SLMC responsible for inciting violence between communities – Amir Ali
[TamilNet, Monday, 02 June 2008, 13:44 GMT]
Rauff Hakeem, the leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), and Basheer Segudawood the chairman of the party are responsible for creating a conspiracy to initiate ethnic conflict between the Tamil and Muslim communities, charged Minister of Disaster Relief Services M.S.S.Ameer Ali at a conference held May 28 at Ea’raavoor police station attended by a number of senior government officials and media personnel.
The excerpts from his speech follow:
“In the past these people do not remain here after the elections but immediately return to Colombo. However, this time SLMC chairman and his supporters were going from region to region conducting meetings in order to create ethnic clashes. I strongly condemn this.
“As part of their propaganda, on May 25, the chairman of SLMC called upon the youth supporters of the party to the upstairs of Maiden Jumma mosque in Ea’raavoor First Division and promised to provide them with arms. I have credible evidence for this and legal action will be taken against those involved.
“In addition the SLMC Chairman has talked to M.L.A.M. Hizbullah, Jawahir Saally, Subhahir, who contested recent EPC election on behalf of United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA). The activities of SLMC have damaged the Tamil Muslim relationship not only in Batticaloa but throughout the East," Minister Ali said.
When TamilNet contacted SLMC chairman, Basheer Segudawood, over the phone seeking clarifications regarding this accusation he denied the allegation and said: "Some Muslim youths had complained to me that Pillayan group is involved in unlawful activities and are abducting innocent civilians. The youths also told us that if they are armed they can avoid such atrocities and requested us to provide arms. Those who accuse us of inciting violence against the armed forces and TMVP are not addressing the problems faced by Muslims.
“These people are planning to create confusion by putting us in trouble by alleging that the armed Muslim groups shot at the Special Task Force (STF) personnel during recent incidents of violence.
“I have calmly and carefully provided guidance to our people. My thirty years of political experience is based on Tamil-Muslim relationship. I told those who gathered at the mosque that the Tamils are not against us but the armed Tamil groups are acting against us,” Mr. Segudawood pointed out.