Government to help less affluent Muslims to embark on the pilgrimage to Mecca
Posted on October 28th, 2014

The Daily News

President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday said that he would devise a method that ensures equal opportunities for Muslims when they undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca. There was loud cheering from among the Musim folk present, upon the President’s announcement.

While the rich travel to Mecca many times, the less affluent do not get so much as a single opportunity, President Rajapaksa observed.

He added that he would devise a means which enables the less affluent to engage in the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

The President was speaking at Al Tharique Muslim Maha Vidyalaya in Kantale. Later, the President reiterated what he said at Al Hijra Muslim Vidyalaya in Thambalagamuwa, Trincomalee district.

The President opened two Mahindodaya Technological Laboratories at both schools. In addition to the school children, a large gathering of persons was present to witness the opening of the laboratories.

The President’s observations on the pilgrimage to Mecca was met with thunderous applause from the large crowds present.

The Haj is the main Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, which is performed annually and is considered as a mandatory religious duty for Muslims which must be carried out at least once in a lifetime by all adult Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey, and can support their family during their absence.

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/haj-all#sthash.cRWVQx3m.dpuf

21 Responses to “Government to help less affluent Muslims to embark on the pilgrimage to Mecca”

  1. NeelaMahaYoda Says:

    Dear Mr. President
    As you say, you will devise a method that ensures equal opportunities for Muslims when they undertake the pilgrimage to Mecca, but you have comfortably forgotten about the millions of less affluent Buddhists who are struggling to undertake pilgrimage to Buddha Gaya (Dambadiva) Isn’t strange that you try to ensures equal opportunities for Muslims but not for Buddhists even though they are the 90% of your prospective vote base.

  2. Marco Says:

    NeelaMahaYoda,
    Never mind the Buddha Gaya, it may come as a surprise to you that many Sinhala Buddhist don’t have the means even to pay homage to our most sacred Buddhist place of worship.Sri Dalada Maligawa.
    Our male servant having found employment in a Maldives Resort sent part of his first pay cheque for his extended family to visit Dalada Maligawa for the very first time.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Didn’t I say so?

    Our president gives away $1,000,000 to PALESTINE when NO DROUGHT relief is given to SL people and now plans to STATE FINANCE Mecca pilgrimage while the MUUDU MAHA VIHARA in Amparei and the only Buddhist temple in Batticaloa are NOT helped at all!!

    Also HOW MANY SINHALA schools in TRINCO have Mahinda labs? Especially SINHALA GIRLS’ SCHOOLS? NONE! The president made the trip to Trinco crossing 200km only to give labs, etc. to MUSLIMS ONLY?

    Is there a group of people called Sinhalese? Or am I still living in the early 20th century when British ruled the country?

    What madness is this!!

    Should Sinhalese Buddhists continue to vote for this?
    (Muslims would be foolish to vote for the govt. after what BBS did to Muslims and the govt. did nothing to arrest them.)

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    MIHIN AIR made a loss of $1.1 billion so far. Now the govt. plans to MISUSE state funds and LIMITED FOREX to fly people to Mecca! Why not Buddha Gaya? Why not Thirupathi? Why not the Ganges? Why not Rome? Why not Bethlahem?

    My less affluent relatives in SL want to visit Rome and Jerusalem. Can you help them too? Or they are children of a lesser god and they get NO SUCH help? Why wasn’t I born a Muslim in this resplendent Islamic Republic of Sharia Lanka!

    Anagarika Dharmapala should have been alive today.

  5. Nanda Says:

    Lorenzo,
    Buddhists and especially Maha Sangha MUST get together to firmly advice our unscrupulous rulers who let the country slide down the hill and let it embrace western stupidness and materialism. Buddha’s land will diminish gradually and so it Buddhism, according to Buddha. It is a natural process.
    Demo-crazy alone cannot do it. People are average, don’t have computer in most households to get educated.

  6. cassandra Says:

    Do I smell an election in the air?

  7. Ananda-USA Says:

    NeelaMahaYoda, Lorenzo,

    As the least affluent of my many poverty-stricken relatives in SL, I hereby volunteer for assistance from the GOSL in the form of a free return trip to Buddha-Gaya.

    I always wanted to undertake a pilgrimage tracing the footsteps of the Lord Buddha, but had neither the time, nor the money, but through your kind intervention, I may just be able to make it before I depart this earth!

    As a related matter, I propose that we create a special title for those who have completed a Dambadiva pilgrimage, similar to that given to Muslims who have visited Mecca!

  8. Ananda-USA Says:

    More Seriously,

    We must try to see the whole picture. MR has many issues to deal with, in addition to saving funds.

    For example, he is trying to build support for SL when SL is dragged in front of the UN on war crimes charges, build markets for SL products and SL workers, attract more tourists, and get petroleum for below market prices, etc.

    The block of Muslim countries is large and is also economically important for SL.

    If we pay X MILLION Rupees to fly Muslims to the Haj, but we get X BILLION Rupees through expat worker remittances, favorable prices for imported oil, increased tourists from the Gulf, AND increased support and votes to help SL at the UN … that is a VERY GOOD RETURN on the money, and PATRIOTIC to boot, don’t you think?

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    Ananda,

    No. There is no need to appease JUST ONE COMMUNITY to win the support of middle eastern countries. We should be MOVING AWAY from their dependence.

    There are 750,000 Muslim men in SL. There are only a few tens of thousand alhajs. So there are 700,000+ who would go in this trip. Average ADULT life span is around 50 years. So every year 14,000 have to be sent. A return ticket costs about $750. That is $11 million every year!

    Average salary of a housemaid is $6,000 a year. We need to export an additional 1,800 housemaids to meet this cost!! And that makes us MORE DEPENDENT on them! A vicious circle.

    WAHAB indoctrination happens when people go to Saudi. When they come they bring it. HEROIN is also exchanged by Afghan persons.

    Appeasing JIHADIST DICTATORSHIP regimes is NOT patriotism.

    Instead this money can be used to develop facilities to produce ethanol, wind mills, bio gas facilities and solar panels that will LESSEN the dependence on RESTIVE middle east.

  10. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    APPEASING Muslim countries is not the objective here, National Survival of Sri Lanka is the objective.

    As Western Nations gang up against Sri Lanka and impose economic sanctions, we MUST FIND other sources of funds to keep Sri Lanka’s economic and infrastructure development going.

    Sometimes it looks a little like the awful process of sausage making, but making progress towards out National Objectives is PARAMOUNT!

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    Ananda,

    That logic reminds me the story of the naked king. People praised his “beautiful” clothes but one person refused to do so and shouted the king is naked. He indeed was.

    I don’t think MR would do this seriously. Then there will be a queue at temple trees with people wanting to go to pilgrimages to Arabia, Endia, Rome, etc. at STATE expense.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with HALDUMMULLA mudslide victims and their loved ones. May there be many survivors.

    Govt. should spend money on these people than in Hajj.

    This news is even reported in Russian news.

  13. Nanda Says:

    May those died attain Nibbana! These lives could have easily been saved by proper governance.

    May the eyes of the heartless rulers open
    Beyond that darkness in the pearl of Indian Ocean
    Seeing the suffering and tears of the poor
    Willingness to help should surely appear

    What is the point of gathering things ?
    Right when the bell of Mara rings –
    You will leave your wealth with great regret
    There is no pulling back of opportunity lost

    Let the timely rains pour in
    Then the harvest is easily gained
    The world will prosper and glow perfect
    When kings are always just

    “Devo vassatu kalena – Sassa sampatti hetucha
    Peeto bhavatu lokocha – Raja bhavatu dhammiko.”

  14. callistus Says:

    Here she/he Nandawathie goes again. Any opportunity to attack MR for 20 quids, she is there. In Buddhism there is a thing called JEALOUSY, which a lot of people are full of. The people who are ranting about poor Islam followers may get this financial support to go to Mecca, are simply being jealous. It is like thinking ‘why can’t I have it’ attitude. I am pretty sure if there is a call poor Buddhists and others might get financial support from MR. Who said Haldummulla residents will not get any reprieve.

  15. Lorenzo Says:

    Nanda,

    You are RIGHT about the JIHADIST. Previous comments by it confirms it. Only the ISRAEL (one of SL’s best friends) solution works with them.

    IF MR gives a ONE WAY TICKET to Mecca, that is the BEST!

    MR or his REPLACEMENT will have to take TOUGH action against JIHADISTS spreading in SL like a CANCER. Thankfully BBS conditionally supports MR to RID the country these dirt.

    MAHA SANGHA is detached from ground realities. They should put down a CODE OF CONDUCT for ALL politicians to follow. If ANYONE breaks it, they should be removed from parliament.

  16. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    Your recounting the story of “The Emperor’s new clothes” is totally OUT OF CONTEXT and inapplicable to this situation, but Sri Lanka needs all the friends we can get, and not become globally isolated like Israel, which is unfortunate.

  17. Lorenzo Says:

    Ananda,

    Even Muslims are against this ELECTION GIMMIK.

    According to Islam you should make the pilgrimage ONLY if YOU can afford.

    Lets be honest with our friends. Let them support us for who we are as we support them without any appeasement. My cost calculation is wrong. It should be around $3,000 per person. Accommodation and food are very expensive during this time.

  18. Lorenzo Says:

    Israel is NOT isolated at all.

    Don’t judge by UNHRC votes. Only 47 countries are in UNHRC. There are 200+ countries. Even some countries that voted against Israel trade with it and keep helping defend it for the past 1,500 years.

  19. Marco Says:

    The above article is a rather mischievous piece of electioneering hogwash that the Daily News thought fit to publish to rile a few feathers amongst the gullible and it has served its purpose.
    Even if it was true MR should sack the speech writer or advisor in making such a statement that has invariably shot himself in the foot by pandering to a “pledge” that he cannot keep and not relevant in the bigger scheme of community harmony.

  20. Ananda-USA Says:

    Lorenzo,

    No need to flog the Israeli horse to death, because I know it is a sensitive topic for you. Let us simply agree to disagree.

    However, I think you are WRONG, and recently Isreal is even losing EU support.

  21. Lorenzo Says:

    Ananda,

    The issue here is NOT Israel (a tiny country in the middle east with no real relation to any of us) or USA.

    The issue is ONE BAD MISTAKE of MR. I’m sure he didn’t mean it and REGRET it. But it smoked out die hard SLFPers, real colorless patriots and others.

    30% of SLs are die hard SLFPers.
    30% of SLs are die hard UNPers.
    5% of SLs are die hard JVPers.
    3% of SLs are die hard ITAK voters.
    2% of SLs are die hard SLMC voters.
    4% of SLs are die hard CWC voters.
    16% are driven by non-party considerations.

    With 100 commentators here, I would expect AT LEAST 5 to be die hard SLFPers. NO MATTER WHAT they will stand by the SLFP. AT LEAST 5 are die hard UNPers. NO MATTER WHAT they will stand by the UNP.

    So lets agree to disagree on a positive note. :)

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