Azath Salley’s Arrest

By Nirmala Kannangara and Raisa Wickrematunge

The health condition of Azath Salley who was arrested on Thursday (2) morning at his Kolonnawa residence by the CID is reportedly bad. According to reports his health condition was deteriorating despite the Judicial Medical Officer’s (JMO) advice to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to produce Azath Salley before a magistrate.

As a result Salley’s condition turned to worse and was admitted to ward 55, National Hospital Colombo on Friday evening.
While some sources the National Hospital on condition of anonymity said that Sally was fallen sick at the time of admission since he was not taking food and medicine, Acting Director National Hospital Dr. Cyril de Silva said that Salley was in stable condition at the time of his admission.

“He is in a medical ward and is under observation. Other than the diabetic and hypertension condition, there is nothing wrong with Salley,” added Dr. De Silva.

Police Spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena said that Azath Salley was arrested following several complaints received by the CID against the speeches he has made inciting racism.

“He was taken into custody under Section 120 of the Penal Code and provisions under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). He has violated clause 21 of the PTA,” said SP Siriwardena.
Salley, is the leader of the newly formed Muslim Tamil National, and was critical of the Bodhu Bala Sena (BBS) which has been accused of attacking Muslim and Christian religious places over the past few months. As a result Salley had received death threats and went on hiding in fear for his safety.

He was arrested on Thursday morning around 6.30 a.m. according to his brother Shabeen Salley who was at his (Azath) gate when he was taken away by the CID.

“Around 6 am, Azath called and told me that his house in Kolonnawa and all the by lanes around have been cordoned off and wanted me to see what was going on. When I reached his house immediately after the call I was stopped by some STF personnel and asked where I was going. Although I was allowed to go near the house I was not allowed to go beyond the gate as the gate was closed. The gate remote control was with the CID officers. By 6.30 a.m. the gate was opened and my brother was taken away in a van escorted by five CID officers,” said Shabeen.

According to Shabeen, more than 30 CID personnel have entered Salley’s residence and he was not allowed to use his phone to speak to his lawyer.

However, Head of the Media Center for National Security (MCSN) Lakshman Hulugalle said they had received complaints that Salley had misappropriated funds, and added that the former deputy Mayor had been arrested under Section 120 of the Penal Code (creating religious disharmony amongst a group of people) as well as under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Attorney-at-Law Shiraz Noordeen who is appearing for Salley said the accusation of misappropriating funds is false and added that Salley had been arrested following an interview given to a Tamil Nadu magazine in which he had said that extremist groups were spreading a hate campaign against Muslims whilst the Government was turning a blind eye. According to Noordeen, allegations have been levelled against Salley for telling the interviewer that if this were to continue, Muslims would have no choice but to take up arms.
“Salley’s statement had been incorrectly reported, but had only stated that the Government should intervene before Muslims were pushed into a difficult position. He had been arrested under Section 120 of the Penal Code as well as under Section 2 H of the Prevention of Terrorism Act which is non bailable,” added Noordeen,

According to Noordeen, Salley has been put into a small cell with 15 terrorist suspects and have been deprived of the cloths the family has taken.

“When I visited Salley on the fifth floor of the CID on Friday morning I saw how he was staying in a packed cell with 15 other terrorist suspects. Although he was wearing a good shirt his family has brought the day before, Salley told me that he was allowed to wear it to meet me but not on the previous day. He was not given the clothes the night before although he has requested,” said Noordeen.
Meanwhile, Salley’s daughter Amina who was with her father at the time of his arrest said the police officers had no search warrant and her father was arrested under terrorism laws.

“My father is not a terrorist,” Amina said adding that her major concern was his health.

Meanwhile, Riyaz Salley, another brother of Azath speaking against the arrest said, “My brother always talks about unity and celebrating diversity. He was the first to condemn the attacks on monks in Tamil Nadu even before the Sinhalese politicians. We are always against terrorism and extremism.”

He further said that the family had still not completed 20 days of mourning after their mother’s death.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) head Rauff Hakeem reacting to the arrest said he thought the Government could have acted with more restraint, adding that this was an extreme step.

“This does not mean that I endorse Salley’s views, which were often abusive and reactive. However he too had a right to freedom of expression. When other groups were using inflammatory language but were getting away sot free it is sad that the law has not applied to all alike. The law should apply to everyone alike,” said Hakeem said.

UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya commenting strictly in his personal capacity said that he felt arresting people under the Prevention of Terrorism Act set a dangerous precedent, and added that he was shocked to hear that Salley was arrested.
“Salley was always talking about national unity. This move has set a dangerous trend for the future,” added Jayasuriya.
All attempts to contact government spokesmen Keheliya Rambukwella and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena for a comment failed.

32 Comments for “Azath Salley’s Arrest”

  1. kasyapa

    Isn’t it the BBS and other robed hoodlums who are inciting racist violence??

  2. Insula

    Why not Arrest the BBS, Budu Bala Sena Terrorists?

  3. Jane de Pinto

    And the hidden agenda of Muslims is to,1. “Kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” Koran
    2:191

    “Make war on the infidels(non belivers of
    Islam) living in your neighborhood.” Koran 9:123

    “When opportunity arises, kill the
    infidels(non belivers of Islam) wherever you catch them.” Koran 9:5

    “Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.” Koran
    3:85

    “The Jews and the Christians are perverts;
    fight them.”… Koran 9:30

    “Maim and crucify the infidels if they
    criticize Islam” Koran 5:33

    “Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire,
    hooked iron rods, boiling water; melt their skin and bellies.” Koran 22:19

    “The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims
    to fight them.” Koran 8:65

    “Muslims must not take the infidels(non
    belivers of Islam) as friends.” Koran 3:28

    “Terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures
    other than the Qur’an.” Koran 8:12

    “Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize
    the infidels(non belivers of Islam).” Koran 8:60)

    *As the Muslims are allowed to lie to infidels(non Muslims) about
    anything, especially about Islam. There are two doctrines taught in the Koran
    which promote lying. One is called al taqiyya (to lie to protect one’s self
    from persecution, emotional harm or physical harm, real or perceived) and
    kitman (to spread misinformation – especially to benefit Islam and to aid its
    spread).

    2. Qur’an 2:193 says; “Fight them until there is no more
    Al Fitnah (‘Al Fitnah’ meant Jews and Christians at the time, but in today’s
    context the word means all religious followers including Buddhists&Hindus)
    and religion is only for Allah. And Qur’an 9:5 says; “Fight and kill the
    disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in
    wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.”

    Referring to Hadith, Ishaq:324 says; “Fight them so that there is no more
    rebellion, and religion, all of it, is for Allah only. Allah must not have
    rivals.” And Ishaq:587 says; “Our onslaught will not be a weak faltering
    affair. We shall fight as long as we live. We will fight until you turn to
    Islam, humbly seeking refuge. We will fight not caring whom we meet. We will
    fight whether we destroy ancient holdings or newly gotten gains. We have
    mutilated every opponent. We have driven them violently before us at the
    command of Allah and Islam. We will fight until our religion is established.
    And we will plunder them, for they must suffer disgrace.”

    • Mohamed

      Any one can interpret anything from Koran . Even some Islamic scholers are unable to interpret what mentioned in the Koran – you would have taken these information from a English translation -

    • Islam

      You are expressing in express.
      It is not a prudent research of Koran.
      You are a another Hardcore hater.
      Pray for your good health.

    • Nuhman A. Saleem

      The above Quranic quotes are fabricated ones which we find in the websites of the enemies of Islam. If you want to know the real Islamic Teachings, consult an Islamic Theologian.

      Unjust killings are not permitted in Islam, if found guilty, the killer is punishable by death, according to Islamic law. Prophet Muhammad has taught us that “Killing of a man is equal to killing the whole mankind”

    • gon

      This is a very important comment to all of us. We thought and everybody says that islam is not preaching killing disbelievers. I checked the Quran after your comment. Your comment is proven there.

      • Meena M.

        Really did you also check the Bible and the Talmud and find the violent versus in there? I suggest you do so. it is mind opening.

    • Meena M.

      Despite all the hard work to denigrate Islam, and make the Muslims look bad, I suggest you do some research about other Abrahamic religions.
      The SRI LANKAN Muslims are not violent and have got on well with other religions in the country. You sound like an Islamaphobe.

      Wikipedia:
      Bruce Feiler writes that “Jews and Christians who smugly console themselves that Islam is the only violent religion are willfully ignoring their past. Nowhere is the struggle between faith and violence described more vividly, and with more stomach-turning details of ruthlessness, than in the Hebrew Bible”.[8] Similarly, Burggraeve and Vervenne describe the Old Testament as full of violence and evidence of both a violent society and a violent god. They write that, “(i)n numerous Old Testament texts the power and glory of Israel’s God is described in the language of violence.” They assert that more than one thousand passages refer to YHWH as acting violently or supporting the violence of humans and that more than one hundred passages involve divine commands to kill humans.[9]

      There are Jews in Israel who resort to violence, and who call non Jews animals, and there are Christians in Norway like Anders Breivik, who killed 77 innocent youth. No religion is perfect, and you cannot paint all with the same brush because of what some do in the name of their religion.

    • mohamed wadood

      @ jane de pinto

      What a bigotry ? Why cant you google for the truth .Islam never hated the jews and christians.Muslim rulers protected the jews and christians from the brutal crusaders . Do you know which religon and the followers have gased and butchered
      innocent people of all walk of life ? Do you know who is hitlers mother , Do you know the crusaders ? Do you know what is buddhism and the great lord buddha ?
      May be politically muslims and jews are divided over the palestine.But I have been taught to love the jews,christians,and all the people as well as the animals too in the quran . Unfortunately ignorants and haters like you pouring gasoline to the fire .Ms Jane I feel sorrry for your stupidity . Please read and understand from the begining to the end of the Quran.and the history. Why cant you read the old testament and the tourah too.
      Former Dutch islamophobe Arnoud Van Doorn Use to be a muslim hater ,He is currently a devout muslim after reading and understanding the scipture.
      Lol

    • Jeffrey

      Critics of Islam actually quote this verse out of context. In order to understand the context, we need to read from verse 1 of this surah. It says that there was a peace treaty between the Muslims and the Mushriks (pagans) of Makkah. This treaty was violated by the Mushriks of Makkah. A period of four months was given to the Mushriks of Makkah to make amends. Otherwise war would be declared against them. This verse is quoted during a battle, and hence the Qur’an says, “Kill the Mushriks wherever you find them”, during a battle to boost the morale of the Muslim soldiers. What the Qur’an is telling Muslim soldiers is, don’t be afraid during battle; wherever you find the enemies kill them.

    • Arshad m Iqbal

      Dear Jane de Pinto!
      I can only feel sorry for your effort in translating quran, coz u managed to get it all wrong and pray that the creator comfort you by removing hatred from your heart so that you will achieve eternal peace by entering true light. Have you ever wonder why 2.5 billion out of 7 billion follow the religion that u claim inhumane and do you really think 1/3 of world looking for a opportunity to kill (that is 1 out of 3 of us). Sounds bizarre to me please learn entire quran from begining to the end with genuine interest of gaining knowledge, which might benefit you and others around you. please do not preach hatred out of ignorance you are better than that. please put your effort in bringing prosperity all of us as a civilized human on beautiful universe that we call home.
      Thank you and best regards
      Arshad

    • MotleyFOOL

      Pinto, you are a another IGNORANT MORON with hate speech. When you quote/read/translate that religious text, make sure you read that in a comparative era when that religion was revealed when the religion itself was threatened by outside factors like the “infidels” (non-believers) who declared war with the Muslims with the intention of annihilating the believers. The revelations itself took a period of 23 years. This is the era that the divine word was revealed in order to advise followers on whether to wage war in defense or to make peace. So IDIOTS like you think you can apply a 14th century text to a present era of MORON’s like yourself.

    • No Joke

      Pinto which pint you took before coming up with your own version. No problem join the party, the crowd of lunatics are only growing .

      Can you imagine in the course 1400 years how many of Pintos would have come and gone.

      God will drive you mad before you even smell what is happiness. This is not a curse.

      Read the Quraan one more time.

    • Another BBS fan doing his rounds.
      The way the BBS monks behaved
      in the recent past, brought nothing
      but shame to Buddhism. Put your
      own house in order first, before
      pointing fingers at others. It is people
      of your ilk that bring the greatest
      misfortune to this country.

  4. Kapila

    Boy, all the murderers and thugs and robbers are roaming the streets of Sri Lanka while anybody says anything against the Sahodara Samagama or their Polkicies are put behind bars. Justice indeed. Come to Sri Lanka for Justice.

  5. kudson

    how come there are no comments
    FEAR

  6. Mohamed

    I had a greate hope about my mother Land . We were waiting to see when 30 years of curse going get over as i lost many friends due this curse. Present situation is good example to extermist are every where . we were alway trying to connect extermism with Muslim or Islam but it can portray in different ways.

  7. Mohan

    Why are others
    who make statements inciting racial hatred not arrested.? Is it because there is no rule of law?

  8. Oh Boy, When Ministers sons and friends enjoy special laws, and BBS speak openly against minorities what did Salley do wrong? A murder suspect has been given bail recently. Why do they hold Salley in remand. Gothabaya is abusive against minorities and what action this government is taking against him? Are we having freedom of speech in Sri Lanka? How many other people this government is going arrest. .

  9. Looks like this is the beginning of the end for every evil thing going on here, which no one can put it right. It’s gone out of control. Let BBS take ‘control’ of everything and complete the destruction and give us a new country to live in peace with all communities. Then only we can work together, make our country develop, prosper, put it’s head high and get our name back. Just let BBS destroy our nation for a better tomorrow !

  10. Police Spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena said that Azath Salley was arrested following several complaints received by the CID against the speeches he has made inciting racism.
    The BBS were surely not spreading love and compassion when they took to
    stage at various towns in Sri Lanka. They were the ones who spread the most amount of hatred and racism in this once peaceful island. They are so foolhardy
    to realise that if the minority communities are attacked, it backfires on the majority
    community also, which in turn makes the whole nation to suffer. Who will benefit from such a situation is anyones guess.
    My question is, how come the BBS is well protected and cocooned by the law
    enforcement organisations when it is they who caused the maximum damage
    to this country by poisoning the minds of this nation by pouring out filthy abuses
    and venom at the minority communities, inciting violence and vandalism, and
    promoting vigilantism? Is there no punishment for them? Why is this double
    standards? Isn’t this encouraging hooliganism and all kinds of evil?

    • Meena M.

      Good questions. Why indeed were the hatemogers, the BBS, not arrested or interrogated like Mr. Salley? This is Sri Lankan politics, and the arrogance of power by the criminals on top. This is sheer intimidation of the minorities, and the obvious bias shown by the majority who rule like dictators.

  11. Tuan

    Jane, you miserably ill informed. You seem to have taken these quotes out of context. Your quotations are reflections the Bible which had been rewritten and modified hundred of times.

  12. silva

    there are people outside or may be inside try to exploit this beautiful country without progress seems a dangerous sighn for those living peacefully for centuaries with people of different faith and ethnicity.
    Today we find so much of cooks in our country to make the soup but it will lead no one to drink ultimately.

  13. arshad

    Dear Jane de Pinto!
    I can only feel sorry for you first for your effort in translating quran coz u managed to get it wrong and pray that the creator comfort you by removing hatred from your heart so that you will achieve eternal peace by entering true light. Have you ever wonder why 2.5 billion out of 7 billion follow the religion that u claim inhumane and do you really think 1/3 of world looking for a opportunity to kill. Sounds bizzar to me please learn entire quran if you really interested in it might benefit you and others around you please do not preach hatred out of ignorance you are better than that as a civilized human on beautiful universe that we call home.
    Thank you and best regards
    Arshad

  14. Will Powr

    Gentlemen!
    Why this Kolavari for the Government, (Kolavari) mean – Murder Habit, If the BBs talked about Extremism ( No Problem to Government) if the Karuna Ammaan talk about he will take the weapon for fight ( No Problem to Government) a Lighting day come to demolise the Governement soon…. very soon.
    dEAR

  15. mohamed wadood

    I am confused too after supporting the President and srilanka during the time of the brutal tamil tiger terrorism . Why the double standard ? BBS and other rascist extremist buddhist organisation had been inciting ,provoking,harassing,threatning,assaulting ,destroying place of worship and minority owned businesses.,as well as preaching hatred to divide a nation.So far none of the leaders of the fascist organisation had been arrested nor The GOSL never condemned these acts of violence perpetrated by these extremist groups supported and coordinated by certain members of the UPFA.
    Mr Salley a product of DS , I know his love to be a srilankan and srilanka. He firmly belive in the motto ” country before self”. Srilanka belongs to all srilankans .We are all srilankans Unfortunately “.Politically We might be divided but as a nation United we stand ” I hope freedom of speech and justice will prevail .
    Mr Salley he is not a threat to srilanka nor to her people, He is a another politician.

  16. singing fish

    A lot of problems in the world would disappear if we talk to each other,instead of about each other.

  17. This is an example of how bad rulers can totally destroy a beautiful nation. Just face it for our own folly. The climax is yet to come before a finale.

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