SLMC for non-contiguous territorial autonomy for Muslims - Hakeem
[TamilNet, Monday, 31 October 2005, 16:28 GMT]
Mr.Rauff Hakeem, Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Sunday said in Trincomalee that SLMC is for "non-contiguous autonomy" for Muslim territory in the northeast province, which recognizes Muslims right to self-determination. "The SLMC reached an understanding after several rounds of talks with the United National Party (UNP)," said Rauf Hakeem addressing an election rally in Jamaliya Nagar, a suburb north of Trincomalee town Sunday evening in support of Mr.Ranil Wickremasinghe for Sri Lanka presidency.
Mr.Rauff Hakim speaking in Trincomalee
Hakeem further stated that Muslims in the northeast consider the forthcoming presidential poll as a contest between the loyalists and traitors of the SLMC.
"Traitors are now backing the ruling party presidential candidate Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse who has joined hands with the chauvinist parties," he said.
"We welcome the Executive Presidency system that can help the minority communities to meet their political aspirations and other rights," he further said.
The presidential election is a political weapon for the minority communities to show their political strength within the current political system, Hakeem observed.
Between the two presidential candidates, Mr. Wickremasinghe is accepted by majority Muslims for his policy, which is based on bringing permanent peace through maximum devolution of power through a federal arrangement.
"However, chauvinist political parties are dictating the ruling party presidential candidate against accepting minority communities' political aspirations," he said.
The SLMC leader said: "my party is against weakening the liberation movement of another community. The SLMC opposes traitors in other organizations because we suffer due to such elements in our party. We are prepared to talk with Sinhala political leadership about our political aspirations. Likewise, we are also prepared to talk with the Tamil political leadership. No one should think that our leadership is weak in this regard. We will not allow elements to weaken our party."
"LTTE is fighting for the political aspirations of the Tamil people. We will not allow maligning their freedom struggle. At the same time we will not allow us any pressure on us to deviate from our mission," said Mr.Rauff Hakim.
The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is now shedding crocodile tears for the Muslim people. They say that they will safeguard the rights of Muslims in Sri Lanka. Muslims are not depending on the Sinhalese political leadership for their security. They are depending on the Almighty Allah for their security. Currently in Sri Lanka two minority communities are fighting for their existence and political freedom, Mr.Rauff Hakim said.