Reject Separate Muslim Council - Muslim leader

[TamilNet, Monday, 13 October 1997, 23:59 GMT]
"The proposal for a Muslim majority Southeastern regional council should be totally rejected'" says M.H Segu Issadeen, leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Party. The 'Eastern Times', a Tamil fortnightly published from Akkaraippattu in the Ampara district threw open its columns for a debate on the Southeastern Muslim council, in its latest issue out today, with an article by MH Segu Issadeen.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress has been agitating for a separate Muslim council which it wants carved out of the Ampara district.

"A unit of devolution which is formed by merging the northern and eastern provinces is essential for a settlement that will ensure peace. To make such peace permanent the Northeast regional council should have councils for Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala affairs. Anyone will come to the conclusion that the Southeastern council is not a good thing they impartially comprehend current realities."

"Therefore the Muslims of the Ampara district especially have to act cautiously on this matter" asserts Segu Issadeen in his 'Eastern Times' article.

Issadeen was earlier the chairman of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. He fell out with the party's leader MHM Ashraff and formed the Sri Lanka Muslim party.

The SLMC has spread the impression that the Muslims in the Ampara district support the Southeast council idea. But several voices of dissent have been heard in recent times.

The main objection is that the proposed council will lose most of its vital irrigation resources to the Sinhala Uva province. Most Tamil parties with the exception of the TULF, are not in favour of the SLMC's Muslim council demand.

 

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