President Maithripala Sirisena is acting on three urgent proposals made by Muslim Civil Society, leaders in the community told RepublicNext.
These include the withdrawal of a circular instructing all female state sector workers to report to work dressed in Sarees and possible action under Emergency laws against Media outlets spreading communal hatred.
The President made this announcement when he spoke after the Ifthar (breaking of the Ramazan fast) at the annual ceremony at the President’s House Tuesday night.
The President had said that he had intelligence reports that in case of the two Governors, M L A M Hisbullah of the Eastern Province and Asath Salley of the Western Province, did not resign these “Sinhala extremists would have created incidents of a violent nature.”
The President had told these leaders that he is “pained that they had to resign and I want to express my sadness at this turn of events.”
“Both of them are close to me and they have no involvement in terrorism. They were accused of various things in an unfair manner,” the President told the thousand or so people gathered there.
The president also challenged the perception in the community that there were thousands of Muslims in custody.
He said according to the Inspector General of Police there are only 559 Muslims in custody. Of then 201 are on Detention Orders and the rest are in Remand and he believes many of them would be released soon.
“I have from time to time given instructions to the Army and the Police to release those who are not directly connected to the terrorists. They will be released on bail and this 559 will go down to about 250,” he told the audience that included Ambassadors and envoys from Muslim majority countries.
“The All Ceylon Jamiyyatul Ulema have been meeting me frequently and appraised me of the issues faced by this community,” he added. They have proposed the use of Emergency Powers to manage some of the Media reports which are of a communal nature and may incite violence.
“We are at present looking at taking action on that matter.”
They have also brought to my attention the circular issued by the Ministry of Public Administration with regard to the attire that women workers are expected to wear at work.
“This circular raises issues not only for Muslims but all women and I found fault with the relevant secretary and withdrew the document” he added.
“I have instructed that a fresh circular based on the University Grants Commission document be issues to regulate what women should wear.
I know that you are feeling much pain these days because of the situation in the country. I share your pain. If any community, Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim is feeling like this I feel for you.