If one was in parliament yesterday, you would have heard Nimal Siripala de Silva, – the Leader of the House for the government, praising the ACJU for supporting Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva. What has the ACJU got to do with supporting the UNHRC? That is if they are an accredited body for giving the Halal seal of approval for products they should stick to that only and their main objective
Further this Minister was defending the ACJU from the previous day’s attack by the Leader of the Opposition who said that ACJU as the apex religious body of the Muslims, had NO legal power to give Halal certification. So it is clear that the ACJU has decided to take sides, something that a religious organization representing a religion should not do. Further the Leader of the Opposition clearly pointed out the partiality of the ACJU in supporting Mr Milinda Moragoda of the UPFA as the Mayoral candidate for Colombo, which was clear at the outset, as further evidence of partiality. It is time the ACJU desists from taking sides in the Sri Lanka political game as otherwise their accreditation for Halal also takes a political direction.
I believe that whilst the Halal certification is a religious matter, it MUST be up to a standard setting organization within Sri Lanka to monitor or give accreditation of the procedures and methods adopted of the way they grant their certification. This religious body must be equipped with the testing labs or trained professional staff to give such an important seal such as a food accreditation, otherwise they are only fooling the people who rely on this such as the consumer, many of whom are from their faith.
Otherwise if an openly politicized organization has access to records of companies and be able to inspect companies within their manufacturing processes that is just breaking all rules of governance. To give food certification there are procedures and inspections and they are very confidential to the organization, as otherwise their trade secrets and processes are prone (especially in the Sri Lankan context - as I speak from experience) is open to competitors gathering trade secrets!
I trust the ACJU understands the responsibility it has if it is to execute Halal certifications. Further if they are accredited by an Independent World body, where is the proof? Is the certification valid or has it lapsed? That has NOT been shown to the public or the Media “yet”. A world Muslim body would be foolish to accredit an openly political organization, which should merely be for the care of their flock and preservation of their faith amongst their believers and not dabble in something they have no rights to.
As I understand it the rules of the ACJU prohibit it from being a politically biased organization that even supports the SL Muslim Congress, so this issue must be resolved soon and a press release made without delay.
I find an even more bizarre turn of events unfolding. Milinda Moragoda is an adviser to the President of Sri Lanka. His offices are on the 4th floor of the Sambudda Jayanthi Building on what was known as Havelock Road. The main Prelate of the Building which is of a religious organization, is the Chairman of the Body Bala Sena and has been at Odds with the ACJU. HOW ABOUT THAT?