Notes by WLUML networker Faizun Zackariya, based on her visit to the East coast (28-29-30th Dec) especially to the villages of Karativu, Sainthamaruthu, Kalmunai Kudi, Kalmunai, Pandiruppu and Maruthumanai in the Amparai district.
Women's rights groups who have conducted fact-finding missions in the tsunami-affected areas wish to bring to public attention serious issues concerning the safety and wellbeing of women which have not yet been addressed in relief efforts.
On 28th December, 5 members of the Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum and one observer accompanied a truck full of relief goods to Kalmunai area, located in the district of Amparai on the East Coast, to aid the relief effort for Tsunami victims.
The objective of this paper
is to provide a historical overview of the processes of communal identity
formation in Sri Lanka with special reference to the Muslim community . Sri Lanka is a
multi-ethnic society in which Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and others have
coexisted for centuries. However, in more recent times, ethnic relations on the
Island have been consistently strained by the rise of communalist politics which
have deepened ethnic and religious divides.
An attempt is made in this
paper to trace the development of ethnic consciousness and religious
fundamentalism among Sri Lankan Muslims and the bearings of this development on
Sri Lankan Muslim women.*
At the outset, I should clarify the
use of the terms ethnic consciousness and fundamentalism. Both these terms are
very popular and controversial in the current socio-political discourse. There
are a number of definitions and disagreements about them.
The Muslim's Women's Research and Action Front considers the appointment of a
committee to examine Muslim Personal Law in the light of reform as a positive
step in the socio-legal and cultural upliftment of the community.
MWRAF as a group of committed and concerned Muslim women wishes to suggest a basis
for reforms, though we would like to reiterate the fact that our framework is
within the Qur'an and Sharia and the proposed changes would in effect be
implementation of not only the letter of the law but also the spirit of the law-
in other words the essence of the Qur'an