The appointment of Ali Sabry, PC, as Justice Minister made by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, with the blessings of the Prime Minister, represents a farsighted vision and a friendship-fostering wish. Fearlessly facing all criticism from certain hardline majority community elements, the President courageously granted this duty of the administration of justice to a top ranking legal professional who happens to be a member of the Muslim minority community.
Now, the ball is on the table of the Minister Ali Sabry, who has to deliver the goods. The decision taken to offer the Ministry of Justice to Ali Sabry, PC, can be defined as the finest and the riskiest political resolve of the year. Hence, the justification of the trust, seeded in the minister in the name of professionalism, communal harmony and particularly of the concept of “One Country, One Law”, is a sine qua non.
This ministerial portfolio requires the creation of a societal foundation, strong enough to build a friendship-rooted bridge of mutual understanding between the Sinhala-Buddhist original majority community and the minority Muslim community. Thus, it should be the responsibility of the new Justice Minister to work in this direction to the best of his ability. The new minister, being trilingual, can and should work as an envoy of unity among all the communities and religious groups in the country.
|President Gotabaya Rajapaksa aims for national unity|
The message given by the absolute majority of the people of Sri Lanka, at the last General Election is simple and clear: (1) Unitary country (2) Secured Motherland (3) Constitutionalized Buddhism (4) Recognition and respect to the rights of the original majority community of Sinhala Buddhists (5) Protection of ancestral and religious archeological remains from destruction by religious racists (6) Nullification of the false racist branding on innocent people by religious racists by enacting laws, imposing substantial punishments on the racist perpetrators (7) Justice for the dead and injured victims, victimized by the Easter bomb explosions of Islamic State terrorists (8) Economic Prosperity and (9) the Execution of One Law, One country Principle, declared by the Podu Jana Peramuna Election Manifesto (Sinhala Version, “Country Building Vision”, Page 01, Para 4, Sentence 01).
Though, many more components could be augmented to the above list, the above represent the strong wishes particularly of the Sinhala Buddhist majority, who voted for the two thirds majority victory of Podu Jana Peramuna (SLPP), formed by its National Organizer former Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
It was possible to discern that among Muslims, Ali Sabry was one of the very few who was pragmatically courageous to openly express that Sinhala Buddhist community is the strongest foundation on which the Sri Lankan Muslims could prosper. When he radiated such vocal gallantry, I looked in to his eyes and felt they were honest, heard his voice and perceived that the pitch was convincing and glanced at his gestures and they were positively persuading. His words were inspiring, the meaning he endeavoured to convey was result-oriented. Now, what is needed is supplementing and blending words with deeds.
There are political and some communal corridors, the members of which are disappointed with this intelligent and far sighted appointment. They have a list of fears: (1) The newly appointed Minister is a Muslim (2) His religious faith is Islam (3) Certain abominable teachings of Islam Religion, as taught by Islamic State racists like Saharan (4) History of some Asian countries, wherein, the Buddhism had been well established and the present state of them, and of the Buddhists living therein (5) The theory of increasing the number of heads and capturing power and political management (6) Destruction of religious and archeological remains of the original community by “religious” racists (7) Tendency of certain minority communities, supporting and voting for weak politicians to leadership who have no concern for the original majority community rights (8) Introduction of segregation-rooted and identity destroying dress codes and eating patterns, which never existed in Sri Lanka for 2500 years (9) Possibility of the initiation of certain punishments, declared by the religions of certain communities, which are not acceptable to the heart and soul of the original Sinhala Buddhist community majority (10) Demands of certain community politicians for administrative units based on self-rule and self-religions and many more.
There were no Muslims in Sri Lanka originally. The members of Muslim community came to this beautiful and peaceful Sinhala Buddhist country, first as tourists, then as traders, then as advisers in commerce for kings in a very limited context. With time: (1) their visiting numbers increased (2) they got married to Sinhala women (3) produced children (4) with time converted them in to Islam (5) engaged in trade (6) purchased valuable land slots in the best centres (7) built Islamic Mosques (8) entered politics and Parliament as legislators and enjoyed ministerial portfolios.
|Justice Minister Ali Sabry, PC|
All this, which established Muslims as a race in Sri Lanka, could be done, thanks to the spirit, nourished by the Doctrine of the Buddha, in the hearts and souls of the original Sinhala Buddhist community of this country. The communal harmony, societal friendship, mutual understanding, the tolerance and respect to the faiths of other communities and the generosity were possible since the original community of Sinhala Buddhists were good human-beings. Up to recent times no Muslim had any problem with Sinhala Buddhists and vice-versa. Actually, in conformity with the personal experience of the Muslims are a very intelligent, understanding and friendly community. The majority of best friends of the present writer are Muslims.
Yet, certain developments have shattered the beauty and the depth of that fraternity. The problem with the majority of Muslim community is that they do not produce a powerful and vigorous voice against those who import religious racism and communal segregation in to this land. Generally, ordinary Muslims are not in agreement with such exclusivity.
They love peace and friendship and to prosper in them. Nonetheless, when the racist elements launch campaigns for division, they plead ignorance and intermittent silence. When questioned, their response is: “It is a matter entrusted to the hierarchic ecclesiastical authority of the religion”.
This is very unfortunate. Yet, the good news is Minister Ali Sabry, long before his appointment as the Minister of Justice, was neither ignorant nor silent, but extremely knowledgeable and vocal. He had an unending determination to be knowledgeable and the overflowing courage to make his knowledge vocal.
One Law for All
It is often said that there is a racist strategy, being taught by the religious terrorists, who want to destroy all religions in the globe and establish a so-called “Islamic” Caliphate in the world. Now, the problem with the members of some religious corridors is, they ascribe the above strategy to Justice Minister Ali Sabry. It is very unfortunate. The credit for this injustice to Ali Sabry goes to the politics of disgusting opportunism in the domain of Sri Lankan politics.
All ministers must uphold the implementation of the components, ascribed to the Ministry of Justice by the PoduJana Peramuna 2019/2020 Election Manifesto, Viz the “Principle of One Country, One Law”. Then, it is the duty of the Cabinet of Ministers to structure the right space for the new Justice Minister to reach this agenda as anticipated by the voters of Sri Lanka.
There is a burning need, not to be mentally swayed by racist and terrorist elements.
The sharp eyes of all voters of Sri Lanka and in particular, the ever focused intelligent observation of the leadership of present governance are on each and every measure of the performance of new Minister, who must justify the trust placed in him by the leadership on behalf of the nation for achieving national unity.
The task is not only difficult, but also dangerous in some ways. Yet, if properly fulfilled, the rewards will be commendably joyous.