Halal logo withdrawn following tensions

The All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) says it has decided to withdraw the Halal logo from local food products as a result of the tensions which arose in the country recently.
Addressing a joint media briefing today between the ACJU, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and a group of senior Buddhist monks, the ACJU said that the Halal logo will not be issued in future for products sold locally.
However the logo will be made available as an option for products to be exported  to some countries, the ACJU said.
ACJU President Rizvi Mufthi said that the Halal certification was issued as a service to the Muslims and was not compulsory.
He said that the money obtained to issue the certificate was used to cover the overhead costs.
“But this led to a situation which affected the co-existence of the communities so we decided to do away with the logo,” he said.
Meanwhile the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said it did not expect the withdrawing of the logo for products sold locally to have an impact on businesses.
Susantha Ratnayake, Chairman of the Chamber said that the Halal logo will be imprinted on products sent to some countries like in the Middle East and the Maldives where it is compulsory for the logo to be on food products.
The issue over the Halal certification arose after the Bodu Bala Sena campaigned against it and demanded its complete withdrawal.
The monks questioned the need for the ACJU to be paid for the Halal certification.
The Venaerable Bellanwila Wimala Rathana thero, addressing the joint media briefing today, said that as monks they were glad the issue was brought to light.
He said that he was also glad that in the end the issue was resolved amicably in a manner which did not affect the co-existence of the communities.
He said that the Mahanayaka theros in Kandy will be informed of the decision taken on the Halal certification. (Colombo Gazette)
Report by Easwaran Rutnam