UNP asks SLMC to reveal its stand on Divi Neguma Bill


by Zacki Jabbar

The UNP yesterday called on the SLMC to reveal its stand on the Divi Neguma Bill,which seeks to grab powers vested in the Provincial Councils.

Senior UNP MP Kabir Hashim addressing a news conference in Colombo said that the SLMC which has been clamouring for devolution,should tell the voters if it would once again cheat them by helping the UPFA government enact the Divi Neguma Bill,which has proposed the establishment of a Department to take over the Samurdhi,Southern Development and Upcountry Development Authorities,in violation of the Provincial Councils Act.

The SLMC has a duty to inform its supporters who have already been cheated into believing that they were casting anti government votes at the recently concluded Eastern Provincial Council Election(EPC),if it would do an about turn and support the passage of the Divi Neguma Bill as well,he said.

The MP said that the SLMC has already helped the UPFA grab control of the EPC,without any written gurantees on issues such as employment,housing,land etc which affect the Muslims.Going by the ruling party’s track record,it would continue to adopt time wasting tactics resulting in none of the problems being resolved.

Lands belonging to Muslims in the Eastern Province were being grabbed by extremist elements within the government,while Tsunami victims have still not been provided with decent housing.The SLMC instead of taking a firm stand,was propping up a corrupt and dictatorial regime in return for positions,Hashim noted.

He said that the joint opposition had obtained around 400,000 votes to the UPFA’s 200,000 at the EPC election,but the SLMC disregarded the peoples verdict and helped the UPFA unethically grab power in the Council.

This was the second time in recent years that the SLMC had cheated its electorate.Having been elected to parliament on the UNP ticket it defected to government ranks for a ministerial porfolio and a few other insignificant positions,the MP observed.

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