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23 May 2024

Muslim council meets Buddhist high priests on halal matters

By Correspondent

The Mahanayakas (Buddhist High Priests) of the Kandy Malwatte chapters met a delegation of the Sri Lanka Muslim Council (SLMC) yesterday morning and discussed the issue arising from the issue of Halal certificate, ‘Colombo Gazette’ reported.

The Mahanayakas were briefed by the delegation led by the President of the SLMC N M Ameen on the concerns of the Muslim population as a result of the tensions that have arisen in the country following stiff opposition being raised against the Halal certificates being issued by the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulema (ACJU).

The SLMC had said that Sri Lankan Muslims wish to co-exist with all other communities in the country and in response the Mahanayakas said that efforts should be taken to strengthen the ties between Buddhists and Muslims in the country.

Objections have been raised by some Buddhist groups including Body Bala Sena (BBS) and Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) to the Halal certificate being issued by ACJU in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, ‘The Nation’ reported that if problem persists, the ACJU has expressed willingness to handover Halal certification to the government, giving a twist to the Halal controversy after they met the Chief Prelate of the Malwatta Chapter Ven.

Tibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thera who had called upon the ACJU members to remain calm and preserve the long standing friendship between the two communities.

“He referred to the Halal issue citing that an amicable agreement could be reached easily through dialog.”

“The ACJU is willing to co-operate with the Parliamentary Sub-committee appointed to look into the issue but however feel that the issue of Halal certificate is blown out of proportion.”

The member said adding, “Due to the many problems that have arisen, the certification could be handed over to the SLS or the Ministry of Religious Affairs.”

‘The Nation’ also reported that, earlier, the Lanka Jamiyyathul Ulema (LJU) remained polarised, over the issuance of Halal certification and alleged that the ACJU had erred on their part.

“We do not wish to comment on the matter as we have been cooperative with the government and still render our support to come to a conclusion over the matter,” said Aslam Zubair, the media coordinator of ACJU.

Clarifying the matters with relation to the Halal certification, the ACJU stressed that they do not compel any company to obtain their certification no do they charge hefty fees for the procedure.

All their accounts have been submitted to the National Investigation Bureau and have always conducted their affairs in a transparent manner, the Consultant Shaikh Fazil Farook claimed.  

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