By Razi Muhammadh –
The clock has already started ticking for Sri Lanka Muslim Congrass. The lava has bursted from the already burning mountain. SLMC is breaking apart.
Two significant persons have already waged a war against SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem. Basheer Cegu Dawood, then chairman of the party has appeared in an interview on Vasantham TV and told that the party leader is caught between too many scandals and not capable of being leader to the party of which constitution is based on Quran and Hadith.Former chairman claimed that the leader of SLMC has lost the credibility to lead the Muslim community. Following his interview in Vasantham TV and his Facebook posts criticizing the SLMC leadership, Basheer Cegu Dawood has been interdicted by the Party high command. Supporters of Cegu Dawood and Hakeem already started a social media war.
Another person who has started objecting to the leadership of SLMC is the former Secretary General of the Party Mr. Hassan Ali. Hassan Ali is one of the founder members of SLMC and a admirer of late Mr. Ashroff. Hassan Ali claims that Rauf Hakeem is a bootlicker of Mahinda Rajapaksa and always wanted to be with MR’s side even though the mood of the people was against Mahida.
During a public meeting held in Nintavur on 2017.03.03, Hassan Ali claimed that Mr.Rauf Hakeem wanted to support Mahinda Rajapaksa during the last presidential campaign. Hassan Ali was the main reason the party has joined the Mythri Faction he claimed. Since then Hassan Ali was seen by Hakeem as his rival to his leadership.
The origin of the rift between Hassan Ali and Hakeem goes back to 2015 delegates’ conference. During a mandatory high command meeting prior to delegates’ conference, Mr. Hakeem has introduced a new position -‘secretary to the command’ apart from the already existing Secretary General to the party which was occupied by Hassan Ali. This move is to silence Mr. Hassan Ali who had become a headache to Mr.Hakeem.
Mr. Hassan Ali has objected to this sudden Constitutional change and made a complaint to the Elections Commissioner. Elections commissioner instructed Mr.Hakeem to sort out this issue, if not he said that the party will not be able to contest under the party symbol. Having smelled the seriousness of the issue Mr.Hakeem has promised Mr. Hassan Ali that his Secretary General position will be restored in 2016 delegates conference and he will be given MP seat in the Parliament. Mr.Hakeem has promised Mr. Hassan Ali that the current parliamentarian MHM.Salman would resign his position and leave room for Hassan Ali to take oath as a parliament member on 2017.01.09 when the parliament reconvened. Mr.Hakkeem handed over to Hassan Ali a copy of the resignation of Mr. Salman from the parliamentary membership.
Having believed what the leader has promised, Hassan Ali agreed to go silent on the Secretary General issue believing that his original position would be restored in the next Delegates’ conference that held last month. But the letter of resignation was not handed over to the Secretary General of the parliament. Salman remains the MP. Attached is the copy of the resignation of Salman, Hakeem has given to Hassan Ali.
To his disappointment, Hassan Ali kept silent waiting for the delegates’ conference where he believed his Secretary General Position would be restored. That also didn’t happen. Hassan Ali decided to go public.
Yesterday a meeting was arranged in his town Nintavur where Hassan Ali explained to the public how he, being a founder member of the party was cheated by the Leader and ousted from the position that he had been occupying for 35years. He spoke sensibly to a huge crowd that appealed to their senses.
Hassan Ali is one of the founding pillars of SLMC. He is the founder General Secretary to the party. He is revered among the SLMC supporters as the most senior party member after the demise of Mr. Ashraf. Hakeem’s dissidents within the party have also joined hands with Hassan Ali during yesterday’s meeting. This is expected to be a big blow to the SLMC’s leader Rauf Hakeem.
The pulse of the Ampara district is that the supporters of SLMC have started to think that Hakeem is ruining the party leadership so he should be removed. The supporters also think that Hakeem Being born and bred in central province cannot understand the political needs of the Eastern province Muslims. People think that Hakeem is not capable enough to voice the political aspirations of the Eastern Muslims. They also think that Hakeem is not suitable to lead a party that has its roots in East.
If this situation persists like this there is a serious possibility SLMC will split. Already negotiations have started to form an alliance among the SLMC dissidents to fight against the big enemy some reliable sources say. This mood will lead to a juncture where people will be left a choice to choose the party deposing the leader or keep the leader deposing the party. Eastern Muslims will always choose the party. Upcoming provincial council elections will prove that.