23 May, 2022


Muslim Politicos Cross Over To Opposition; Why Now?

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Muslim parliamentarians’ cross over to opposition – Sheer political opportunism and hypocrisy – They neither represent Muslim community nor Islamic teachings and values

​A week after former minister Rishard Bathiudeen leaving the government on Monday 22 December 2014 and pledging support to opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, SLMC, announced its decision to follow suit on Sunday 28 December 2014.

The SLMC announced its decision after dilly dallying and keeping everyone guessing for weeks. Three days later on Wednesday 31 December 2014, former deputy Minister Faiszar Mustapha quit the government and pledged support to Maithripala Sirisena.

However the question is why did the SLMC, so called Muslim parliamentarians and others who benefitted from the government leave the government now? Why didn’t they do so when Muslims were attacked and harassed by racist elements with state patronage during the past three years?

This is also applicable to others who held positions here and abroad, enjoyed all perks and remained silent amidst atrocities on Muslims now desperately trying to project themselves as the saviors of the community and the country.

Isn’t this sheer political opportunism and hypocrisy to hoodwink the community which has virtually lost confidence on most Muslim politicians?

What the government and the opposition leaders ought to know is that these parliamentarians and others have nothing to do with the Muslim community which has already made up its mind whom to vote.

The question is, even at this late stage, why didn’t the SLMC and other Muslims who crossed over to the opposition speak out on the atrocities on Muslims to justify their decision in the same way Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, Chairman of Jathika Hela Urumaya and his JHU colleague former minister Patali Champika Ranawaka speaking out exposing misrule and corruption.

Rauff and MaithripalaAs we all know Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, Chairman of Jathika Hela Urumaya and former minister Patali Champika Ranawaka left the government on principles. The two openly accused President Mahinda Rajapaksa of promoting family rule, corruption, protecting drug dealers, licensing casinos, gambling and many such evils destroying society and the country. In doing so they urged the people to use their votes to change this government.

I watched Mr. Champika Ranawaka’s speech at Maharagama in the YouTube and one ought to admire his courage though I always disliked his racist policies hostile to minorities. This is where we need to remember what Imam Ali reported to have said” don’t look at the person but listen to what he says”.

This is what was expected of Mr. Rauff Hakeem, his team and others. Muslims expected them to highlight the atrocities committed on them as their main reason for leaving the government. However, as expected, they miserably failed.

Instead Hakeem in his resignation letter to the President stated that “I will always carry the fond memories of your gracious personal attributes as an exceptional political leader of our time. The immense value of your support I received as a Minister of your Cabinet makes my departure a painful experience. I believe that our nation has made great strides under your leadership. I leave with a deep sense of gratitude and hope.”

They say to be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise. This is what Hakeem’s words about the President convey. Although irrelevant to the issues of resignation, Hakeem appears to have taken out adequate and far sighted insurance cover for a rainy day – to return to the fold as a prodigal whenever the situation warrants. Hakeem is naive to think that in future Muslims will live with this type of moral turpitude from their so called leaders.

This also applies to Faiszar Mustapha who refused to criticize President Mahinda Rajapaksa or Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa for their failure to prevent the atrocities on Muslims specially the organized attacks on Aluthgama, Dharga Town and Beruwala Muslims. On the contrary he went on to praise the president and the defense secretary for helping him to control the pogrom.

Meanwhile Hakeem also stated that his party thought that the 18th Amendment,, introduced by this government and took away the good governance, was only to give the incumbent President few more chances to run for the Presidency, but the section with regard to repealing the 17th Amendment was brought in at the last minute.

If that was the case they could have decided not to vote for such an amendment. Now the question is why did they remain with the government which, as they claim, tricked them?

SLMC and other Muslim parliamentarians, as constituent members of the government have been party to all atrocities against Muslims during the past few years. Now the question is why didn’t they raise these issues and quit the government then to show that they do not approve of these attacks on Muslims?

They failed to do so? Why, perhaps they loved their positions, perks than the sufferings of the community. Isn’t this sheer hypocrisy?

The allegation that the SLMC left the government due to lack of good governance and accountability was refuted by the UPFA General Secretary and Environment and Renewable Energy Minister Susil Premjayantha .According to him the SLMC quit the coalition because President Mahinda Rajapaksa had turned down its demand to carve out a separate Muslim administrative unit in the Digamadulla electoral district comprising three electoral districts namely Kalmunai, Sammanthurai and Pottuvil.

A separate Muslim administrative unit in the Digamadulla electoral district was a proposal mooted by late founder of SLMC Mr. M.H.M. Ashraff at a time when he was in the payroll of IPKF. It was entirely different political environment then.

However today, especially in the aftermath of the military defeat of LTTE and the rise of Sinhala racist organizations attacking Muslims, circumstance is entirely different.

Under such politically volatile atmosphere is it advisable to demand a separate Muslim administrative unit in the Digamadulla electoral district. This is not the priority of the Muslim community which is keen on ending violence against them.

As expected this proposal provided fodder to anti Muslim racist elements to provoke and pit Sinhalese against Muslims? For example, as expected, Bodu Bala Sena was quick to frighten the majority community by stating that Muslims are asking a separate.

Supporting this view state media, Ceylon Daily News, whose editor Rajpal Abeynayake called Rishard Bathiudeen a pig when he quit the government, stated under the title “SLMC NOW A LTTE” in its Tuesday 30 December 2014 issue lead article.

It appears Muslims grievances were not even raised when the SLMC pledged support to the opposition candidate.

These politicians neither represent the Muslim community nor the cherished Islamic principles and values. As it happened in the past, once elected the Muslim community has no control over these parliamentarians who get absorbed into the corrupt political system which brought the country to the current sad state of affairs.

This is the reason why civil organizations such as National Shoora Council.NSC, emerged to jointly deal with burning issues of the community while striving to establish close relations with the other communities.

Thus the time has come for the majority community and political parties to deal with institutions like NSC rather than turning to wheeler dealer politicians.

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Latest comments

  • 10

    It is quite obvious that it is not in the interests of the Muslim Community to vote for so called Muslim Parties at election time. The so-called Muslim politicians of today are neither Muslim nor even good human beings. To hell with all of them.

    And it is so easy to demonstrate this to the majority community at election time. Do not return any of the politicians with Muslim names to any elected body.

    Like before, the Muslims of Sri Lanka should be patient enough until they are wooed by one of the mainstream political parties.

    • 7

      I totally agree with Latheef Farook’s arguments.
      But want to make a comment.

      Champika, Anura, MY3 etc can blast off MR about his corrpution and mal-practices.

      But are Muslims in position to do same. MR had stated several times if SLMC don’t support him muslims will suffer again. It is not a joke, a real threat. MR had had done it before he will do it much worse if he wins.

      But I agree that SLMC & other muslim parties should jumping side for the money & greed.

    • 7

      Latheef Farook –

      RE: Muslim Politicos Cross Over To Opposition; Why Now?

      It is Not only Muslim Politicos , others, Non-Muslims as well, Cross Over To Opposition; Why Now?

      It is called optimization.

      Cross-over Political Engineering.

  • 10

    All these Hakeems and Mustapas are just hypocrites and its high time the Muslim intellectuals and religious leaders look for some new candidates that will come in a future parliamentary election to represent them.

    Isnt this Faizer Musthapa who presented the Casino amendment to the house?
    how can a devoted Muslim agree to Casinos which are gambling dens with prostitutes? Is this man who claims to be a Muslim do not know all this?

    Are you Mulsims going to elect these Haram souls for another election as your representatives who will sleep with Gananasara if they they get the money?

    • 9

      what matters now is them to oppose Rajapakshe and remove him from ruling – all others come next.

    • 1

      Why you all cry about this Casinos and prostitution? Even in the West, less than 1% of population go to Casinos regularly. May be another 5% may go there once or twice a year. Percentage of Customers for prostituion services is much less as I understand.. What happen if you don’t let these regular and occasional customers to fulfil their desires? . Do you make them better people?? ..
      Google trend statistics says Siri Lanka is number ONE country which does searches on the subject “sex”.. And it is consecutive forth year Sri Lankans crowned this first place.. Why ..
      . Sinhalese Budhhist might become number one Online gambling nation too.. Do you want to put Internet restrictions to SB adults too…
      Mithri Wewa!

  • 3

    Huh, someone else wants to be in the winning side’s payroll. They are all the same. They all need to have their snouts in the trough. Muslim brotherhood only in the Quaraan,but when it comes to application it is the politics and power hunger that rules. See what is happening in Middle East. US can buy any muslim politician for money.

  • 1

    Colombo Uni distances itself from poll survey

    The Colombo University yesterday distanced itself from the survey released by the Opposition Common candidate’s office which showed 53% victory for Maithripala Sirisena.

    Colombo University Registrar K.A.S.Edward in a statement said:

    “In this connection, I wish to categorically state that this survey has been conducted by a certain individual without the knowledge of the University and as such the University cannot take any responsibility for the outcome of the survey. Further I am of the view that the heading of the news item tends to mislead the general public.”
    – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/60313/colombo-uni-distances-itself-from-poll-survey#sthash.efdxyjPj.dpuf

  • 2

    “As we all know Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thero, Chairman of Jathika Hela Urumaya and former minister Patali Champika Ranawaka left the government on principles. “

    If crying for the Power Ministry is principle!

    We understand where you are coming from.

    9 jan will mark the end of MR’s 40 years of support to the Palestinians that caused him all the Zionist attacks. The ungrateful Muslims of Sri Lanka have now showed him the pathof least resistence.

    Hakims, Mustafas, Bathiurdeen or other traitors will not see the power centres of this country again.

    watch out, We will not be fooled.

  • 4

    I urge all Muslims to have their worn out shoes ready for all these so called Muslim leaders. They would not only sell us, even sell their wemon focks for their positions and perks. For all their sins of betraying us they have to pay dearly in this and next world.

  • 6

    All these Muslim politicians are opportunists, selfish, and wanted to ensure their position, money wealth only. You can see from the numerous political groups to share whatever they could using Muslim as their product. Now most of them have crossed over at this late stage to endure they are also with the winning team so that they can benefit under a new regime as well. The ordinary muslims now must wake up and dump all these opportunists and join the main political parties and intergrate whilst they can mainain their identy.

  • 3

    “Athuraliye Rathana Thero, Chairman of Jathika Hela Urumaya and former minister Patali Champika Ranawaka left the government on principles”

    I guess R. Bathiuddin should also be included. Though it was not the principle, he did publicly said why he decided to leave the government.

  • 1

    The Muslim leaders let their own people down, when Sinhala extremists mobs went around burning, attacking, and killing Muslims. There was silence from those who represent them. Minorities need to hear/see their leaders speak out for them, especially when they are attacked. The Muslim leaders became wimps, and dared not question the president, nor did they show their outrage. It took a Tamil minister to stand up in parliament and speak boldly and loudly against the racist mobs.
    I don’t think any Muslim should look up to these Muslim leaders for support or protection. and should decide for themselves, who to vote for.

  • 1

    Well..it’s a well known fact that the Muslim politicians change their “hats” to the winning sides always ! Now a days, even the Majority Sinhala Buddhist politicians are doing the same thing, except a very few.
    Thondmans do the same thing all the time. Only a few cheap Tamil politicians do that. Politics in Lanka stinks, no doubt.

    Muslims should consider about not supporting these opportunist, selfish political bastards who will do anything to stay in power. They are all untrustworthy low life, shameless rascals. Hakeem, Rishard or Faizer are not the saviors of their community. Probably Muslims can count on some other community politicians without trusting Hakeems, Rishards or Faizers ! They are the ones dividing the Tamil speaking Muslims and Tamils of North and East, thus indirectly allowing the chauvinistic ,racist Sinhala-Buddhist regimes to suppress minorities and ride on them. Muslims should not forget that they are minorities too ! They should never work against Tamils and support racist Sinhala regimes.

    Aluthgama , Beruwela are lessons Muslims never forget. Join with other minorities and fight to safeguard minority rights. Today both MR and MS are fighting for minority votes. Do not forget, that the minorities are the ‘King Makers’ in politics today in Sri Lanka. Do not let them use minorities as ‘condom’s any more. We all should be treated equal, live with dignity and pride with self respect. We should not give up our right to live in peace here. It’s every one’s country and it doesn’t belong to one community just because they are in the majority.

  • 1

    Agree with everything but shoora council??? It irritates. This is an Arabic term, not a Sri Lankan.

    That shows they are Arab [Edited out].( I do not mean our own beloved [Edited out])

  • 1

    all politikkas are dangerous

  • 0

    I feel your plight, as all of us (rationally thinking buddhists) were wondering why they were not taking a principled stance. But they showed their true self to the country for what political opportunists they are. and I am sure our Muslims brothers have seen it and taken a note of it. They got the well deserving denounce by the voters by voting enmasse for UNP in the Uva provincail council elections. I think that is a good sign, and a healthy development for the country to save democracy so that people of SL would not vote along ethnic lines but based on sort of principals they want to see in parties. Being exclusive club of races is what politicians want so that they could achieve their sinister goals, when people are united they can’t neglect their job as the servants of the people. The only silver lining in the most unfortunate situation of Aluthgama is that it was the precursor to the Sri Lankan spring, and the most silent tolerant Sinhala Buddists started to feel that the country is going in the wrong direction and we need to take a strong stand before it is too late. So the Gota, Gandassara, MR trios ultimate greed for absolute power put them in the situation they are in now. How invincible they were few months ago, where are they now. That is called Karma in our religion. To be specific, Ditta Damma Vedanieeya Karama(the worst actions that are going to give you bad results in this life time). I feel relieved and glad to learn that, still majority of our people(despite the sthnicity) are good and there are some politicians who could put the country and its people before politics.. That is a rarity in many other countries of the world.

  • 0


    [Adhere to it], turning in repentance to Him, and fear Him and establish prayer and do not be of those who associate others with Allah
    [Or] of those who have divided their religion and become sects, every faction rejoicing in what it has.
    Al-Qur’aan Ch.30 Ar-Room (The Romans) Vr.31-32

    He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus – to establish the religion and not be divided therein. Difficult for those who associate others with Allah is that to which you invite them. Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him].
    And they did not become divided until after knowledge had come to them – out of jealous animosity between themselves. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord [postponing the penalty] until a specified time, it would have been concluded between them. And indeed, those who were granted inheritance of the Scripture after them are, concerning it, in disquieting doubt.
    Al-Qur’aan Ch.42 Ash-Shoora (The Consultation) Vr.13-14

    Indeed, Allah is my Lord and your Lord, so worship Him. This is a straight path.”
    But the denominations from among them differed [and separated], so woe to those who have wronged from the punishment of a painful Day.
    Al-Qur’aan Ch.43 Az-Zukhruf (The Ornaments of gold) Vr.64-65

    And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.
    And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.
    And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment
    Ch.3 ‘Aali Imraan (Family of Imraan) Vr.103-105

    And We had certainty settled the Children of Israel in an agreeable settlement and provided them with good things. And they did not differ until [after] knowledge had come to them. Indeed, your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning that over which they used to differ.
    So if you are in doubt, [O Muhammad], about that which We have revealed to you, then ask those who have been reading the Scripture before you. The truth has certainly come to you from your Lord, so never be among the doubters
    Al-Qur’aan Ch.10 Yunoos (Jonah) Vr.93-94

    And mankind was not but one community [united in religion], but [then] they differed. And if not for a word that preceded from your Lord, it would have been judged between them [immediately] concerning that over which they differ.
    And they say, “Why is a sign not sent down to him from his Lord?” So say, “The unseen is only for Allah [to administer], so wait; indeed, I am with you among those who wait.”
    Al-Qur’aan Ch.10 Yunoos (Jonah) Vr.19-20

    Say, “He is the [one] Able to send upon you affliction from above you or from beneath your feet or to confuse you [so you become] sects and make you taste the violence of one another.” Look how We diversify the signs that they might understand.
    Al-Qur’aan Ch.6 Al-‘An-‘aam (The Cattle) Vr.65

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