Sunday, January 27, 2013


Daily News Online

        26 January, 2013

Allaying Sinhala Buddhist Fears
           Response to Shenali Waduge      

Hameed Abdul Karim

‘Oh you who believe if a wicked person comes to you with any news ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done’ Qur’an 49:6

The above is advice from the Qur’an. But for all intents and purposes these words could have come out of the lips of the ever content Buddha. 

Truth is sacred and truth has no religion. Shenali Waduge must abide by this tenet if she is true to her conscience.

Let me point out one of many of her glaring untruths. She claims that Premanath Pereralage (Thungasiri) is awaiting execution for having a Buddha statue in his room at his work place. This is an absolute fabrication that was propagated by an extremist Sinhala Buddhist group. Waduge has swallowed this falsehood hook, line and sinker whether mistakenly or not is left to speculation. A senior official at our embassy, according to Arab News dated Sunday 8 July 2012, had slammed this story as a total fabrication. What had happened was that Pereralage was involved in a dispute over a housemaid who he had said was a relative. When things got out of hand the police arrived and took him into custody. 

Friday, January 25, 2013


                          Monday 21 January, 2013

Responding to ‘The Rizana Saga’

( a response to Shenali Waduge)

Hameed Abdul Karim

Reading Shenali Waduge’s article titled ‘The Rizana Saga…’ in Ceylon Today dated Thursday 17 January, 2013 I got the impressions that the writer had changed tacks and had had a change of heart, especially when she blamed the External Affairs Ministry for the plight of our women in the Middle-East and the Gulf.

But when I got towards the end of the piece I realised I was sadly mistaken and I got this suspicion that it wasn’t any concern for poor Rizana’s family’s that motivated her to write but rather she found an opening in her family’s plight to indulge in her favourite pastime of punching Muslims and their faith.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


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   Saturday 19 January, 2013

Defending Islam and Muslims
Response to ‘Laws and Religion - Some Concerns of Sinhala Buddhists’

Hameed Abdul Karim

Shenali Waduge’s article on ‘Laws and Religion: Some Concerns of Sinhala Buddhists’ appearing in the Daily News on the 12th of January 2013 is the latest in a long series of scaremongering among Sinhala Buddhists against Sri Lankan Muslims. Any first time reader would get the impressions that we Muslims are a bunch of good for nothing types living off the generosity of Sinhala Buddhists with a view to wipe out ‘Sinhala Buddhism’ from the country. Our centuries old long, cordial and peaceful existence with all communities in the country seems to count for nothing in her uncalled for vituperative remarks. 

Much of what she has said has already appeared on hundreds of racist hate spewing websites in Sri Lanka and around the world.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Sunday 13 January 2013

You Will Be in Gardens Where Rivers Flow

Dear Rizana,

I dreaded this day and though I knew it was coming there was always a flutter of hope in my heart that you would come home and be with your family and neighbours living your life of misery with sparks of happiness every now and then like most of us who have to trudge through life till we meet our Creator.

When the news of your conviction for alleged murder broke out I couldn’t fathom the Quazis’ decision to sentence you to death, try hard as I might. How was it possible for them to sentence a little girl from a backward village without giving thought to your pitiful circumstances? And I wondered how the brutes here at home went about their functions to forge documents to make you 18 when you were barely 17? I can’t help but imagine it was filthy lucre that motivated them. Little did they know what horrible results their evil deed would entail!

Monday, January 7, 2013


Wednesday 2 January, 2013 

Right of Reply

Responding to Tom Friedman of NYT: Egypt: The Next India Responding or the Next Pakistan’

Let Egypt be Egypt

Hameed Abdul Karim

Edward Said had said that any Westerner in politics or media can never discuss the Middle East without the usual prejudice against Islam or Muslims. It seems that Thomas Friedman of the New York Times too falls into this category when he compares Egypt with India and Pakistan in his article titled ‘Egypt: The Next India or the Next Pakistan’ (Ceylon Today 25 December, 20102). Why on earth couldn’t he draw a parallel with Turkey instead of Pakistan is confusing.

It’s true that Pakistan is a bad advertisement for both Islam and democracy. But India is no better.  With over 25% of ‘honourable’ members of parliament having criminal records, India certainly is not a good sort of thing that Friedman can quote to help lift the flag of democracy for the world to see. Moreover, we have the frightening prospect of Narendra Modi becoming Prime Minister in the not too distant future. It was under his watch that over 2000 Muslims were slaughtered and their economies devastated in an orgy of communal violence in his home state of Gujarat in 2002. Modi and his cronies picked up prime properties owned by Muslims and to this day Muslims languish in refugee camps in their home state as Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s). They are not allowed to return to their areas of residence where once their homes stood and no prospect of any hope, much less compensation. Their fate is similar to that of the Palestinians. And ironically Ariel Sharon became Israeli premier after he personally supervised the slaughter of Palestinian refugees in Shabra and Shatilla. The number of dead in these two atrocities is not too dissimilar. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


    Thursday 27 December, 2012


Letters to the Editor

A Colleague as Precious as Amila 

Hameed Abdul Karim 

It was deeply grieving to hear of the tragic demise of Amila Jayasinghe. Reading the stories about her written by the staff at Ceylon Today it would only be a hard heart that wouldn't break. Poor thing. So young and like a flower about to bloom.

Having a daughter her age, my heart goes out to her parents and the rest of the family in this terrible heart rending moment of their lives. No father, and here I speak as a father, should suffer the agony of having to bury his child. It's just not fair. Our children are supposed to bury us and not the other way around.

Oh, but such is life...and I guess we can philosophise  as much as we want, but our hearts ache all the while. But then we do that just to make the pain bearable. Her shall they bear the pain? How does one move on in life after a tragedy like this? Is there another day tomorrow?

Poor Amila will forever be in their hearts and minds. And all the while her soul, as she says in her poetry, 'will be locked inside an invisible cage, but neither of us will find the key to ours and be free'. How prophetic here words were! And as we mull those words of a girl in the tender years of her youth, we wonder if  they were premonitions, informing the world in advance of her early departure.

I pray to God almighty that He gives Amila's folks and those of you at Ceylon Today the courage and fortitude to bear the the pain of losing a daughter and a colleague as precious as her. And may God guide and bless you all.



                                        Appeared in Lakbimanews Sunday 30 December, 2012

Chickens Coming Home to Roost?

Hameed Abdul Karim

Watching Barack Obama on TV, wiping a tear in his left eye as he spoke in his usual Harvard eloquence at the memorial service for the little children who died in the dreadful terror in Newtown Connecticut, reminds those of us who have seen the movie ‘Godfather’ of Marlon Brando giving out a short but heart rending sob on hearing of his son Sonny’s assassination in the movie ‘Godfather’. Obama’s lump in the throat speech must, of a necessity, move us all who still claim to be human for indeed this was a tragedy beyond comprehension.
So was it Obama the politician that was crying or was it the human in him that was moved to tears? That’s a tough question, maybe even rude and insensitive. But hard questions have to be asked. Here is a president who for the first time in history had ordered the extra judicial murders of US citizens without batting an eyelid.