|Saturday, 24 January 2004|
UNF and Mr. Hakeem taking North-East Muslims for right royal ride
That's exactly what is happening today with the UNF and Rauf Hakeem who is elected a UNP Member of Parliament acting as a quisling.
First and foremost, all Sri Lankans whether Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and Malays and the international community must remember that the Eastern Province population as per the divisional secretaries of Amparai, Batticaloa and Trincomalee for 2003 stand as follows.
Muslims 40.1 per cent, Tamils 32.3 per cent, Sinhalese 26.5 per cent and Burghers 1.1 per cent.
In the present Parliament, elected members from the Eastern Province are eight Muslims, five Tamils and three Sinhalese which reflects the above population ratio.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's often repeated assurances that all communities will be treated equally seem to exclude the Muslims if we go by what has happened since the peace process commenced.
The UNF has abdicated responsibility of providing Muslim citizens security in the North and the East and helped the LTTE to carry out ethnic cleansing pogroms in Valachchenai, Muttur and other areas by the then Defence Minister Tilak Marapona issuing statements to the international media that these atrocities are unconfirmed reports.
Now a third party theory is discovered to whitewash the LTTE. Minister Mohamed who justified the invasion of Iraq even more than George Bush was sent to Valachchenai to issue a statement that the LTTE has nothing to do with the death and devastation at Valachchenai.
What a contrast with PA nominated MP Putrasigamani who left the PA for a minor issue concerning his community.
Minister Hakeem in his quest for power and Ministerial position is playing the role of traitor by manipulating the SLMC to suit the UNF already agreed secret agenda of granting everything to the LTTE in stages with a few protests here and there to placate the south and by making the Muslims the sacrificial lambs in this so called peace process.
The Prime Minister and Hakeem seem to send the signal that only those who take up arms can get what they want. The recent bomb attack on one of the SLMC Deputy Leader's vehicles in the East and the attacks on the residences of one UNP and two SLMC MPs in Trincomalee district is a sign in that direction ending the patience of the Eastern Muslims at this wholesale betrayal.
The late M. H. M. Ashraff created the SLMC for the Muslims of the East to safeguard their rights. This birth right of the Eastern Muslims have been hijacked and robbed from its legitimate owners with legal manipulations by Hakeem who has to contest a seat under the UNP to win.
This explains his total betrayal of the Eastern Muslims interests and fragmenting and destroying the SLMC to ensure his place with the UNP. He furiously ridiculed the President joining with the LTTE mouthpiece TNA when the President spoke of demerging the North and East.
The LTTE as usual made promises and broke them in a few months and has now announce abrogation of the Hakeem/Prabhakaran agreement as per their pre-planned agenda. When Hakeem asks the Prime Minister to recruit 550 Muslims to the police, the Prime Minister agrees to quieten the Muslims as part of the pre-arranged stage play and then as expected breaks his promise by saying the TNA is opposing it.
Thus every promise given by the LTTE and the Prime Minister to the Muslims since the MoU has been dishonoured.
If the government is not able to provide security to the Eastern Muslims and Sinhalese and ensure their democratic and fundamental rights, then it should request an international force under the UN auspices to achieve it without rewarding the LTTE for its terrorism or forcing the oppressed Muslims to take up arms as the only means to win their just demands.
The only permanent solution will be to hold a referendum regarding the North-East merger as provided in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and if the majority rejects a North-East merger, then all three communities can share power on more or less equal proportion.
On the other hand if a North-East merger is forced on the unwilling majority in an undemocratic manner, then the stage will be set for a long conflict and ethnic cleansing of the Muslims and Sinhalese majority from the East as happened in the North earlier. You don't need an astrologer to predict this Mr. Prime Minister.
The old adage 'You can fool some people all the time and all the people for sometime but NOT all the people all the time' holds true here.
Concerned Muslim Colombo.
Produced by Lake House