayampathy and Kallady with adequate protection. But that was of no avail. Serious violence posed by extremist thugs put paid to that re-entry bid.

Nearly 350 members in a fleet of vehicles arrived at the entry points; to be told by the Police that entry through these points were not safe due to a volatile situation created by religious extremists. The members were taken on Karbala Road, a diversion, with Police protection to the meditation centre where the members spent about an hour and returned back. It was clearly evident that the law enforcement authorities were no able to execute the Supreme Court order.

Sectarian violence in Kathankudy started in 1996 in a mild manner and in 2004 a group of senseless Islamic religious extremists took the law unto their hands and indulged in barbaric inhuman activities inflicting untold hardship and misery to our members and causing enormous damage to our meditation centre.

This matter was then referred to the National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka and based on their findings, recommendations submitted by them to enable the religious leader and his followers to observe the religion in which they have reposed their faith without any hindrance, to freely observe without any impediment their precepts relating to religious faith, conduct cultural festivals, to teach their religion and perform marriage and death rites were not implemented. The authorities concerned turned a deaf year. Their callous attitude has given birth to this miserable and hellish situation today.

Even the newly constructed meditation center could not be put to proper use and with the death of the spiritual leader things got worse. Violence erupted again causing enormous damage to the meditation centre and over a hundred abodes of members were set ablaze and they were driven away from Kathankudy, not to return back. .

All Ceylon Thareekathul members strictly follow a non-violent spiritual path to achieve eternal peace and tranquility by self-realization or union with God through contemplation, meditation and purification of mind. A striking and noteworthy feature is that they have no record of any violent activity or retaliation. They have not taken up arms to retaliate and at all times sought the judiciary for a solution. Non violence had not convinced the protagonist of violence. It is a pity that lack of knowledge and a total misconception of this doctrine by these religious extremists had driven them to indulge in nefarious activities, violence, arson, mayhem and destruction of valuable human life and property.

Sufi Sect believes that one is at liberty to choose his path of faith and in the Holy Quran too there is no compulsion on religion as stated in Ayaths 2:256, 109:6, 10:99, 88:22,23,24 and !8:29.

Sectarian violence in Kathankudy started in 1996 in a mild manner and in 2004 a group of senseless Islamic religious extremists took the law unto their hands and indulged in barbaric inhuman activities inflicting untold hardship and misery to our members and causing enormous damage to our meditation centre.

- Asian Tribune -

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