Jan 06, Colombo: All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU), the organization of Muslim clerics issuing Halaal certificates to businesses in the island has decided to stop issuing Halaal certificates, the organization said in a release.
The ACJU announced that their Division for Halaal Certification will stop to issue certificates effective 31st December 2013 while a separate company founded by repute, respected professionals in Sri Lanka will be managing compliance audits and certification.
"This development comes as a result of the Expressions of Interest called from the public to facilitate the national need for contributing towards social cohesion and Sri Lanka's economic development," the statement said.
Following months of consultations with various stakeholders, authorities, civil society representatives, the ACJU has decided that it was appropriate to allow a new independent entity to carry on the certification process.
ACJU said in the future, with regard to Halaal audits and certifications, the role of ACJU will be to provide consultations on any technicalities of the concept of Halaal compliance, as a social obligation and responsibility towards the Sri Lankan society while facilitating global requirements.
The new company is expected to carry out compliance validation processes on request to meet both local consumer demands as well as international exports pre-requisites, similar to other consumer goods certification processes currently in the country.
The ACJU said a transition plan is already in place for interested companies and existing firms to be introduced to the new entity, based on requests from the commercial establishments.
The issue of Halal certification created controversy and a rift between the Buddhist and Muslim communities as the Buddhist extremist group Bodu Bala Sena issued an ultimatum to the traders to remove the halal products by the end of March 2013.
At the time ACJU said it is ready to withdraw from issuing of Halaal certificates if the government takes the responsibility.