‘Azwer stood with kings, moved with the common man’ | Daily News

‘Azwer stood with kings, moved with the common man’

A child is presented with schoolbooks as Minister Rauff Hakeem, Iranian Ambassador Zaeri Amirani, Palestinian Ambassador Zuhair Mohammad Hamdallah Zaid and other officials look on.
A child is presented with schoolbooks as Minister Rauff Hakeem, Iranian Ambassador Zaeri Amirani, Palestinian Ambassador Zuhair Mohammad Hamdallah Zaid and other officials look on.

Former Parliamentarian late A.H.M. Azwer was a person who stood with kings and also moved with the common people, SLMC Leader and City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education Minister Rauf Hakeem said.

The Minister was speaking at the second commemorative meeting in honour of A. H.M Azwer held at the All-Ceylon YMMA headquarters in Colombo on Monday.

The event was organised by the A.H.M. Azwer Commemorative Committee headed by senior journalist N.M. Ameen, who presided over Monday’s meeting.

Special invitees included Iranian Ambassador Zaeri Amirani, Palestinian Ambassador Zuhair Mohammad Hamdallah Zaid, Dr. M.S.M. Anas, Head of the Department of Philosophy, University of Peradeniya, former Mayor Omar Kamil, Dr. M. Haris Z. Deen and representatives from various Muslim organisations.

Minister Hakeem said Azwer was a versatile speaker who was friendly with his political friends and foes. “He was an impeccable politician who lived among the common man and died as an ordinary person who was committed to serve mankind,” the Minister said, recalling that many people benefitted from the yeoman services rendered by Azwer.

Palestinian Ambassador Zaid recalled the late Azwer’s approach towards social problems. “He always wanted to help people in need and he persuaded the rich to donate to the poor,” the envoy remarked.

School books were distributed among low-income children in the area in memory of the late Azwer.

In his speech, Dr. M. Haris Deen said: “Azwer, as he was known to all, was not just a politician or Parliamentarian; he was a human being who felt more for the people of Sri Lanka than he felt for his own family.

He was always dedicated to a cause he was entrusted with and loyal to the leader of the party he was a member or supporter of.

Born on February 8, 1937, Azwer was the son of a harbour mason, and being people of simple means, his parents would never have imagined their eldest son would one day enter Parliament.

Perhaps the World War II years, 1939 to 1942, provided the greatest opportunity for Azwer, being entrusted with Quranic and Islamic education with Seyed Mohamed Alim of Kalutara, teaching in a day madrasah for children where schooling was affected by the war.

Seyed Mohamed Alim did more than teach Azwer to read the Qur’an, by teaching him Sinhala and Tamil. When he was admitted to Zahira College, Maradana, Azwer was already conversant in Tamil and Sinhala, and the late Jiffrey Muhusin and Faleel, two teachers at Zahira, provided him skills in English. Having passed the SSC, he became an excellent stenographer.

He passed the Law College entrance examination, but financial necessities prevented his proceeding with studies and instead, he had to find employment, before moving to politics.


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