Ban on ‘Qatar Charity’ revoked


In the backdrop of Sri Lanka trying to secure fuel shipments from Qatar, the Government has decided to revoke the ban imposed on the ‘Qatar Charity’ organisation.

The Sri Lankan Government listed ‘Qatar Charity’ as a terrorist organisation in connection with the Easter Sunday terror attacks in 2019 and the CID froze the accounts of the organisation in Sri Lanka.

Then Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara claimed in Parliament that the Easter Sunday suicide bomber Zahran Hashim had conducted lectures in an organisation maintained by Attorney-at-Law Hejaaz Hizbullah. The organisation, named ‘Pearl of Unity,’ and its local branch was funded by Qatar Charity. Hizbullah was arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) and detained for 22 months. 

The Government’s decision to lift the ban on Qatar Charity was tweeted by Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera, who held discussions with several officials in Qatar.

Wijesekera met Qatari Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qassim Al-Abdullah Al-Thani, on investment opportunities in power, energy, and other sectors. He shared experiences on Qatar development and possibilities of bilateral trade.

“During the visit to Qatar, led the delegation to meet Dr. Ali bin Saeed bin Smaikh Al Marri – Minister of Labour with Chairman of Foreign Employment Bureau. Discussed new job opportunities for Sri Lankans, jobs during the World Cup, and visa process issues with the Qatar Visa Centre,” Minister Wijesekera added.

The Minister also met officials of the Qatar Charity and informed the organisation that the Defence Ministry has decided to lift the ban on the fund, which was imposed in 2019. Wijesekera said they discussed the Charity’s work in Sri Lanka and worldwide.