By KT Rajasingham –
The opinion article titled “Rishard Bathiudeen In Trouble Or Is It The Government In Trouble?”
As an Adviser of Community Affairs (since 2010) to Hon Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, I wish to point out some baseless allegations and clearly incorrect facts in the above article that are misleading and create a wrong image of Leader of ACMC and Hon. Minister of Industry and Commerce Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training among readers. I appreciate if colombotelegraph.com can correct these and republish it or publish this letter in full with the same publicity given to the above article so that any damage to the good image of Hon Minister Bathiudeen shall be rectified.
1) “At the same time those like Minister Rishard Bathiudeen against whom there appears to be serious evidence that he is behind far more heinous acts were going about in expensive government cars. There is no equal application of the law.”
I request to prove this statement- Where is the serious evidence? Heinous acts were performed by the ISIS Terrorists on 21 April and not by Hon. Minister. Which “heinous acts” that he has specifically committed? If he really committed such acts as you imply, then why would the Police and Security forces have not questioned him so far? (The fact that he is a Cabinet Minister does not suggest that he is above the law. In fact as he openly announced several times after April 21, he is ready to face any investigation).
2) “The milieu among Tamils was explosive because
a) Rishard Bathiudeen recruits only Muslims into his ministry,
b) high officials of his ministry and of the mineral sands corporation that was under him openly complain of how tender awards are shamelessly manipulated,
c) he is consistently working against the Tamils of the North East in general, and
d) perhaps understandably, he is drawing a support base of Tamils too who are attracted by favors he selectively does them.”
a) “Rishard Bathiudeen recruits only Muslims into his ministry” – If this is true then most of the officials of the Ministry and its institutions should be Muslim. This is clearly false. More than 90% of employees of the Ministry are non-Muslims. Muslims are in senior positions only in four Institutions of the 46 institutions of the Ministry. You are welcome to verify this with the Ministry.
b) “high officials of his ministry and of the mineral sands corporation that was under him openly complain of how tender awards are shamelessly manipulated” -Please indicate as to when a complaint was made in this regard and by whom. Also Mineral Sand tenders (and all tenders under the Ministry) are advertised in local newspapers well before. As for Tenders of Mineral Sands Ltd, they are advertised even more widely- in local newspapers, Sri Lankan embassies abroad, international websites linked to Mineral resources, and diplomats in Colombo, before final Cabinet Approval is received. More importantly, the Hon Minister NEVER gets involved in the tender process personally at any stage and only the officials of Ministry and Mineral Sands Ltd handle them.
c) “he is consistently working against the Tamils of the North East in general”
This is a baseless allegation on a political agenda. Hon Minister Bathiudeen cannot continue his politics in Vanni District by working against any community. I can confirm that he, his family snd thousands of other Muslim families were expelled by LTTE from Vanni District in 1990 in an act of ethnic cleansing -and despite this, today as an elected MP, he serves all the communities in the Northern Province. As for “working against Tamils in East”, he does not represent Eastern voters and therefore It is clear that this statement is an attempt to tarnish his political image.
d) “Perhaps understandably, he is drawing a support base of Tamils too who are attracted by favors he selectively does them.”
Can the writer clearly show what or who this “Tamil Base” is? And can the writer also explain how can he work against Tamils and work with a Tamil base AT THE SAME TIME?
3) “One of those who blasted bombs on 21 April used Minister Rishard Bathiudeen’s car”
Sadly as much as he unreservedly condemns these heinous acts, he has been unaware that any of the bombers used one of his cars. All his cars are still existing and in operation without getting blown up anywhere even at THIS MOMENT. He requests your clarifications or identification as to the exact Registration No. of this “car”.
4) “two pairs of vehicle number plates bearing numbers Wpku-1887 and NpLp-0786 were recovered. Neither pair was attached to any vehicle. One set, that is NpLp-0786, was found to be phony.”
A statement has already been recorded by Mannar Police in this regard and no complaints were filed against him so far. This was so since there was no wrongful act on his part. Hon Minister was in Colombo on the day this event took place in Mannar. You may clarify this further with Police station, Mannar.
5) No Confidence Motion:
It is clear that this is an act of political revenge for his decision to not to support the 2018 October 26 anti-democratic political coup. It is also clear that the real target of this Motion is the government and not really him.
I wish to stress that this is a critical time for Sri Lanka and definitely not a time to make irresponsible statements or make unfounded allegations. Such attempts only destroy the reputation of ColomboTelegraph. I request Editors at colombotelegraph.com to correct these errors before it is too late and republish this opinion article or publish this statement in full with the same publicity given to the above news item by N. Logathayalan.
*KT Rajasingham- Adviser, Community Affairs to Hon. Rishad Bathiudeen
Minister of Industry and Commerce Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training