Muslims salute President’s policies, says Minister

Healthcare and Nutrition Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva said President Mahinda Rajapaksa had rescued Muslims from all misdeeds of the LTTE.

The Muslim community suffered untold hardships due to LTTE attacks and extortion and the President made every effort to uplift their living conditions, the Minister pointed out.

He added that the UNP leaders never tried to raise the standard of living of the Muslim people and it was the UNP which said that the Muslim community had no right to live in Sri Lanka.

Addressing a recent rally at the Al Adan College auditorium in the Badulla district, Minister de Silva said President Rajapaksa had realized the needs of the Muslim community and had won the trust and confidence of the Muslim communities around the globe. He had stood by Muslims in Palestine, Iran and Iraq.

The Minister also pointed out that Opposition’s Presidential candidate General Fonseka had been making statements that Muslim people had no right to live in this country and that they came to Sri Lanka for trade. But President Rajapaksa had done much for the sake of the Muslim community and protected their rights.

Minister de Silva said President Rajapaksa had stood by the Muslim people since he entered politics.

He said President Rajapaksa spoke in favour of Iraq when the US launched offensives against the former. Even UNP leaders and Rauff Hakeem never spoke up for the rights of the Palestinians and Iraqis, and the Muslim community in Sri Lanka were not prepared to support these reactionary elements, the Minister added. The Muslim community would support President Rajapaksa, he said.

He alleged that Fonseka made a statement that the Muslim people came to Sri Lanka for trade and he would banish all Muslim people in the country if he became the President.

Minister de Silva said a large number of Muslims sacrificed their lives during the war, adding that the LTTE brutally murdered Muslims who were praying in Kanthankudi. It also killed Muslims in Ampara and Batticoloa. He said the LTTE demanded extortion from Muslim traders and those who opposed that practice were also murdered. President Rajapaksa rescued Muslims from all misdeeds of the LTTE, the Minister pointed out.

He said the UNP helped the LTTE to obtain arms to kill Muslims, and Muslim leaders had no valid reason to support such segments of political parties.

The Minister said SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem had betrayed the rights of the Muslim community by signing an agreement with the LTTE.

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