TNA says big letdown for Tamil speaking people
Our Political Correspondent
Several senior members of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), including the General Secretary of the Party, Hassan Ali, and the party’s Additional Propaganda Secretary and the former Senator Masoor Maulana, have expressed their dismay over the decision taken by Leader of the party and the Minister of Justice, Rauf Hakeem, to join hands with the UPFA to contest in the Eastern Provincial Council polls in September.
The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Parliamentarian and the Spokesperson Suresh Premachandran, commenting on the decision made by the SLMC to join hands with the UPFA, said, the TNA was thoroughly disappointed over the stance taken by the SLMC.”By joining with the UPFA, the SLMC has let down the Tamil speaking people in the East,” Premachandran said.
When Hakeem announced the decision to join hands with the government, saying; ‘it’s the need of the hour,’ to his party men on Friday, several members, including the General Secretary of the party Hassan Ali, and MPs expressed their dismay over the decision.
According to Moulana, there was hardly anything the SLMC could be satisfied with through the understanding reached between the UPFA and the SLMC Leader.
He also said Ali and several other senior members of the party were unhappy over the decision, and plenty of supporters of the party had contacted him and expressed their dissatisfaction over the decision.
Ali was not available for comment and he was not even present at the party’s Head Quarters, Darussalam, yesterday, when the interviews were conducted to select the SLMC candidates for the Eastern polls.
The efforts made by Hakeem to convince the General Secretary over the party’s decision were in vein, sources said.
Since the UPFA and the SLMC have agreed to align in the forthcoming polls, the SLMC has been allocated with six seats in the Ampara District and three each in the Districts of Batticaloa and Trincomalee.
According to sources, the General Secretary and several other members of the SLMC were of the view that the party should contest all alone in the Eastern PC polls, highlighting the political aspirations of the Tamil speaking people in the Province.
Meanwhile, TNA Spokesperson MP Premachandran, commenting on the SLMC decision said, the TNA was prepared to sort out whatever the differences and align as a single entity in the Eastern polls with the SLMC. “The TNA even was prepared to negotiate on the issue of Chief Minister. Therefore, the TNA is thoroughly disappointed over the decision made by the SLMC to join the UPFA in the Eastern polls”, Premachandran said.
Meanwhile, according to Hakeem, the party will enter into a memorandum of understanding with the UPFA over the coalition between the two sides.
The implementation of the LLRC, land issues and the safety of the Muslims and their religious and cultural identities are expected to be included in the MOU.