Written representations against the implementation of the “One Country – One Law” concept in Sri Lanka by abolition of personal laws

7th February 2022

The Secretary,
Presidential Task Force for One Country, One Law
P O Box 504
Colombo

Dear Sir/Madam

Written representations against the implementation of the “One Country – One Law” concept in Sri Lanka by abolition of personal laws 

World Forum For Sri Lankan Muslims is an expatriate organisation with Registered office in London United Kingdom.

World Forum membership covers six continents around the world with membership growing steadily, to represent the Sri Lankan Muslim and non- Muslim professionals, intellectuals, and like-minded people worldwide.

We are involved and support several educational, other humanitarian and charitable projects since its inception working with civil society and other similar organisation and our services are for all communities immaterial of cast, creed or gender.

We intend to promote free direct investments and tourism promotion to our motherland.

With reference to Gazette (extraordinary) notification No 2251/30 dated 26-10-2021 and No 2252/56 dated 06/11/2021, I/we hereby make the following representations to the “One Country One Law” Task Force appointed by His Excellency the President.

We believe Sri Lanka is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious country. This diversity is reflected in its personal laws and protected under the Constitution. Whilst there is no question that there must be uniformity in the application of the general, civil and criminal law (Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Code etc), personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and succession, are matters that properly fall within the purview of personal laws. We as a community have enjoyed the benefits of these personal laws (whether codified or not) since time ever immemorial; from the time of the Sri Lankan Kings to date, more than 1000 years of existence.

These personal laws have never infringed on the rights of other communities, whilst being protected by the Constitution of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. The culmination of a One Country One Law, which seeks to abolish personal laws (Thesawalamai, Kandyan, Muslim) of all communities, will merely be a cause for contention amongst communities and not a cause of harmony.  Undoubtedly, there is an urgent need for reform of these  laws but not a need for it to be abolished

The Muslim expatriate community have no confidence in the impartiality and competence of the Chairman of the Task Force to examine the issues involved and the relevant laws. He has blasphemed Allah and called him the main perpetrator of the 21st of April 2018 Easter bombing and has also carried our a hate campaign against the Muslims since 2009.

I/We also wish to draw the attention to the findings of  The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into and Report or take necessary action on the Bomb Attacks on 21st April 2019 clearly indicate, that his speeches “contained without any doubt, hate speech” and further was of the view that part of the speeches made, can form the basis for a prosecution in terms of  the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) Act No. 56 of 2007. Moreover, they went on to recommend that the Attorney General consider filing charges against him.

In view of which, I/we are unconvinced that the purpose of the One Country One Law Task Force can be achieved by such an individual chairing this Task Force.

In view of which, I/we the undersigned vehemently oppose any attempt to abolish our personal laws in the guise of implementation of “One Country One Law”, and we are convinced that the absolute majority of the Muslim Community will stand in solidarity with us, in emphatically opposing the elimination of all personal laws, especially the Muslim Personal Laws of Sri Lanka. 

Thank you,

Yours sincerely

Rizwan Wahab
Secretary General
World Forum For Sri Lankan Muslims 

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Disclaimer :

Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect World Forum for Sri Lankan Muslims (wfslm.org) point-of-view.

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