The Hajj Agencies Union of Sri Lanka today urged President Maithripala Sirisena to appoint a Commission to probe the alleged corruptions in the Hajj pilgrimage committee at the Department of Muslim Religious And Cultural Affairs, which comes under the purview of Ministry of Muslim Religious Affairs.
Addressing a press conference, All Ceylon Hajj Organisation Vice President Dr MSM Mohammad said despite the directives made by the Supreme Court on Hajj criteria and guidelines for Hajj pilgrimage, Minister A.H.M Haleem and his brother A.H.M. Fahim-who were also the Private Secretary to the Minister-were continuously violating it.
He said that the agencies had filed lawsuits on several occasions informing the arbitrary action of the authorities without much success.
Dr Mohamed said although a quota for 3,000 pilgrims received by Saudi Arabia annually, only 2,500 from the list was selected, while some 200 slots were reserved for staff and the remaining vacancies were distributed and sold among authority’s supporters.
He said that the around 20,000 pilgrims are currently in the Hajj Committee’s waiting list, however, the Hajj Committee overlook several individuals in the list and gave the opportunity to outsiders by obtaining bribes.
He further said that an additional quota for 600 was received last year and the Department of Muslim Religious And Cultural Affairs charged Rs 1,44,000 per head only to provide accommodation in Saudi Arabia.
Dr Mohamed charged the department had received a sum over of Rs 86 million from those 600 pilgrims, however, had not issued a receipt for the collected money.
He also said that it was learned that those pilgrims had to undergo severe inconveniences during their visit and the entire crew had stayed in two buildings which even without electricity.
He requested the information officer of the department to expose the balance sheet of the Hajj tour under the Right to Information Act.
Meanwhile, Dr Mohamed said although it was not permitted to collect a registration fee, the department collected a registration fee of Rs 2,000 while another Rs 4,000 was charged as a service charge.
“The approved service charge is Rs 2,000,” he said.
According to the Supreme Court verdict, Dr Mohamed said at least a four-month period should be given to Hajj pilgrims to choose their agency, however, the Hajj Committee gave only two weeks.
The Daily Mirror’s attempts to contact the Subject Minister over the allegations, however, was not successful. (Thilanka Kanakarathna)
Sid Sunday, 24 June 2018 19:21
I think he would have done the same thing had he been a minister himself.
Reply : 9 23
AJ Monday, 25 June 2018 12:06
Ministers cheating innocent pilgrims. Is there any hope for Sri Lanka?
Reply : 0 7
Suraj Sunday, 24 June 2018 19:29
It has always been the case the families and close friends of Muslim Ministers in government get undue benefits while the President or Prime Minister knowingly ignore the matter for the sake of minority support.
Reply : 4 31
mohamed Sunday, 24 June 2018 19:38
anyone explain what are they gradings? and why this grading? prophet( S.A.S.)perform haj like this , only wealthy people still they have to enjoy the haj what is this ??? Haj is not a jolly trip.
Reply : 2 23
Mohamed Nazeem- Wellawatta Sunday, 24 June 2018 19:41
I know about his Secretary Fatima. He has computer shop in unity plaza Bambalapitiya, there also he continuously cheating in selling low quality products and many customers are complaining. Because he has cheated many customers. Finally he started cheating in Haji quota also with his brother haleem. President and Pm should take severe measures on these two people. My father also applied for Haji last year but this year no chance. How we will have chance when these two fellows are hunting the haji quota. PM should take them to FCID to find all these truth
Reply : 12 25
Coconut Republic Sunday, 24 June 2018 20:00
End of the day , all in the name of God!
Reply : 7 26
both are no1 hora Sunday, 24 June 2018 20:09
both of them are loowka hora
Reply : 7 17
Helium Sunday, 24 June 2018 20:47
Why can't Allah punish those culprits?
Reply : 14 25
Riyaf Monday, 25 June 2018 09:15
A teacher is always silent during a test. Religion and its rules are to make you better and punishment can be through different ways like poverty, debts, No peace, natural disasters, diseases etc.
Reply : 3 29
MHM Sunday, 24 June 2018 23:07
Inshallah..pres will resolve this and all other concerns.
Reply : 13 16
George Monday, 25 June 2018 07:06
Do you know the more than 1 million innocent animals are slaughtered by these fellows for fun for this festival in the name of Allah
Reply : 36 6
Mayilwaganam Monday, 25 June 2018 07:47
Under the last regime, Alavi Moulana and Fowzy Doray were at each other's throat for Haj Quota, and the great Mahinda Mama stepped in to resolve the issue. Now it is another set of black marketeers. Do you have to appease these travel agents before appeasing God? Is this a different kind of Panduru??
Reply : 2 6
azam Monday, 25 June 2018 07:50
As far as I know, relatively , haj is handled by competent committee, where travel agent s cannot charge high prices cheat pilgrim s. That is the reason why travel agent s complain, not pilgrims.
Reply : 1 14
yahiya Monday, 25 June 2018 08:28
All are same. This ministry must come under Mr. Risad. Agencies are the most culprit. Present minister is little fare.
Reply : 3 4
Dr. A.M.Jazeel Monday, 25 June 2018 08:47
I welcome the brevity and service of Mr. Mohamed to expose the corrupt practices in Hajj Affairs. I have written several stories in the newspapers regarding the Hajj Mafia. But, in my opinion, this minister is some what better than the other former ministers who handled the Hajj affairs in the previous government. I know some ministers and their sons, relatives did a lucrative business. Mr. Mohamed must expose the corruption of travel agencies who are cheating both the performers of Hajj and Umrah. I was even cheated by an Hajj agent on Umrah last month which is operated by son-in law of higher officials of Postal and Muslim Cultural Ministry. I suggest the non -muslim travel agencies should be allowed to organise pilgrimas using muslim workers.
Reply : 4 16
Add commentComments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.