Ashraff drops election gauntlet
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 22 August 2000, 16:40 GMT]
Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and Sri Lanka's Ports minister M.H.M.Ashraff has withdrawn his resignation letter which had been issued in protest over a cabinet colleague's comments criticising the SLMC's vacillation over contesting the forthcoming elections as part of the ruling People's Alliance.
Transport Minister A.H.M. Fowzie had reportedly challenged Mr. Ashraff to resign and contest separately from the PA. Mr. Ashraff had picked up the gauntlet and resigned.
Two Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Alavi Moulana visited SLMC leader Ashraff's residence today and appealed to him to withdraw his resignation letter. They told Mr.Ashraff that Minister A.H.M.Fowzie' s statement was his personal one and not of the government.
Mr.Ashraff tendered his resignation to the President following Minister Fowzie's statement that the government could muster two-third majority at the next general election without the support of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress. Mr.Fowzie further challenged Mr.Ashraff to contest the Ampara district after resigning from the post of minister.
Soon after Mr.Ashraff's resignation letter reached the Presidential Secretariat, Ministers Mangala Samaraweera and Alavi Moulana rushed to SLMC Leader's residence and successfully persuaded him to withdraw his letter.