‘Muslim community integral to Sri Lanka’

Justice Minister Ali Sabry speaks at the event.

Justice Minister Ali Sabry that Muslims who have been in Sri Lanka for more than 1,000 years form an integral part of this island nation.

The Minister was speaking to delegates from all parts of the island at the 71st Annual Convention of the All Ceylon Young Men’s Muslim Association (YMMA) held at the Auditorium of the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo on Saturday (20).

The opening ceremony was chaired by YMMA’s national President Saheed M. Rismy. The annual report was adopted by its Secretary General Sabir Sawad, while the concluding remarks were made by its Treasurer Ihsan Hameed.

Director of Muslim Services of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) N.J. Fathima Niroosiya graced the event as a special guest. Cader M. Ali, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the YMMA was also present.

In appreciation of their services to the community, President of the Young Women’s Muslim Association, Fawaza Thaha and President of the Oddamawady Pradeshiya Sabha A.M. Naufer were presented awards at the event.

Justice Minister Sabry recalled that Lankan Muslims have played a predominant role in the nation building effort and they were part of the mainstream in developing the country. He said that the community should be thankful to great men such as Siddi Lebbe, T.B. Jayah, Dr. A.M.A Azeez and Dr. Badi Ud Din Mahmud who believed in imparting the right education to form a healthier society where people can coexist peacefully. Recalling the contributions made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to end the war, the Minister said the services of Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka as the best Army Commander, Colonel Muthalib as the best intelligence officer and Fazly Laphir as the best army soldier, all of whom contributed to our country’s success, cannot be forgotten.

“We are implementing some new projects in the Justice Ministry which include the appointment of 46 new young judges, setting up of 100 new courts and revising 84 laws keep pace with time,” Justice Minister Sabry said.

“Muslim representation is mandatory in the Cabinet of this Government. I have felt it for the last two years. If there is no Muslim representation in the Cabinet, minority interests will be unrepresented,” Minister Sabry said.

Speaking on women’s rights, the Minister said that Muslim women have to be given their rightful place in society towards nation building. Citing examples from Malaysia, Singapore and Bangladesh, Sabry said that Bangladesh had done wonders under the leadership of Premier Sheikh Hasina who had alleviated the poverty of more than 32 million people during a short period of time. He pointed out that 71 percent of the Muslim undergraduates are women, which means they are forging ahead of men and they deserve to be encouraged to reach their goals.

Lauding the services of the YMMA in Sri Lanka, he said continuous services for the past 71 years bears testimony to the dedication of the members of the YMMA. The youth should march forward and do their best to contribute towards a better Sri Lanka, where people could live in peace, with mutual understanding and prosperity.

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