NEMC for North east merger
[TamilNet, Sunday, 19 March 2000, 12:53 GMT]
The newly formed political party called North East Muslim Congress (NEMC) has announced that they support a merged province where Tamil and Muslim communities enjoy equal rights and privileges under one autonomous council.
The President of the North East Muslim Congress Mr. A. U. L. M. Harris said at a press conference held at Batticaloa Catholic Club on Saturday evening that demanding a separate South East Provincial Council for Muslims would do immense harm to this community living outside the north east province.
The idea of separate provincial council in the northeast should be abandoned in the interests of the Muslim community, he appealed to Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader Mr. M. H. M. Ashraff.
He further said that the Muslim political parties should not work against the freedom struggle by the Tamil community. The Muslim community should not block any resolution that would provide a merged autonomous council to the Tamil community. He reiterated that Tamils and Muslims should live in a merged autonomous region enjoying all rights and privileges under one administrative council.
Mr. Harris said that his party had submitted a set of proposals to the President, the main opposition United National Party and other political parties. His party had reiterated its position that under the proposed merged northeast provincial council, the rights of Muslim community regarding lands, education and employment opportunities should be safeguarded by enacting special provisions.
Mr. M. L. A. Aziz, General Secretary of the new party and several others attended the press conference.
Mr. Harris said he had already applied to the Commissioner of Election to register the new party. The new party would field candidates at the forthcoming general election.