Friday, February 8, 2013

Has the ACJU (All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama) lost credibility because it is politicized?

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?


Anonymous said...

It should come as no surprise that the Country's president is behind the Bodu Bala movement, as otherwise it would not be allowed to exist. After all its Leader Ven. Kirama Vimalajothi Thera would not have been able to establish his Sambuddathwa Jayanthi Mandiraya in Thunmulla and change the name of Havelock Road to that too. Just think about it!!!

Anonymous said...

Coming full circle Milinda is the Jonah in the pack, the interlocuter between the two who nicely fits into a storm in a tea cup to take the Sri Lankan minds from real issues into race based bigotry, the only beneficiary being Mahinda Rajapakse who believes the Sinhala Buddhist vote will keep him in power forever, and when anything is about to turn goes back to divisive race issues to stay on and frighten the electorate. Very simple and effective political strategy.

DO THINK ABOUT THIS TOO and maybe comment on it!!

Anonymous said...

Good point about certification. Even though Halal is a religious requirement, non- Muslims consume Halal logo foods, and need to know that it is safe in fact and not in theory!

That can only be given by credible experts not religious people. ACJU please understand that, nothing against you, just that it is a food label and requires guidelines applicable to such labeling.

Anonymous said...

I think it is good that this issue has come to the fore, as it is now a debating point and must be debated properly.

It is becoming clear that the rationale for Halal is not as straight forward as it would seem.

Worse, an unrecognized body masquerading as legit causes harm to the community it is deemed to protect. More questions that need answers!

Anonymous said...

ACJU has the expertise on this area to test and make sure the products have no forbidden elements included. This is NOT JUST DONE BY THEOLOGIANS ALONE. They have the expertise on the area. The money charged are being spent for them too.
They have clearly published their charges and categories. Max amount per product per month is 700Rs. When the number of products go high, the rate goes down as low as 200Rs per month per product.
They were clearly explaining all these stuffs through their releases and videos. Why don't you look at what they say on these allegations?

You should talk/post on things you have clearly info. Get the answers from them. Do not just be one sided and post stupidly.

Ratmale,Minneriya,Sri Lanka said...

Above anon, I have checked, and the ACJU so called experts do not have a selection sampling system that conforms to internationally accepted sampling techniques to give certification and ensure consistency.

That is why it MUST be up to the Muslim community to ensure standard compliance if they expect the certificate to have validity as regards to reliability.

Sri Lanka has a very poor record on standard compliance, not just in Halal, but in other certification programs, so I am not just picking Halal for criticism. So please don't take it personally as it is not aimed at Muslims, just the ACJU!