SLMC wants separate province for Muslims - Hakeem | Daily News

SLMC wants separate province for Muslims - Hakeem

If the TNA proposes a North-East merger for finding a solution to the country's ethnic problem which has prevailed for the last three decades, a separate province must be given for Muslims, Water Supply, Drainage and Urban Planing Minister Rauff Hakeem said.

He was speaking at a media conference at Green Villa, Oluvil recently

Minister Hakeem added that we will not allow the merger of the East with the North until Muslims' problems are approached in an accepted manner.

He said a separate province for Muslims who live in the North and East is not a new proposal. It was earlier proposed by several Tamil National Leaders at the Trinco Conference held in 1957, Parliamentary Election held in 1977 and a part of Selvanayaham's solution too.

"As far as the SLMC concerned, Tamil National Leaders will not be able to find a lasting solution to the ethnic problem by overlooking the country's Muslim community. The North and East was temporarily merged in 1987 under the Indo-Lanka agreement for only one year, but, the merger lasted for nearly 24 years not considering the Muslims' aspirations. There was no referendum held I this regard," Minister Hakeem said.

"No one can amend the Constitution without obtaining a two thirds majority in Parliament. Furthermore, on certain occasions a referendum will also have to be held under certain circumstances. We cannot find an overnight solution to this problem. For this, all political parties have to come to a consensus," he said. "The North -East merger does not only depend on the N-E people's will, but, on all the communities who live in Sri Lanka. Some are issuing statements on a North- East merger as a cheap publicity gimmick.But, it should be approached in a diplomatic manner," he said. 

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