Muslim Federation demands separate delegation in talks
[TamilNet, Monday, 27 March 2006, 10:46 GMT]
In a statement released at a press briefing held Sunday evening at Sainthamaruthu Jumma Mosques conference hall, the Eastern Province Mosques Federation (EPMF) demanded that a separate Muslim delegation should be included in any future peace talks between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), sources said. The statement also said Muslim community should have the complete freedom to decide on the the composition of such delegation.
EPMF has decided to obtain approval from the GOSL and LTTE to allow a separate Muslim delegation in the future peace talks to avoid contradictions and suspicions in future peace talks, the press release said.
The EPMF also decided to take steps to create a power-sharing unit for Muslims in the East to ensure Muslims rights are protected when two majority communities -Sinhalese and Tamils- jointly decide on power sharing arrangements between them, the statement said.
The Muslim community has been weakened because of differences prevailing among Muslim leadership. This is an outcome of a planned sabotage being carried out by national and international forces against the welfare of Muslim community. All Muslim leaders and activists should come forward to strengthen the unity of Muslim community and the EPMF will support this effort, said the press release.
"We condemn the statement made in the first round of Geneva peace talks and later by a election monitoring group that a Jihad Group has been working among the Muslims in Sri Lanka. No such group exists among Muslim community in the country .The accusation has been made against the Muslim community in a planned way to tarnish the image of Muslims in the international forum. Today's situation for Muslims would not have arisen if such group existed among the Muslim community," said the statement of the EPMF.