SLMC slates government for Mawanella pogrom

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 May 2001, 17:26 GMT]
Mr. Rauff Hakeem, the co-leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the ruling People's Alliance's main coalition partner, Thursday slammed the government for not taking prompt action to stop the mass violence by Sinhala mobs against the Muslims of Mawanella. He accused the government of dragging its feet in taking action against the perpetrators of the anti-Muslim violence. He charged that transferring Policemen who were in Mawanella during the pogrom against the Muslims of the town was merely a temporary cosmetic measure.

He said the Policemen found guilty should be sacked forthwith.

rauf_hakeem-p.gif"If government servants could be removed from their posts for minor problems why can't Policemen found guilty in the attack on the Muslims of Mawanella be stripped of their positions. The Muslims of Sri Lanka have been deprived of their rights since 1994", Mr. Hakeem .

President Chandrika KumaratungaĚs PeopleĚs Alliance came to power in 1994 with the SLMC as its main coalition partner.

The SLMC leader said that the attack on Muslims in Mawanela is not a minor incident but a premeditated and planned pogrom, in an obvious reference to the Sri Lankan President's reference to the matter as a minor matter in her address to the nation on 5 May.

An SLMC headquarters official in Colombo told Tamilnet that the government is reluctant to take strong action against the perpetrators of the pogrom against the Muslims in Mawanella because many of them are members and supporters of the PeopleĚs Alliance.

He accused the international and local media in Colombo for portraying the attack on the Muslims in Mawanella as a clash between two communities. "It was a well worked out attack to destroy the economy of the Muslim people", he said.


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