8 August, 2022


Why Muslims Voted For Maithiripala

By Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Latheef Farook

Muslims want solutions to their problems: Not ministerial portfolios for discredited politicians

Muslims who voted for President Maithripala Sirisena as a whole seems to be a disturbed lot today. They voted in the hope of solutions to their burning problems and not reward their discredited politicians with ministerial portfolios.

Their spontaneous decision to vote for President Maithripala was the result of their losing confidence on their politicians who, true to their past record, once again failed to raise issues concerning the community.

This has been the main topic of discussion in almost every gathering, from dinner parties to wedding parties, and that too at all levels ever since Muslim politicians were awarded with ministerial portfolios for joining Maithripala Sirisena camp.

Their common grievance is that Muslims throughout the country voted for this government on their own, without being influenced by their politicians or any others, to free themselves from the atrocities unleashed by state backed racist elements such as Bodu Bala Sena.

They were not only fed up with defeated president Mahinda Rjapakse government for its open support to saffron gangs who terrorized the community but were also fed up with their own politicians for clinging on to the very same government which protected these lawless elements.

Muslims Sri Lanka Colombo TelegraphTime and again Muslims of all walks of life expected their politicians to either get their government to solve their burning issues or leave the government to send a message that they are concerned about community’s interest. However they failed, but continued to be constituent members of the Rajapaksa government which openly allowed racist mercenaries to continue their attacks on Muslim religious places, business establishments and other such places aimed at crippling the community.

As a result helpless and voiceless Muslims were left with no one to turn to. This is the reason why the community rejected their politicians and voted for President Sirisena.

On the other hand these politicians were weighing the pros and cons of clinging on to the then government and joining the then opposition presidential candidate Maithripala Sirisena till last minute. Finally, days before the 8 January 2015 presidential elections, they realized the growing countrywide support to Mr. Maithripala Sirisena camp and joined them leaving the government. Thus they supported President Sirisena for their own benefits and not in the interest of the community or the country.

“Under such circumstance why should they be rewarded with ministerial portfolios which are of no use in solving community’s main issues? This is the question Muslims all over the country ask.

Many point out that the policy adopted by the Tamil National Alliance, TNA, which supported President Sirisena, but did not accept ministerial portfolios as they were keen solving serious issues faced by Tamils.

Thus from the time they decided to support Mr. Maithripala Sirisena they were calling for solutions to Tamil problems. This strategy started to work with President Sirisena himself calling for the need to return lands illegally acquired by the previous government.

A senior Tamil journalist told me in Colombo that it is a welcome sign that the government began taking confidence building measures. He cited, in this regard, the appointment of a Tamil as chief justice, a Tamil as governor of the Western province, a Tamil as governor of central bank and other such measures such as stopping land about to be acquired just after the elections.

Besides there were other positive developments too. For example the military governor was removed and a civilian was appointed as the new governor in the north. Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs Vijayakala Maheswaran assured that she would specially concentrate on more than 8000 women who became widows due to the war in the North and Eastern Provinces

Added to this Minister of Resettlement and Reconstruction and Hindu Affairs D.M. Swaminathan disclosed that the government has assured that its utmost priority under the 100 day program is the resettlement of the remaining Internally Displaced People, IDPs, and repatriation of Tamil Refugees living in India. He assured that he would take necessary steps to resettle them in their places of origin with the required facilities.

Added to all these Mannar Bishop Rayappu Joseph said that President Maithripala Sirisena assured him that Tamil political prisoners who were languishing in prison would be released within a year without any action being filed against them.

These are all positive developments welcome by all those who are keen on reconciliation and communal harmony.

Now the question Muslims in general ask is why not Muslim politicians take up serious problems faced by the community and help solve at least urgent ones within the 100 days.

For example;

1- Around 130,000 Muslims, according to some latest estimates, evicted from north by the LTTE quarter century ago, are still awaiting resettlement. Rajapaksa government, with a hostile agenda towards Muslims, took no initiative to solve this problem and virtually turned blind eye to their plight. Today they remain abandoned.

2-In the east Muslim owned cultivable lands forcefully taken over by Tamils during the LTTE war are yet to be returned. However no one is interested and the victims continue to suffer.

3- Muslims who lived in small villages around Batticaloa during the ethnic war moved to Batticaloa for safety. These Muslims wanted to return to their lands, but unable to do so with no one taking any interest in their plight. There are such disputes in many areas awaiting settlement.

4-Land issue, involving more than 30,000 acres, remains the most burning one in the entire east affecting relations between communities and thus the urgent need for settlement to pave the way reconciliation.

5-This situation was further aggravated by Rajapaksa government’s sinister Sinhalisation program under which Muslim owned lands were acquired by armed forces under the guise of security purpose.

6- Muslim owned land acquired by the armed forces in Pulmoddai and the hardships caused to them there. Muslims in the area also explained the implications involved in the utilization of these lands for various purposes.

7- Muslim owned land forcibly acquired in other areas.

6- Five hundred houses built by Saudi government for Muslim tsunami victims in a model village in the Akkaraipattu district gather dust covered with growing jungle as they were not allowed to occupy. It was built as a model village with all facilities. However the project remains a symbol of discrimination and chauvinism. This was especially so in the context of the shameful and heartless robbing by the system of billions of dollars of aid flowed into the country to help tsunami victims .There are Muslim tsunami victims still living in huts ignored by all?

7-Fishermen in the area face numerous problems due to obstacles they face ever since Oluvil Harbour was built .This issue needs immediate solution to ensure fishermen’s livelihood.

Muslims expect solutions to these problems and so far no Muslim minister or parliamentarian took up these issues. This is the reason why the Muslim community is convinced that ministerial portfolios are of no use to them.

However there is a general feeling among Muslims that even in the forthcoming parliamentary elections they would vote for President Maithripala Sirisena’s candidates as they are convinced that, though an uphill task, yet he is the only leader who could bring about reconciliation and move the country ahead for the benefit of all.

Though Muslim ministers and parliamentarians failed to attend to these needs the National Shoora Council, the umbrella organization of 19 different organizations, had submitted a memorandum to all highlighting some of the major issues which need urgent attention.

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Latest comments

  • 7

    Latheef Farooq

    The total muslim population evicted by Ltte a quarter century ago was 130’000? where did you get this figures from?

    When you write nonsense people can see through your duplicity and you most certainly lose your credibility as a result.

    The total muslim population evicted by the LTTE a quarter century ago was 20,000 at the most although it is regrettable .Tamil hindus and the Tamil muslims must live together to have a better future as their destiny is intertwined. Any attempt to keep the two communities asunder is detrimental for both communities.

    • 11

      Latheef Farook,

      If any Tsunami victim is still without shelter that is a Sri Lankan problem. Not Muslim problem.

      It is not politicians who capitalize people’s racial or religious identity who should solve these serious problems. Nor should we depend on funding from oil rich, family run, corrupt, religious fanatics or brutal dictators in the Middle East. Sri Lankan state must solve these problems. I believe we can.

      It is time everyone quit restricting themselves & everything to the ethno-religious label on their forehead.

      Quit looking at everything through glasses colored by your race or religion only.


    • 2

      Piranha, He is telling the truth. You also correct. LTTE kick out 20000 families out of Jaffna. Now after 25 or 30 years after they increase their population about five fold. So I think now you understand their baby-boom very clearly. Within next 10 years they pass Tamil population and in 50 years Sinhala ppulation.

  • 10

    Latheef Farook –

    RE: Why Muslims Voted For Maithiripala

    Thanks. Expose, Expose and Expose.

    “Muslims want solutions to their problems: Not ministerial portfolios for discredited politicians”

    “As a result helpless and voiceless Muslims were left with no one to turn to. This is the reason why the community rejected their politicians and voted for President Sirisena.”

    It i shigh time Sinhala learn the lesson and reject the corrupt politicians. They need to listen to JVP.

    Very true, they want solutions, and not to be used as fodder.

    Tamils want solutions to their problems too: Not ministerial portfolios for discredited politicians alternately.

    Sinhala want solutions to their problems: Not ministerial portfolios for discredited politicians who alternate between dynasties and flip flop to maintain ministerial portfolios.

  • 19

    You can see the CASINO-Musthapa who was hiding details of the casino act from the masses and pretend to be a Muslim has resigned from the state minister-ship.

    This is the moron who did left Rajapaksas as the last minute after sleeping with Gnanasaras and not utter a word for the Aluthgama massacre of Muslims but presented the Casino act to the parliament.

    Not sure if Casino-Mustapa have any voter base and its time the Muslim brothers and sisters show the door for this corrupt man in a future election.

    • 9

      Mustapha supported casino bill but he tried his level best to stop Gnasara’s rally at Aluthgama, but the Rajapaksse’s wanted this rally despite protests by Muslim organisations and politicians. Alutgama was preplanned. Thanks to Gnasara, Muslims voted for Maithree. Aluthgama folks paid a price to bring Yaha Palanaya. They must get justice from this government.

      Now coming to Mustapha- what is ailing him now

      • 14

        What is ailing Paisa now? He wants a ministerial portfolio where he can rob state money and make a fortune within the shortest of time. Also, he knows he cant play the fool with Capitaan KuCool. Anyway, Paisa is a jumping jackass and will jump over the fence if he knows the grapes are sweeter there.Dont forget, he cut Thondas throat and then in the last elections cut MRs throat.Now he is trying his jumping game again. cant trust this fellow.Shady, shady shady man.

        • 6

          This man should be probed for corruption.
          He was among the new rich in Rajapaksa regime with kickbacks coming in millions of Dollars.

    • 10

      Very true Matilda not only this Casino Mustapha but other scoundrels like Hakeem,s who did a last minute pole vault to save their skin should never have been given ministerial portfolios. Mr Laheef is right the Muslim community is questioning these appointments. In fact there is suspicion Hakeem did the pole vault at the behest of MARA to create confusion among the majority community. MARA and Hakeem knowing very well Not a single additional vote would have come to Maithrie’s with Hakeems pole vault.

    • 5

      This is the so called Muslim Leader and a leading lawyer and also the son of a Presidents Council, who called the owners of the NO-Limit fashion chain NOT to report to the Police or give the actual damage to the press after the BBS and Military Intelligence torch the No-Limit fashion store in Panadura on wee hours.

      The carnage was easy to spot as inflammable liquids were thrown into this building from those came in Defender jeeps and Casino-Mustapa was used by the Rajapaksas to convey their message to the NO-Limit owners.

      Its time the new govt do a proper investigation on those arson attacks and some with clear evidence or CCTV camera footage of those saffron robed goons attacking businesses run my Muslims.

    • 2

      this is how Casino-Musthapa did lie to the masses as a practicing Muslim he not only cheated the masses, he is against his religion in promoting gambling dens and prostitution.

      What a loser and are you Muslims wants to follow him and Hakeem as your leaders?

      this is from Daily News.

      eputy Minister of Investment Promotion Faiszer Mustapha yesterday stressed that the Special Gazette Notification issued on Tuesday (17) for the implementation of three projects valued at US$ 1.2 billion has nothing to do with Casinos or gaming.

      He said that the Cabinet has given the green light for three mega projects under the Strategic Development Project Act for mixed development activities and no green light has been given for casinos or gaming activities through the Gazette Notification.

      “The Special Gazette Notification has given the green light for mixed development activities that include, five star hotels, shopping complexes and a convention centre etc. He added that this Gazette notification has no mention about casinos anywhere.

      “Nor has it mentioned about operating or approving casinos or gaming activities,” he stressed.

      Deputy Minister Mustapha pointed out that about five casinos are in operation and the government has already announced that no new licences are issued for casino operations in the country He stressed that the country has a mechanism to operate casinos under the Betting and Gaming Levy Act of 2010 and casino operation has nothing do with the mixed development activities mentioned in the Gazette Notification.

      The Gazette Notification is issued after approval by the Cabinet of Ministers before being presented to Parliament. Minister Mustapha said that the Government has adopted a transparent mechanism for the entire process.

      – See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/mixed-projects-not-casinos#sthash.Fe7mvYWU.dpuf

  • 9

    That is because the likes of Rishad Bathiudeen are bust burning and stoning court houses in Mannar and threatening judges. He has no time to looking into the problems of the Muslims.

  • 1

    Only tigers can do it.

    There was tiger with in the Kaluthura-Aluthgama police precincts named DIG Indran who saved the Muslims in 2014 sacrificing his job and and risking the life. Because of this, when the Northern TNA Provincial Council MP, Ayub Asmin went to Aluthgama, Muslim folks asked him Where was Pirapakaran, because he would have saved them.

    Then There was a tiger Named Sriskandaraja nullified the dismissal of Shiranee. So the New King used it to re appoint Shiranee to the same post.

    Then it is Northern Tamils, who braved against Humanitarian, UN Charter carrying Sinhala Buddhist Army who is stationed there to rescue the them and voted against the Old King to bring the new King.

    Faithless La-thief!

  • 3

    I hear “Pisa Must Appa” has left to Singapore Complaining instead of hugging the loss making Migin Air and a competing person with in that, he can make more money on his law profession.

  • 2

    There is a simple solution to problems of Muslims all over the world. That is being true and faithful to almighty Allah. If they are not faithful to Allah they are not Muslims and the question of “problems of Muslims” does not arise.

  • 3

    If Muslims and Tamils are good mates now what is the problem? Don’t get MY3 involved in your land disputes. Tamils will handover what they stole from Muslims voluntarily. That’s what mates do. Don’t they?

  • 2

    Mr Latheef Farook

    The National Shoora Council, or any other Voluntary Muslim Organization, with unpaid Office Bearers, and Head Quartered in Colombo, maintained with transparent donations from the Muslim Community, need to be the only intermediary between the Muslim Community and the Government of Sri Lanka. In due course arrangements can be made to have elected, but still unpaid, office bearers.

    The Rogue Muslim Members of Parliament and other politicians with Muslim names, have proven themselves over the last sixty years and more to be mercenaries of the GOSL, sacrificing the interests of the Muslim Community and doing the bidding of the GOSL, which was largely following discriminatory religious policies.

    The rogue Muslim politicians for their own benefit undoubtedly facilitated the government policies inimical to Muslim society.

    We as Muslims should as a matter of principle never vote for any “Muslim” Party. Exceptionally, in an overwhelmingly Muslim majority electorate, the “Muslim Organization” may sponsor a suitable Muslim person to contest the election in his own name.

    Generally Muslim interests should be articulated in one voice through the independent Muslim Organization. And we should vote exclusively for National Political Parties, as recommended by this Independent Muslim Organization. Due to their geographical distribution pattern, this is the only path through which the Muslim Community will ever be allowed to influence political power. Please refer to my comment under your last Article “Historic Opportunity Squandered”


    Such an association should have a strong and well presented, media and web presence, well supported in the English Sinhala and Tamil languages, so that any member of the Muslim Community can feel welcome to participate in political and social matters that concern him/her.

    This Muslim Organization in due course, should promote, secular and vocational education among the Community, and promote religious education, sans the extremism, superstition, and cruel aspects of the pre-Islamic Arabic culture. It should also facilitate and assist Community members with commercial entrepreneurship.

    • 1

      Agreed but a prominent member of the shoora council is appointed as Head of TRC- NSC is also becoming political. He was with MR and changed to MS

      • 1

        If that is the case, chase him out. MS should have no say in the matter. If NSC cannot accommodate, the Muslims will have to take a stand and establish an independent body to represent the Muslim interests.

      • 0

        The Member concerned resigned from the NSC of his own volition within hours of receiving the appointment at the TRC. The NSC is an apolitical organization comprising members from Muslim Civil Society. Membership is strictly by invitation and has to be approved by the General Assembly and not by the Executive Committee.

    • 2

      Ahmed Reza

      “The National Shoora Council, or any other Voluntary Muslim Organization, with unpaid Office Bearers, and Head Quartered in Colombo, maintained with transparent donations from the Muslim Community, need to be the only intermediary between the Muslim Community and the Government of Sri Lanka.”

      Yes, but it have to be Civic and not religious. Otherwise the Wahhabi Iblis Terrorists will take it over. ISIS and their Wahabi Agenda


      Take a lesson from the Jews in America.

      American Israel Public Affairs Committee.


      The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC, /ˈeɪpæk/ ay-pak) is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States. The current President of AIPAC is Robert Cohen.[3]

      Describing itself as “America’s Pro-Israel Lobby”,[3] AIPAC has more than 100,000 members,[4] seventeen regional offices, and “a vast pool of donors.”[5] It has been called “the most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel,”[6] and one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States.[5] The group does not raise funds for political candidates itself, but helps organize to channel money to candidates.[5]

      Its critics have stated it acts as an agent of the Israeli government with a “stranglehold” on the United States Congress with its power and influence.[7] The group has been accused of being strongly allied with the Likud party of Israel, and the Republican Party in the US, but an AIPAC spokesman has called this a “malicious mischaracterization.”[5] AIPAC describes itself as a bipartisan organization,[8] and bills it lobbies for in Congress are always jointly sponsored by both a Democrat and Republican.[9]

      In 2005, a Pentagon analyst pleaded guilty to charges of passing US government secrets to two AIPAC staffers in what is known as the AIPAC espionage scandal. Both staffers were later fired by AIPAC.[10] In 2009, all charges against the former AIPAC employees were dropped.[11]

      • 0

        Agree, it has to be civic, not religious, confined to the Muslim Community, to look after the interests of the Muslim Community. Hope now it is clear.

  • 4

    The degree of religious freedom enjoyed in Sri Lanka, before the Rajapakse regime, was way above par compared to freedom denied to other religions in Muslim majority countries. The Muslims in Sri Lanka misused that generosity by trying to impose the intolerant Wahabbi version of Islam on the Lankan Muslims, that is more akin to the ISIS in Syria. The Wahabbi stronghold in wealthy Saudi Arabia generously funds them and the Muslim leaders are only intent of building more mosques and madrassars instead of helping the needy. These are the same people who remained silent, when the Saudis beheaded innocent Rizana Nafeek on a charge she was most certainly innocent. Shewas only 17 when had supposedly committed the crime, which by even the ludicruous Shariah Laws, the execution was forbidden. Over the years hundreds of Sri Lankan Muslims working there have been beheaded or flogged or limbs amputated after being convicted in trials conducted in Arabic which they didn’t understand. The Wahabbi money certainly talks.

    • 3

      Sylvia Haik

      The garbage you spew smells of rotting fish.

      Where do you keep your brain?

      • 0

        funlover It looks like you have got nothing to say to refute my points except calling it garbage. I am afraid all of it are facts and well documented. If the truth hurts, tough. I would worship the people of Sri Lanka for their tolerance and generosity instead of wanting to isolate the Muslims and treat them differently. Do you think any decent country in the world will tolerate the way the Muslims slaughter cattle in Sri Lanka, a Buddhist country in which religion killing of any animal is abhorrent? I would urge you to tell your Muslim friends to take on board what I’ve said and change their ways.

  • 0

    Please note that there are no MUSLIM organizations in this country that is really concerned about the welfare of the struggling muslim community. All these Shoora Councils, Jemmiyathul Ulama, etc etc are organizations run by the few whose taqwa and yakeen are questionable. Therefore, my dear nonmuslim well-wishers please know the real motive of these SO CALLED muslim organisations. They certainly are NOT Islamic in their ideology. Money Money and more Money.

    • 0

      Check our their links to Wahhabism.

      Yes, but it have to be Civic and not religious. Otherwise the Wahhabi Iblis Terrorists will take it over. ISIS and their Wahabi Agenda

      [Edited out]

  • 0

    A question: Will the full implementation of the 13th Amendment help the problems articulated in this article?

    At least theoretically, the devolution of power would mean that the regional politicians (and not those elected from outstations, but residing in Colombo) will have more power to solve issues pertinent to people in their regions?

    How will it pan out in reality?

  • 4

    We muslims should have our shoes ready for these so called Muslim politicians. Muslims voted on their own will as they were badly treated by MR. Now they got their ministerial posts, and let the community to dogs. In the next election no muslims should vote for these. morons to teach them a good lesson.

  • 4

    it is true that none of the Muslims in Sri Lanka voted for jokers like Mustapha, Hakeem and Rishard. These blood sucking politicians only take positions to fill their pockets or to get benefits to their family members and friends.
    majority of Sri Lankan Muslims are either with UNP or SLFP.
    The 3 politicians above jumped ship at the last moment to ensure they can enjoy the benefits and well knowing that with or without them Muslims were for a change and for Maithree.

    it is high time all Muslims get together and send this jokers home and only vote either for UNP or SLFP.
    their days are definitely numbered.

  • 0

    Mahinda came back deep south ..soon thousands will follow same…so Muslim and Tamil need to prepared to go their hope land ..modi will take care about Muslims ..we sinhala Buddhist will 100% support another Pakistan in south of India ..

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