PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks told Hira Foundation Sri Lanka not registered properly: Witness
Posted on November 14th, 2020

Yoshitha Perera Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Hira Foundation Sri Lanka which was founded by former Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hizbullah had not been registered properly with the Social Services Department, the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks was informed yesterday.  

 Testifying before the Commission Social Service Officer Dammika Wasala Bandara said that after revoking the relevant Department’s Act in 1999, the Social Services Department only had details pertaining to two Non- Governmental Organisations (NGO) which were registered under the Department.   

He said that there were no documents found regarding the Social Service Organisation, Hira Foundation at the Department.   

However, the Commission had drawn the witness’s attention to a certification which had been provided by the Social Services Department to the Hira Foundation on July 20, 2011.   
After referring to the document, witness said that there was no such document in the Department regarding to the registration of Hira Foundation.   

The witness said that Additional Director General Mohammed Sameel of the Department who registered the Hira Foundation was not in the service when registering the particular organisation.   

These documents submitted by the Hira Foundation were problematic because we don’t have these documents in the Department,” he said.   

Meanwhile, testifying before the Commission former Additional Director General of the Social Services Department Mohammed Hanifa Mohammed Sameel also accepted the fact that it was wrong to issue such registration document to the Hira Foundation.   

During the testimony, it was also informed that former Director General of the Department Mohammed Sameel had served as the Director of Muslim Cultural Affairs Department in 2013.   

When Commissioners questioned the witness regarding the connection the Muslim ministers had with the Department, he said that all the Muslim Ministers had discussed about registering Mosques in the country.   
Why were Ministers involved when registering religious places? Do they add any pressure on you?, Commissioners questioned the witness.   

Responding to the question witness said that he did not work beyond the procedure and explained that even though several ministers made requests on registering Mosques, the Department was always considering the board of trustee’s (Wakfs) decision when registering a Mosque.   

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