Hardline Buddhists Drive Sri Lanka to Drop Muslim Halal Labeling

Islamic clerics facing massive protests from militant Buddhists in Sri Lanka have put an end to the island's widespread halal labeling system for food.

New Sinhalese Buddahist group Bodu Bala Sena (Buddhist Strength Force) staged large rallies throughout February 2013 calling for the abolition of the Muslim halal system of certifying that foods and other goods follow Islamic dietary guidelines.

Food manufacturers in Sri Lanka, especially those who export to Middle Eastern countries, have long made all their products using halal methods to avoid the costs of two separate production lines. The products were labeled with the halal certificate, issued by Islamic body All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU).

But protesters argued that it was unfair that Muslims, less than 10 percent of the Sri Lankan population, should force the majority Buddhist population to eat food prepared according to Islamic law.

Halal Logo. Image courtesy Groundviews

Halal Logo. Image courtesy Groundviews

In an effort to quash rising religious tensions, All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama announced on March 11, 2013 that “in the interests of peace” it would stop issuing its certificate locally.

Twitter user “MajlisW1″ (@majlisW1) published ACJU President Al Shaikh Rizvi Mufti's statement:

@majlisW1: Those days Halal logo was a Must, now due to tense situation, the logo will not be compulsory but the companies can print it or leave it – Rizvi Mufti

Officials from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said in a press briefing that after consultations with Buddhist and Islamic clergy, the decision was made that all Sri Lankan producers would drop the halal logo immediately.

News blog dbsjeyaraj.com reported that according to the Bodu Bala Sana, authorities have since promised to set up special police units to inspect shops still selling halal products.

Religious violence in Sri Lanka is on the rise. The conflict with the Tamil Tigers may have ended but more and more hardliner Buddhist attacks on Muslims and Christians are being reported.

Shenali Waduge made the argument on community news site Lanka Web why non-Muslims should not have to accept halal products:

Most eating houses, restaurants never fail to display “halal certified, no pork” boards. Whilst the cow is a sacred animal for both Buddhist and Hindus, how can it be acceptable to eat beef but not pork? Why is it that only the religious preferences of just one ethnic community decides for the rest of the population when [the Buddhist] population is over 70%?


In any case there should not be any fee charged for Halal certification and no non–Muslim should be charged one cent or coerced to pay from his hard earned money to produce a benefit that accrues only to Muslims.

But citizen journalism website Ground Views noted that the protests against halal food have more to do with rise in anti-Muslim sentiment by Sinhala Buddhist nationalists than fairness:

In recent months there has been an increased outpouring of virulent anti-Muslim sentiment by persons claiming to speak for all Sinhala Buddhists. Organized groups led by Buddhist monks have held public meetings, distributed pamphlets, and made press statements. Articles in mainstream Sinhala and English newspapers have propagated ethnic and religious hatred. […] The attacks on Muslims have been directed at everything: the certification of food products as halal; the practice of hijab, abhaya and nikab among Muslim women; the beard worn by Muslim men; the azaan or call for prayer from the mosques; the Muslims’ practice of closing businesses for Friday prayers; the prevalence of certain sectarian differences among Muslims;and the ongoing debate regarding methods of slaughter for the consumption of meat.

Citizen journalist Riza Yehiya wrote extreme Buddhists are hijacking the Buddhist community, souring Buddhist-Muslim relations:

This threat to the Muslim community is a challenge to this nation. This is not from the mainstream Buddhist community that has a time tested relationship with Muslims. It is from purpose made Buddhist extremist groups working as mercenaries to prop up failing political elites, consciously or unconsciously serving foreign interests than the hallowed purpose of protecting Buddhism.

Blogger R.M.B. Senanayake accused Sinhalese nationalists, including some Buddhist monks, of carrying out a hate campaign against Muslims publicly and on social media, chronicling recent incidents on his website.

Image courtesy Say No To Halal Facebook Page

Image courtesy Say No To Halal Facebook Page

Political blogger Indi Samarajiva wrote on his website Indi.ca that opposition party United National Party has contributed to the halal controversy, also calling for an end to the halal logo “in line with racist Sinhalese interests.”

There is no Muslim conspiracy to take over Sri Lanka with halal food, citizen journalist Hejaaz Hizbullah noted. Businesses have made their decisions when it comes to halal:

It’s certainly not the Muslim consumer but the businesses that crave for halaal recognition.

He continued:

What does worry many Muslims is how this ‘non-issue’ is being banged about by a fringe few and made into a national problem. What we see is not an ‘issue’ but an agenda and a campaign of hate with ‘halaal certification’ merely an excuse. They are waiting to pick a fight and so they pick on anything.

Blogger Patta Pal Baru opines that the campaign against ‘halal’ was unnecessary.

Kasun Adikari urged Buddhists to practice tolerance with fellow Muslims:

As Buddhists, we must know how to regard other religions and their practices as we belong to the religious group that accepts and appreciates the reasonable teachings of every religion. Buddhists can also tolerate the practices of other religious, cultural traditions and customs, although they may not necessarily wish to emulate them.


  • I don’t think this is especially ‘hardline’, and I can see why they would be annoyed at this. I myself find it very annoying that over recent years many places I like to eat have started serving only hallal meat. Other animals are slaughtered in a way that minimizes the suffering of the animals, whereas hallal slaughter does not take this into consideration but instead follows religious practices which I don’t believe in. Because of this I do not like to eat hallal meat, but I am often not given a choice – even though Muslims are also a fairly small minority in my country. I think this is wrong. Good on these Buddhist activists for taking a stand.

    • sharry johar

      May I ask you one thing Sir/Madam? How does you eating halaal meat affect you?

      • countryfirst

        Mr johar would you tell us how it affects you if you eat non-halal meat. Give rational answers please.

        • dear “countryfirst”: please study the method of slaughtering practiced by islam (halal method) & other methods that are used to slaughter. compare all in detail. then you will realize whats the truth.
          as a muslim, eating non-halal meat is like eating illegal /non-permitted meat. hope you got your answers.

          • John J. Kactuz

            So the Muslims just copied the jews. The problem is less a matter of killing than a matter of health and sanitation, which has nothing to do with being halal. BTW, Shara, have you actually read the Quran and hadith? Did you notice the unending hate and violence directed at non-Muslims. I think it was the Bible that says that it is not what goes into the body that defies it, but what comes out (words and actions). Think of that when you use the word ‘truth’.
            Rather that promoting halal, why don’t you promote peace and tolerance instead…. Just a thought.

          • eleanor

            ok i know it’s been 6 months but please..don’t include hate messages in the topic..maybe Ms. Shara didn’t explain it clearly..the slaughtering method consists of; 1) invoking the name of God, 2) severing blood vessels and windpipe in the throat and 3) draining the blood…the part that you hated the most was probably the first part because it contains an arabic phrase..but that is just daft because “In the name of God” is just translated as “Bismillah”..and guess what? the name “Allah” if just a translated word for “God”..does this mean we should also discriminate people whenever they say “Oh my God” or “praise God”? because those phrases exist in every other language too but you choose to discriminate this one because it’s in arabic?? so what if you are eating halal meat? it doesn’t mean that you conform to the religion..it doesn’t mean we have instilled the words of our Qur’an into you..it doesn’t make you blasphemous..it just means that it is permissible for Muslims to eat it too..so John, (I don’t know what religion you hold but I’m just assuming you’re Christian) it may be kind of hard for you to understand why Muslims just can’t eat whatever they want since the Bible allows everything but we have boundaries we can’t cross and this being one of them..and if Christianity is as tolerable as the Bible states then I just do not see why this is an issue..because not allowing Muslims to eat does not sound like “promoting tolerance”..just keep in mind we do this because we have to..not because we want to make everyone’s life harder..

      • oz33

        it affects me as it is a mean way to kill animals!

    • dear “world news curator” : please study the method of slaughtering practiced by islam (halal method) & other methods that are used to slaughter. compare all in detail. then you will realize whats the truth. why i say this is, only a study would reveal the truth.

      also you better keep shut your views regarding the subjects that you do not know. “Other animals are slaughtered in a way that minimizes the suffering of the animals, whereas hallal slaughter does not take this into consideration but instead follows religious practices” …… also this clearly states “which I don’t believe in.” means; its your own view.

      also people like you trying make your view as the people’s views using media. what a shame.

      • John J. Kactuz

        Shara …. It would be nice if Muslims would stop trying to force their evil religion and food on down other peoples throats. Until Muslims start respecting others where they dominate, I see no need to respect Muslims where they don’t. Jay

      • You’re missing the point. Some people simply do not and won’t ever agree with you. Arguing the merits of each religion’s eating practices should be a social debate, not a political/legal one.

        That being said, I’m not sure I understand what’s happening. Businesses aren’t allowed to identify themselves as selling halal food? Or has everyone been forced to buy and sell only halal food this whole time?

        Why can’t each group just sell what it wants? This world has so many problems already. Let’s focus on helping each other, people. <— Spoken like a naive idealist, but I'm not sorry. I'm laying down my weapons at the feet of humanity.

      • LethalTexas

        Shara Zain With all due respect, meat eating is unnatural and goes against the tenets of humanity, mercy and compassion. Try keeping an apple and a piece of raw uncooked meat in front of a baby and see which one the baby lays his hands on.

        Moreover, there is no such thing as lawful/permitted way of slaughtering animals. Killing, rather murdering innocent animals itself it illegal. Incidentally, this logic is used by suicide bombers when they murder innocent people in the name of some invisible god justifying the act as legal with verses from their so-called ‘holy’ books.

        I would like to invite readers to the following URLs where you can logically see why torturing and murdering innocent animals the halal way is inhuman as well as see the dangers of eating meat vis-à-vis our health, ecology and morality.


        Animals – Love them; don’t eat them.

  • The distinction between sanctity and sin (clean and unclean) is a universal tool of tribes and religions. Non-committment to prayer and practice (including food, clothing, sex) warrants expulsion/excommunication (banish-shun) or confession, contrition, and redemption as circumstance permits. Sectarian dispute is inevitable, but the manner of resolution is not. Radical Islam is now inducing radical Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, etc. This is a matter of political global warming, itself encouraged by human overpopulation/consumption and intense mobile communication expansion. The demand for change comes from ages of slavery, suppression, poverty and inequality. Hence a new voice in the crowded cloud; a true vox populi. This is the raw meat behind the contending and contentious labels.

  • […] In February 2013 BBS leader Kirama Wimalajothi called for banning of burqas in the country. They hold Large rallies throughout February 2013 calling for the abolition of the Muslim halal system which forced Muslim clerics to drop the practice of labeling of Halal products (see Global Voices report). […]

  • […] Ny febroary 2013, Kirama Wimalajothi, mpitarika ny BBS, dia niantso fandraràna ny burqa ao amin'ny firenena. Nanao famoriam-bahoaka nidadasika be ry zareo nandritra ny Febroary 2013 hitakiana ny handravàna ny rafitra Silamo halal izay nanery ireo mpitari-pivavahana Silamo handao ny fomba fametahana mari-pamantarana ny vokatra Halal (jereo ny tatitry ny Global Voices). […]

  • […] Nel febbraio 2013 il leader del BBS Kirama Wimalajothi ha invitato a proibire l'uso del burqa nel Paese. Il gruppo ha inoltre tenuto numerose manifestazioni contro i prodotti halal [it], i cibi consentiti nella tradizione islamica. Queste pressioni hanno costretto i musulmani ad abbandonare l'abitudine di contrassegnare gli alimenti come “halal” (a questo proposito: un post di Global Voices). […]

  • guardiya

    Halal labeling started with meat and extended into biscuits, bottled water and even paint brushes etc. all ceylon jamaithul Ulama, the self proclaimed sole representative of the moors of Ceylon (just lie the ltte who claimed to be the sole representatives of the Tamils run by a few millionnaires which does not have any legal provision to label goods has done it. For the labeling process, ulama org has demanded compulsory placement of the muslim who would inspect the recipe to leak out trade secrets (as in the case of the emergence of the muslim owned MAAM biscuits to dethrone maliban and munchee. so its another episode of trade monopolization by the muslims. Now the talk behind bbs and its anti muslim stuff is rubbish. anti muslim campaigns were suppressed by the politicians who depend on minority vote to be in power. all remain voiceless when ancient Buddhist archaeological sites are bulldozed by the muslims in daylight (When the constitution categorically says that protection and promotion of Buddhism is a prime responsibility of the government and the people). Muslims in sri Lanka are treated differently by the country’s law. when an average Sri Lankan pays Rs. 5000 fr their marriage certificate a muslim pays only 1500. when a Sinhalese or a Tamil gets to marry one bride who is over 18 years of age, a muslim can marry four women who have reached puberty (this is against the UN conventions that Sri Lanka has signed and ratified). because on average one woman is born for one man, if a muslim is to marry four women, three are imported from different ethnic group and converted. when a Sinhalese or Tamil girl gets two yards of free clothing material for school uniform a muslim girl gets 3-4 yards. At present, the minister of justice is a muslim and when he became the minister the number of muslims entering law college has increased disproportionately and by over 10 fold. it is similar to what happened when a muslim was placed (as insisted) as the ports minister where muslims where placed at key points and all smuggling of goods were monopolised and were literaly lisenced for muslims which led to whole sale monopolisation and the eradication of the sinhala and tamil retailers. Sinhala people are selling their lands and wealth to muslims and muslims are taking over all exploitable assets of the country. Sinhala people cannot afford to have many kids and are confined with maximum of 2 children. therefore sinhalese race is literaly declining and its population is ageing. muslims on the other hand live to reproduce and each of the four wives have 8-9 kids which leads to an exponential growth. adding to the exponential growth, many adoptions of sinhala and tamil children are being done by muslims who are economically capable. human trafficking rigs linked with international terrorism and illegal drugs trade operate openly in sri lanka in the name of foreign employment agencies that sell women (mainly the economically deprived sinhala people) in the productive and reproductive age to the middle east for slavery (labour and sex)It is in their global agenda to convert sri lanka into a muslim country to surround India in years to come (may be in 100 years). unlike in any other country, the Buddhists (70% of the population) being overly tolerant are being pushed against the wall by a minority deliberately to spread the word of allah and to implement a savage law. Sri Lanka being the only home for the Sinhala race has no other choice but to retaliate. unless they retaliate now the generations to come will definitely be slaughtered by the muslims like in Bangaladesh and our neighbor, maldives.

  • […] many linking the rise in anti-muslim violence and harassment to the vocal protests on the issue.  The halal labelling system was dropped, but the BBS clearly feel this is not enough, with issues over cattle slaughter seemingly at the […]

  • Jagatheesan Chandrasekharan

    Pali će se vrata u Budine Zemljište

    javne službe unije ( UPSC ) u Indiji je nedavno uklonjena drevni Pali
    jezika iz liste propisane opcionalno jezika glavnog prijemnog ispita
    indijske Administrativne službe ( MRS ) , također poznat kao indijski
    državnu službu . To je kao šokantno potez za mnoge , kao Pali se smatra kao drugi popularni jezik među MRS kandidata . Međutim,
    za vrijeme turbulencija koje su se desile nakon ovog incidenta ,
    profesori i nastavnici specijalizirana na Pali jeziku u Indiji naučili
    da je Pali koja je autohtona na indijskom potkontinentu i jezik na kojem
    Buda otkrio Dhamma ( koji je ujedno i jezik budističkih Canon ) pali nije prepoznata kao indijske klasične i nacionalni jezik . To
    je navelo mnoge budisti koji žive širom svijeta da tužno optužuju vladu
    Indian davanja korak – majčinski tretman Budinog jezika u svojoj zemlji

    i šef Katedre za Pali i budističke studije u Banares Siddharth Singh
    rješavanju medijski brifing o ovom pitanju u Colombo prošle nedelje ,
    rekao je ove akcije diskriminisani budista u Indiji i na vjerskoj i
    nacionalnoj osnovi .

    Uklanjanje Pali je veliku štetu budističkih studija i razumijevanje
    budizma u Bude domovini . Pali je temelj za razumijevanje budizma.
    Dakle, ovaj potez indijske vlade treba razliku ”

    ” U osećanja budisti u Indiji su boli kroz ovaj čin . Pisali smo u Indian premijer Manmohan Singh , lideru opozicije i na članove Rajya i Lok Sabha o ovom velika nepravda . Ali do sada su nije dao nikakav razlog ili opravdanje za uklanjanje Pali iz indijske državne službe ispit . Uklanjanje Pali je veliku štetu budističkih studija i razumijevanje budizma u Budinog domovini . Pali je temelj za razumijevanje budizma . Dakle, ovaj potez indijske vlade treba razliku “, rekao je Singh .

    Mislim da je ovo čin je napor da se osveti iz scheduled caste ljudi i
    zaustaviti širenje budizma u Indiji . Danas Indija se govori o kršenju
    ljudskih prava Šri Lanke . Ali kako mogu kritikovati Šri Lanka , kada su
    oni sami kršenje ljudskih prava budističke zajednice koji žive u Indiji ? ”

    je dalje objasnio da je ovaj potez indijske vlade može dovesti u Indiji
    gubitka međunarodnim odnosima sa budističkim zemalja širom svijeta i da
    je u toku svog boravka u Šri Lanki je planirao da preda memorandum u
    Indian visokog komesara u Šri Lanka o ovom pitanju koje on očekuje da će komunicirati poruku u indijskoj vladi .

    Mi smo pisali u Indian premijer Manmohan Singh , lideru opozicije i na
    članove Rajya i Lok Sabha o ovom velika nepravda . Ali do sada su nije
    dao nikakav razlog ili opravdanje za uklanjanje Pali iz Indijski državne službe ispit ”

    o posljedicama uklanjanja Pali iz indijske državne službe ispit Singh
    rekao je de – listu Pali može spriječiti kandidata upoznati u Pali (
    koji su budisti u Indiji ) sa sjedi za ispit i pridruživanja indijske
    državne službe . On
    je rekao da bi to također uzrokovati Indian uprave uključujući i
    stranih službi da se držali službenici znaju Pali , dok su budisti koji
    žive u Indiji će izgubiti država patronatom su imali i očuvanje svojih
    nekoliko hramova i spomenika doći do kraja .

    Do uklanjanje Pali sa liste ‘ odobrenih subjekata ‘ , u UPSC je
    otvoreno prekršio odredbe Ustava Indije (koji su se zakleli da potvrdi )
    , uklanjanje Pali predstavlja kršenje osnovnih prava manjina ( budisti
    manje od 0,79 % u Indiji ) , a manje privilegovane ‘ rasporedu kaste i planirano plemena ‘ zaštićena ustavom Indije . U
    UPSC prekršio ‘ temeljna prava na ‘ Indian građanima pravo na jednakost
    ” koji čine ” diskriminaciju na osnovu religije ‘ kršenje člana -16 , ‘
    jednakost mogućnosti u pitanjima od javnog zapošljavanja ” pod Indian
    Ustava . De
    – listu Pali je povrijeđeno indijskog Ustava pod ‘ Direktiva načela
    državne politike ( članak 46 ) u kojem se navodi da su ” promociju
    obrazovnih i ekonomskih interesa zakazana kasta , planirano plemena i
    drugih slabiji sekcije u društvu će biti zaštićeni od socijalne nepravde
    i sve oblike eksploatacije . Član – 335 potraživanja Planirano kaste i Planirano Tribes uslugama poruke . Tu
    je i odredba za reklamaciju protiv UPSC na ” Nacionalne komisije za
    Planirano kaste i Planirano Tribes ” pod posebnim odredbama koje se
    odnose na određene klase “, rekao je Singh .

    Jathika Hela Urumaya ( JHU ) parlamentarac Ven . Athuraliye
    Rathana Thera koji je također bio prisutan na ovoj konferenciji za
    novinare rekao je da je ovaj potez indijske vlade je kršenje ljudskih
    prava protiv scheduled caste ljudi koji žive u Indiji .

    ” Mislim da je ovo čin je napor da se osveti iz scheduled caste ljudi i zaustaviti širenje budizma u Indiji . Danas Indija se govori o kršenju ljudskih prava Šri Lanke . Ali kako mogu kritikovati Šri Lanka , kada oni sami krše ljudska prava budističke zajednice koji žive u Indiji ? Ovo je Brahmic Kasta akt na osnovu regresivne Brahmic ideologije Indije “, rekao je Rathana Tera .

    međuvremenu , kada je Daily Mirror kontaktirao Šri Lanke Ministarstva
    vanjskih o ovom pitanju , izvori su rekli da su tek da dobiju
    sveobuhvatne informacije o ovom pitanju . Žalosno
    je što mnogi ljudi danas smatraju Pali je ‘ mrtav jezik ‘ kada je
    najranije postojećih budistički spisi su pisani u Pali . To je jezik koji je Buda se koristi za širenje Dhammu na kojima se temelji cijeli budističkih civilizacije . Danas Naša zemlja ostaje nacije u kojoj je nekoliko miliona budista boravi .

    Danas budizam nije samo religija , ali se pretvorio u način života . Danas
    je Budina Dhamma ( koja je u Pali ) je ne samo skandirali u ritualu
    kontekst budisti širom svijeta , ali se također prakticira i živjeli u
    svojim lakše dana života . Dakle,
    ako Pali je ‘ mrtav jezik ‘ i ‘ zastarjela’ u današnjem društvu što
    mnogi smatraju da je to , kako onda toliko ljudi širom svijeta danas
    žive ovim jezikom ?

    Pix by War – u – na Wan – niar – ACH – chi


    Besplatne Online E – Nalandi istraživanja i praksa UNIVERSITY

    ART davanja

    68 Sa izazvao napor da se postigne najviši , s uma ne ljepljive i lijeni ,
    Temeljno odustao i sa firmom poduhvat , prolaze samo kao jednu rogovima nosoroga .


    68 . âraddhaviriyo paramatthapattiyà
    Alãnacitto akusãtavutti ,
    Daëhanikkamo Thama khalåpapanno
    Eko njegu khaggavisàõakappo .

    Pali je klasični jezik sada Tipitake se preveden na 74 jezika . I sve te automatski postati klasične .

    Bramani pravo od pamtivijeka protive ništa smatraju da će utjecati na njihov interes . Istina
    je da je većina obrazovanih i drugi krenuli nazad u budizmu originalni
    religija Jambudvipa i jednog dana opet će postati većinski religije i
    PRABUDDHA Bharath će postati stvarnost , jer dr BRAmbedkar , Kanshiram i
    gđa Mayawati . To je od strane bramani ne toleriše time put slijedi budističkih ispravna .

    Sada je sve što imaš .

    Baci se Kongres s vlasti i ne dozvoljavaju BJP da se vrati . Podrška
    BSP da steknu Master Key za distribuciju bogatstva Zemlja jednako među
    svim dijelovima društva za njihovu dobrobit , sreća i mir , kao i da im
    se omogući da se postigne vječni Bliss kao svoj krajnji cilj . To je jedina nada nacije .

  • […] In a genuine endeavor to quell the rising tension, on March 11, 2013, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the authority for the issuance of the halal certificate, announced that “in the interests of peace it would stop issuing its certificate locally” (according to Global Voices). […]

  • […] In a genuine endeavor to quell the rising tension, on March 11, 2013, the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the authority for the issuance of the halal certificate, announced that “in the interests of peace it would stop issuing its certificate locally” (according to Global Voices). […]

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