Ignoring Mosque writ costly in eastern towns

[TamilNet, Sunday, 15 October 2000, 19:58 GMT]
The main mosque for Oddamavadi and Valaichenai, 32 kilometers north of Batticaloa, Sunday permanently banned seven shops owned by residents of Kattankudy from doing business in the two towns.

Five supporters of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress strongman (SLMC) Mr.M.L.A.M Hisbullah were made to apologise in public for contravening the mosque decision that Muslims of the two towns should vote only for the local National Unity Alliance (NUA, the SLMC front) candidate at the elections to the Sri Lankan Parliament on October 10. Kattankudy is a booming Muslim town south of Batticaloa and is the home base of Mr.Hisbullah.

The Mosque has barred the shops from doing business in Oddamavadi and Valaichenai mainly because the owners, being Muslims from Kattankudy, Mr.Hisbullah's hometown, have been perceived as a perfidious fifth column who were suspected of defying the Mosque decision regarding the elections.

meeravodai-mosque.jpg
Mosque in Meeravodai, about 35 km. northwest of Batticaloa. Photo:TamilNet
The action by the Oddamavadi grand mosque comes in the wake of violence unleashed by the followers of Mr.Mohideen Abdul Carder, the local NUA MP, against supporters of Mr. Hisbullah, the chief NUA candidate for the Batticaloa electoral district who lost his seat, in the Muslim town of Oddamavadi and the Muslim quarter of the Valaichenai town.

The violence is yet to subside completely Police sources in the town said. Muslims Oddamavadi Mr.Hisbullah who supported Hisbullah have been targeted for ignoring the Mosque ruling that every Muslim in the two towns should vote only for Mr.Carder.

The Kattankudy shopkeepers may have to close up and leave for good because the Mosque's grip on public affairs and private lives of the Muslims of Oddamavadi and Valaichenai is powerful and pervasive sources said. It was mainly the reason for Mr. Carder's victory they added.


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