ACMC to announce its stand on Presidential poll on Monday

‘We don’t fear to quit the Govt.’



As a key player in the political firmament, the All Ceylon Makkal Congress (ACMC) led by Minister Rishard Bathiudeen is expected to announce on Monday its stand on the January 8 Presidential poll.

Dismissing speculation that the ACMC will lend its support to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, a senior official said the party’s politburo will determine whether to back the incumbent’s candidature or Maithripala Sirisena, the opposition presidential aspirant.

People can speculate, but the politburo will make a final decision taking into consideration the ground realities, he noted. "We need our grievances redressed".

"It is true that we had a two-hour discussion with the President, but meeting him doesn’t mean that we are supporting him", says Reyyaz Salley, ACMC’s Colombo district organizer.

He said the party submitted a 10-point proposal to the President encompassing issues pertaining to the Dambulla and Grandpass mosques, places of Muslim religious education, Moulavi appointments and lands taken over by the army in the North.

Minister Bathiudeen, who led the delegation, complained to the President that compensation has still not been paid to victims of the Aluthgama violence and the government "aligning with the BBS (Bodu Bala Sena) has registered in the minds of the people".

"We do not fear to leave the government, if the situation warrants it", Salley said. "We are not scared of any files and we challenge the government to bring out all the files before the Presidential election. We are prepared to face it".

With a sizeable support base, the ACMC has representation in Parliament, Provincial Councils and Urban Councils.

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