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Aug 2, 2011 8:31:44 AM - itnnews.lk

The Ramadan fast began today following the sighting of the new moon in several parts of the country yesterday. Ramadan is a time for self-reflection, sharing and renewal. Today marks the beginning of Ramadan, a time of spiritual commitment, devotion and self-sacrifice for people of the Muslim faith. Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from food, drink and other daily routines with a view to strengthening their faith through reflection, humility and patience, during this sacred holy month. It is also a special time when Muslims gather with family and friends, sharing meals and providing support to those less fortunate.

Meanwhile, Muslim employees in the Public Sector are offered a special leave facility to pursue the religious observances during the Ramazan period. According to the Ministry of Labour and Labour Relations leave will be granted to Muslim employees during daily prayer times 3.30 to 6.00 a.m, 3.15 to 4.15 p.m, 6.00 to 7.00 p.m. and 7.30 to 10.30 p.m. It will be effective from August 1st to the 31st. The Ministry has appealed to Employers to grant the same facility to the Private Sector as well. It is also requested to grant a special holiday on the Day of Ramazan and the payment of festival or salary advances, 14 days prior to the expiry of Ramazan period.