Resignations welcome


Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader, Rauff Hakeem flanked by other Muslim MPs, at a media briefing where they announced their resignations (file photo)

Even at this late, critical stage, we appreciate the Muslim ministers who have resigned from their portfolios and honoured the dignity of the Muslim community. It is perturbing and very shameful for the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, that Muslim ministers representing the people are branded as power hungry, selfish and nepotistic politicians who are craving for power to accumulate wealth.

Unlike in the past, the present Muslim politicians have a habit of going behind the party leaders bargaining for good and gainful portfolios, showing their MP slots obtained from the votes of the innocent people. Generally, they do not do any particular service to the entire Muslim community spread across the country. But a few Muslim MPS elected from the Eastern Province do a service to the people of the province, and mostly get entangled in controversial issues such as acquiring and distributing state lands to the displaced and affected Muslims from the prolonged war or in other disputable matters. In these matters, the Ministers concerned do not follow the state procedures in doing these things and finally fall into trouble, being criticized by extremists.

There were veteran Muslim Ministers in the past, who did yeoman service to the Country, and the Muslim Community in particular. One such Great personality whom I admire is Dr. Badiudeen Mohamed, who held the Ministry of Education portfolio during Prime Minister Srimavo Bandaranaike’s tenure. He fearlessly and loyally did his service to all in the country. He served the Sinhalese, Tamils, as well as Muslims, by giving teacher appointments and developed many leading schools in the country. Then we had the foreign minister late A.C. S Hameed, Minister of transport M. H. Mohamed, Speaker M.A Bakeer Markar, and many ministers and deputy Ministers from the Eastern Province in the UNP Government led by former president J.R.Jayewardene. We had M.H.M Ashraf holding an important portfolio, Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Rehabilitation in Madam Chandrika Bandaranaike’s Government. These ministers were real gentlemen who worked tremendously for all the people, irrespective of caste, creed or racial differences. They were honest, loyal and loved by all, had no problems with the majority community, and were criticized or blamed by none.

But now the scenario is different. It is grave and dreadful for the Muslims in the country after the Easter Sunday attacks on April 21 by a brutal, miniature Muslim terrorist group. The Sinhala Buddhist extremist group looks at the entire Muslim community as suspects, and thinks the Muslims are a threat to National security.

At this juncture, I most welcome the decision of the Muslim ministers to resign, which was wanted by Buddhist group headed by Rathana Thera .The collective action of all Muslim Ministers is very appreciative, and we sincerely urge them to be independent MPs in parliament, without supporting any party, as the TNA does.




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