SLCM founder leader opposed NE merger,says Azwer



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Founder of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress M.H.M. Ashraff had clearly said that he would not support the merger of North and East.‘East is East and North is North, never the twain shall meet’.


 The present-day SLMC politicians had to bear in mind the position of their late leader on the issue, former Minister of Muslim Affairs A. H. M. Azwer said, addressing several meetings in support of the UPFA candidates in the Anuradhapura district at Galenbindunuwewa, Medawachchiya, Kekirawa and the Ranaviru Village at Eppawela.


Azwer recalled that although JR Jayewardene had created two separate Provincial Councils for the North and East he did not proceed to hold a referendum on the merger of the two provinces in keeping with a pledge he had made at the signing of Indo-Sri Lanka accord. "He always dodged the issue when the question came up from time to time. It was because he knew at heart that it would be not in the interest of both the people in the North and East to merge the two Provinces. The Muslim Congress should feel happy that they had got a Muslim Chief Minister in the Eastern Province. This scenario could never be created if Jaffna and Batticaloa were amalgamated. The danger loomed large in the present context where the TNA, with the backing of the Diaspora, was conspiring to achieve Eelam surreptitiously by amalgamating the two Provinces. The Muslims and the other communities in the East should understand the calamity that would befall them if such a sad situation would ever be made a reality.


 Azwer also said the founder of SLMC Ashraff, had said he would never get into the bus with Ranil Wickremesinghe in the driving seat. "If the SLMC followed the policies of its late leader how come Rauff Hakeem has entered into an electoral pact with Ranil’s UNP?"


There were over 40,000 Muslim voters in the Anuradhapura District, a large majority of whom would cast their vote for the UPFA candidates at the forthcoming elections without being hoodwinked by the UNP, Azwer said.


Rajapaksa had been a friend of the Muslims since his younger days and would not harm the Muslim community in any way contrary to claims being made in some quarters. The UPFA would get more than 113 seats easily at the general election, Azwer said.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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