22 September, 2019

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Muslims Seek Solutions To Their Problems; Not Ministerial Portfolios

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Will the burning issues of the island’s Muslim community be addressed under a United National Front for Good Governance, UNFGG, government led by United National Party?

This has become the main common concern especially of the civil society of the Muslim community island wide. This is especially so in the context of the presence of Sri Lankan Muslim Congress, SLMC, and its splinter groups in the UNFGG.

They express the fear that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, SLMC, and its splinter groups which have entered into agreements with the UNP, will accept ministerial portfolios in the event of a UNFGG victory in the forthcoming August 17 parliamentary elections and abandon the community as they had repeatedly done in the past.

This has been SLMC’s and their splinter groups’ track record. Therefore Muslims are keen to prevent the SLMC and its splinter groups hijacking the community in the forthcoming August 17 parliamentary election for positions and personal benefits.

As rightly pointed out by the leader of Tamil National Alliance, TNA, leader Mr. R. Sampanthan in his Sunday 19 July 2015 interview with Virakesari”, The SLMC failed to forge Tamil – Muslim unity and let down the Muslim community on several occasions although the Muslims, living scattered all over the island, need to live in harmony with Tamils in the north and east and the Sinhalese in the rest of the country.

Rauff HakeemHowever the SLMC and its splinter groups are not bothered about that. Instead they wanted power and positions by hook or crook.

For example, to cite few incidents of their callous irresponsibility towards the community, the SLMC contested the last Eastern Provincial Council elections criticizing the United People Freedom Alliance, UPFA, and won many seats. However to the shock of Muslims who voted for the SLMC within 48 hours after the elections the SLMC joined the very same UPFA government which they criticized. This brought shame to the disappointed and disgusted community which trusted the SLMC.

Added to this the SLMC voted for the 18th amendment to the constitution which provided unlimited terms for president to remain in office and led to subsequent political chaos in the country which demanded the need for 19th Amendment to the constitution to undo the damage.

Though the SLMC leadership later admitted the mistake of voting for 18th Amendment to the constitution they voted, for reasons better known to them, knowing very well the serious consequences on the community and the country as a whole.

On top of all the SLMC continued to be constituent member of UPFA government despite its patronage to Sinhala extremist elements who unleashed wave of violence against the island’s Muslims targeting their mosques, religious schools, economy, business establishments and cultural life threatening, in fact, the very existence of the community.

They remain with the UPFA government even after the Sinhala racists’ well planned and executed pogrom on Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dhargha Town Muslims costing Muslim lives and billions of rupees of loss to Muslim owned property .As a result the community as a whole lost its respect and confidence on SLMC .

It was under such atmosphere that the island’s Muslim community voted en bloc for President Maitrhripala Sirisena in the 8 January 2015 presidential elections and rejected former President Mahinda Rajapaka. They did so on their own and not on the advice of SLMC or anyone.

In fact realizing the mood of the community and the country the SLMC and its splinter groups abandoned the UPFA and crossed over to President Maithripala Sirisena camp in the eleventh hour only to have been rewarded with ministerial portfolios.

The community was deeply disappointed that the SLMC was rewarded ministerial portfolios while the community’s issues were ignored. Even after joining President Maithripala Sirisena’s government they failed to raise any issue of the community.

However it is worthy to note that the Tamils supported President Maithripala Sirisena but the TNA did not accept any ministerial portfolio. Yet they raised several issues of Tamils and got them at least partially addressed.

The situation is such that parliamentarian Prof Rajiv Wijesinghe often claimed that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe had told him that SLMC leadership asked for money to join the Maithripala Sirisena camp. Up to date this was not denied.

Thus the SLMC has become shameful liability on the community which cannot afford to continue this sad state of affairs.

This is the reason why Muslims in general fear that now that the SLMC and its splinter groups have entered into an agreement with the UNP and, in the event of a UNP led UNFGG victory, they would accept ministerial positions and abandon the community as they had done in the past.

The SLMC has lost its credibility even in its birth place Kalmunai where people accuse SLMC of tricking them and pitting them against the other communities. One resident of Kalmunai told me that “people are fed up here. They do not want confrontational politics. They want to live in harmony with Tamils and Sinhalese. This can happen only if they abandoned communal and racist politics.

Some even went to the extent of stating that there was no development in Kalmunai ever since former Minister A.R.M.Mansoor was defeated by SLMC almost quarter century ago by means of lies and deception.

He said Mansoor gave jobs to thousands in the government sector, solved fishermen’s and farmers’ problems, built hospitals, schools, roads, promoted agriculture and developed irrigation with the support government of the day.Kalmunai is one of the most densely populated areas in the country. Yet after 25 years of SLMC’s politics there is no drainage system posing great health hazard in the event of heavy flood.

The SLMC has caused tremendous damage to the image of the community due to its corrupt and irresponsible behavior far away from Islamic principles on the basis of which, it claimed, that it was founded. Highlighting this sad state of affairs in an article in the Daily Mirror of Wednesday 22 July 2015 under the title “Talk of an enigma! “ HERE’s another election” result columnist Gomin Dayasiri had this state;

“The SLMC has been functional in varying cabinets without a trace of loyalty to any that installed them. It has lingered on enjoying benefits only to swivel around and bind with the benefactor’s opponents on the eve of the election seeking more benefits. It reminds one of a local ditty to describe the characteristics of a Moor’s hat.

Indeed the SLMC, identified as the carrier of the Muslim cause, stands disgraced as being selfishly opportunistic. How can trust and confidence be placed in a community, where its leaders are unprincipled rolling stones shifting sides to gain benefits? Are they helping the cause of the Muslims or their own cause by periodic change of stance? – “

Over the years today the SLMC ‘s selfish and short sighted politics has isolated the Muslims, especially those living in the predominantly Sinhalese areas, and had caused tremendous damage to Muslims who now feel ignored and orphaned.

Muslims feel that this state of affairs cannot continue anymore and thus demand an end to racist politics to reestablish their harmonious ties with the majority community. This is the reason why Muslims, especially the educated lot and the civil society is keen that Muslims abandon the SLMC in the forthcoming elections and join national political parties.

The seriousness of the situation is such that an aggressive social media campaign has been undertaken by many urging Muslims not to vote for the SLMC in the forthcoming August 17 general elections.

One such social media statement by Dr Dr Ruvaiz Haniffa had this so state under the headline” DO NOT VOTE FOR SLMC CANDIDATES COMING ON UNP NOMINATION LISTS”

Dear Madam /Sir

The UNP as indicated in the news item below is once again about to commit the same political mistake of outsourcing the UNP Muslim Vote to the SLMC.

It will only be a matter of time before these UNP/SLMC MPs elected on the UNP VOTE, cross over to whichever party which wins the majority at the August elections. By this, the UNP will lose in terms of numbers in Parliament.

More importantly, by giving nominations to SLMC persons, the UNP is not grooming the next generation of Muslim leaders for itself. This concept has been lost on the UNP leadership for the last 2 decades.

Hence, if the UNP nominates SLMC candidates on the UNP List this August, what choices do we have as UNP Muslims voters?

If the UNP does not believe in its own Muslim candidates should we as voters believe in the UNP as a National Party to deal with our political aspirations?

We should be voting only for the party and casting our preferences only to UNP CANDIDATES MUSLIMS OR NON MUSLIM.

WE MUST NOT CAST PREFERENCE VOTES TO SLMC CANDIDATES CONTESTING ON UNP LISTS.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    6

    Getting cabinet posts,perks, ability to hire incompetent relatives, mistresses, smuggle Heroin via Talaimannar are all good reasons for SLMC and Baithudeen types to jump from ship to ship. Look at all the government jobs you give.

  • 6
    1

    Very good advice indeed.

    “We should be voting only for the party and casting our preferences only to UNP CANDIDATES MUSLIMS OR NON MUSLIM.

    WE MUST NOT CAST PREFERENCE VOTES TO SLMC CANDIDATES CONTESTING ON UNP LISTS.”

    The Sri Lanka Muslim Community does not need friends like Rauff Hakeem.

  • 2
    1

    “Muslims Seek Solutions To Their Problems; Not Ministerial Portfolios”

    You can’t have both no.

    ditch one to have the other.

  • 4
    5

    What’s their problem, stop jumping…stop producing like rabbits….get proper education…choose u r mother tongue….live with it…stop thoppi piratti attitude…u r problems solved…

    • 0
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      [Edited out]

    • 0
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      Some say ‘Muslims are breeding like rats’, whilst still some others say Muslims ‘breed like rabbits,’ what can the Muslims do to help when all the rest are just not upto it and are reportedly turning impotent and their women infertile. Is there any support you need from the Muslims to arrest this situation?

      Have you read a recent PEW report that their forecasts based on survey estimates show Muslim population in the world to equal that of Christians by year 2050, and eclipse it by year 2070, and that includes Muslims living in India too. Also in the same report, the Sinhala community of Sri Lankan to get depleted and eventually wiped out during that same time period, due to higher infertility rates. I didn’t say it, the PEW reports did.

      http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/04/02/397042004/muslim-population-will-surpass-christians-this-century-pew-says

      • 0
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        World is overpopulated. We should only produce 1 -2 two children to face this problem. This’s the very reason that we should not breed like rabbits.One of the reason for chaos in most of the ME countries is unsustainable population growth.

        “Have you read a recent PEW report that their forecasts based on survey estimates show Muslim population in the world to equal that of Christians by year 2050, and eclipse it by year 2”

        Lol does breeding like rabbit and behaving like barbarians without brains to control population give any bragging right ?

  • 5
    3

    Mr. Latheef Farook,

    All in Sri Lanka have burning issues.

    It is time to quit looking at our problems through ethno-racist-nationalist or religious lenses.

    Politics based purely on race & religion are destructive to any country. It will be so for Sri Lanka too. In the long run, if not already now.

    If any Sri Lankan has a burning problem, it does not matter whether that citizen is Sinhalese, Tamil or Muslim. It needs resolution.

    Cheers!

  • 2
    5

    So Rajitha Senarathna alleged the Wahabi SLMC asked money from Batalanda Ranil to join his Yahapalanaya?.

    What an insult to the great majoirity of our Muslim inhabitant population who vote for Hakeem and his SLMC.

    And a mongrelbred like Rajitha to make this accusation soon after EID is even more insulting.

    Hope the Muslim electors in Kalutara take note of this low character and treat him accordingly when he comes around to ask the Muslims to vote for him.

    Because Sinhala Buddhists wouldn’t have a bar of him.

  • 4
    1

    Betrayal of Muslims by Muslim Parties and politicians has been going through over the years. I don’t know how many Muslims accept that the Muslim political leaders are opportunistics and power hungry individuals.

  • 4
    1

    Dear Mr lateef Farook

    Thank you for the above article. Now please enlighten us on the problems of the Muslims.

    Soma

    • 4
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      Where the hell do you live? Northern Muslims were chased out from their own lands by the tiger terrorists. Even now they live in camps and in other parts of the country. This has been the case for the last 25 or more years. When Tamil are resettled in their own lands by the government why not Muslims. This is just one problem out of many.

      • 0
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        Thanks. And the others if I may ask.
        Soma

        • 0
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          Remember the Aluthgama/Beruwela riots where 6 Muslims and 1 Tamil life was snuffed out, Millions of Rupees worth business assets were looted, set on fire and vandalized, the unfair treatment by the police and the armed forces, the open attacks on womens dress codes Hijab and Niqab, the creation of the citizens policing force acting with total impunity, Muslim eating habits were attacked, their breeding habits was ridiculed, their banking and economic systems have been threatened with closure, the purported proliferation of their Masajids including forced closure of Prayer rooms, prevention of the return of refugees to their own homelands claiming it to be Forest reserves. Just the tip of the iceberg. You need more? We know where you are aiming at.

          • 0
            0

            Any cultural practice that contradict 21 humanistic norms should be ridicule. So anything that muslims practise that go against these norms should be ridicule e.g unsustainable reproduction and not accepting equality of gender and religion. not accepting Individual liberty to choose religion and marriage partners of any religious background

  • 1
    1

    Why only muslims, we those who cant respect MR principles also seek the same- people are decieved by all tactics to stay in power. Once defeated but being unable to digest it again making every effort to come to power. By hook or crook he will need to be reelected.

  • 4
    0

    It was unforgivable for the SLMC to stick with Rajapaksa government when the man was surreptitiousy supporting the Sinhala racists to attack, kill and destroy muslims and trheir properties.

    Rauf Hakeem said he was reluctantly leaving the Rajapaksa government when he crossed over to support Rajapaksa. The muslim community doesn’t need leaders like Hakeem or Bathiudeen. They are both opportunists with only their own welfare at heary.

  • 1
    1

    Mr.Farook while agreeing with you that the Muslim parties have not done much for the Muslim community this is not a time for the Muslims to “rock the boat” they should vote for the SLMC in a measure to support the UNFGG especially in the East. If the SLMC is supportive of Good Governance then Muslims are duty bound to support such a government. Failure to support will give a leverage to the Athaullahs and the hisbullahs who are supporting the UPFA and these Hisbullas and Athaullahs stood idly by and didnt raise any protest when the pogrom of the Muslim community took place at Aluthgama.
    As a strategy the Muslims should stand for Good Governance

  • 3
    0

    Muslims want solutions to their problems,tamils want for theirs and similarly the sinhalese want to theirs! Of course , that’s why we sent people to the parliament. So vote sensibly and do not send crooks, murderers, drug dealers, rapists, land grabbers, kidnappers and central bank looters to the parliament whatever the party they are from!

  • 1
    0

    It is indeed a laughable matter. One has ask Hakeem about ministerial portfolios. Had the Muslim community been with the Tamils hand in hand, the minorities would have achieved several things. It is said that it would not happen in Sri Lanka’s history past, present and in future.

  • 0
    0

    Muslims are are group of sri lankan citizens. They identify themselves on the basis of their religion only.Every other community has endeavoured to assimilate and integrate with the society at large. The muslims want special rights on the basis of their religion alone. There is no clamour from other faiths, be it buddhists, Hundus, Christians, Catholics demanding special rights or privileges. Muslims , it appears, are the only section of the society who want segregation on the basis of their religionWhy does not this writer cal the muslims to integrate with the rest of the society. Where ever the go the muslims, like jews , foster their identity on the basis of their faith and disown the country of their birth and the society that fostered them and from which they benefited. How else can one explain mulslims , though yet few in numbers fight for a country like syria with which they have not the remotest connection.
    This writer, Frook, to answer this most basic question. owe a duty to this country

    • 0
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      Muslims never given due recognition. Can anyone dream of a Muslim cricket captain in this country? Hardly any top ranking recruits are taken to serve in the armed forces and police unless to serve as cannon fodder, no Muslims to serve in high posts in any government jobs, but they manage to come up doing well in their own business which is good in a way, but brings less confidence and moral for public perception of Muslim role in country’s administration. Feeling of being ignored or left out and sometimes deprived, simply for being Muslim in a Buddhist country. With Gnanasara coming aboard the situation just got worse, with every move under scrutiny. How can anyone expect integration. Better to live in isolation, and support Pakistan being a Muslim country and watch our Muslim brothers-in-Islam perform well, even though it all happened when they too should have been fasting during the month of Ramadhan. We are never made to feel wanted or warmly welcome in SL but treated always as a minority member who is a threat to a job of a local Buddhist. Private firms are that much far better, equal and fair opportunities but does not carry same weight, as for an opportunity to best serve the interest of the country. However Islam as my Religion will always be uppermost in the mind under all and any circumstance, but then again, putting country before self is still a long way from reality.

      • 0
        0

        Mr Hmza.
        please answer my question. Why do you want special privileges which no other faith or religious group in wold is clamouring for. Don’t you think ones religion is only for his her personal salvation . Muslims want segregation on the basis of their religion. Can you name one company owned by a muslim which has an an open employment policy that does not favour muslimms. Can you name any muslim country which has not persecuted other religious minorities. Chistians and Hindus n. In Mayasia Islam is the State religion and chinese and hindus are denied the right to buy state owned property. In Indonesia the Buddhist and HAindu heritage sites are willfullyneglected or destroyed. ISIS in Syria and Iraq have massacred and driven away the Christians who have lived there since Christ. In Afganistan islamists blasted to the ground 200 year old buddha statues. Islam is the only religion which preaches violence. Read koranic verses9:5 and 9:29 which call for armed jihad.

        You have the nerve to ask for special privileges and never talk about contributing to the society which gives you free education, health and all other facilities enjoyed like every else..

      • 0
        0

        This is pure BS. There are many Tamil in top jobs in country despite Tamils waging a war against Sri Lankan gvt. There were NO Muslim cricket captain because there was NO single Muslim cricketer worth qualify for that post or national team.Can you name one? Sri Lankan cricket team is for best 11 Sri Lankan cricketers Not for Muslim , Tamil or sinhalese

    • 1
      0

      gigurawa

      “Muslims , it appears, are the only section of the society who want segregation on the basis of their religion”

      Good hard hitting point.

      On the other hand Sinhala/Buddhists are the only section of the society which bent on building a Sinhala/Buddhist ghetto in this island.

  • 0
    0

    Muslims are are group of sri lankan citizens. They identify themselves on the basis of their religion only.Every other community has endeavoured to assimilate and integrate with the society at large. The muslims want special rights on the basis of their religion alone. There is no clamour from other faiths, be it buddhists, Hundus, Christians, Catholics demanding special rights or privileges. Muslims , it appears, are the only section of the society who want segregation on the basis of their religionWhy does not this writer cal the muslims to integrate with the rest of the society. Where ever the go the muslims, like jews , foster their identity on the basis of their faith and disown the country of their birth and the society that fostered them and from which they benefited. How else can one explain mulslims , though yet few in numbers fight for a country like syria with which they have not the remotest connection.
    This writer, Frook, to answer this most basic question. owe a duty to this country . The freedom of muslims to observe and practice their religion in Sri Lanka is untrammelled, so is the freedom of others such as Christians, Catholics,Hindus and Buddhists. These, other faith groups have not sought separeness or distinct identity on the basis of their religion. Where as, in all fairness, all the other faiths believe and worked hard in assimilation and breaking down of religious barriers. It is sad that, in the 21st century,people like Mr Farook advocate the opposite.

  • 1
    0

    Mr Lateef,

    In Kalmunai it was Former M P Mr M.C.Ahamed that build hospitals,bridges,agriculture,roads,fisheries,schools etc just for your future knowledge,you should give credit where it belongs ,he build the biggest Muslim girls school and the base hospital there is in that area during his time

    Mansoor never build a single school or a Hospital during his time in Kalmunai for your information and if you claim he did , then name the School or the Hospital

    SLMC politicians have only looked after themselves and done nothing for the electorate other than jumping to the wining side for a minister post and sale the people out

  • 0
    0

    Good that this exposure of SLMC and Bathiudeen group had come from a writer who belongs to the Muslim community itself.

    It is recorded history that SLMC leaders and leaders of breakaway Muslim parties like the one led by Bathiudeen switch sides for Ministerial positions and perks. Hakeem and Bathiudeen will always be Ministers whoever who forms the government of the day and will immediately switch to the other side like what they did last time when they switched from the Mahinda cabinet to Maithri/Ranil cabinet without any remorse. Hakeem and Bathiudeen never resigned their positions from Mahinda’s cabinet despite attack on Muslims by Sinhala extremists covertly supported by the government. This ungrateful guy Bathiudeen even got from Mahinda a national list MP position for his party man Ameer Ali before be departed to join the Maithri/Ranil group. And later Ameer Ali was even heard saying it was the grace of Allah.

    I totally agree with Gomin Dayasiri’s statement quoted by the writer Latheef Farook:

    “The SLMC has been functional in varying cabinets without a trace of loyalty to any that installed them. It has lingered on enjoying benefits only to swivel around and bind with the benefactor’s opponents on the eve of the election seeking more benefits. It reminds one of a local ditty to describe the characteristics of a Moor’s hat.

Indeed the SLMC, identified as the carrier of the Muslim cause, stands disgraced as being selfishly opportunistic. How can trust and confidence be placed in a community, where its leaders are unprincipled rolling stones shifting sides to gain benefits? Are they helping the cause of the Muslims or their own cause by periodic change of stance? – “

    The answer to Gomin’s query is – yes, they are helping their own cause by these periodic stances.

    It is for the Muslim voters to reject SLMC and Bathiudeen group at the August 17th election. But, unfortunately, the Muslim voters will have no other choice if they want to elect a Muslim as their representative. There are hardly any good Muslim candidates in UNP other than those fielded by SLMC and Bathiudeen Group under the elephant symbol. And there is not much of a chance for Muslim candidates still contesting under UPFA. Despite the urgings by writers like Latheef Farook, Muslim voters will again vote for guys from SLMC and Bathiudeen Group for lack of choice.

    Tamil voters in North East have the same problem. Tamils in North East had been voting for TNA because of lack of alternate choice. However, this time it may be different, particularly in the North, because few other Tamil groups have come forward to challenge TNA’s domination. The difference between SLMC/Bathiudeen Group and TNA is that the former lend support to the ruling party by joining as Cabinet Ministers but TNA leaders lend support from outside by remaining mute for the sake of few privileges they get from the government in power. But, essentially they are same. They only pay lip service to the cause of their respective Muslim and Tamil communities.

  • 1
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    muslims [Edited out]

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