Ashraff invited to meet PA, resolve differences

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 29 August 2000, 14:44 GMT]
The People's Alliance (PA) leadership has invited Mr.M.H.M.Ashraff, Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) for talks to sort out differences which arose following Minister Fowzie's statements, SLMC official sources said. Mr.Ashraff returned to Colombo Tuesday morning after pilgrimage to Mecca.

In the meantime, the high Command of the SLMC is meeting Monday evening to assess the political situation in the country following Mr Ashraff's resignation from the PA cabinet. Mr.Ashraff is presiding over this crucial meeting.

The National Unity Alliance and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress have decided to hold a special convention tomorrow.

Mr.Rauff Hakeem, former General Secretary of the SLMC said that his party's decision to contest the forthcoming general election separately still stands.

Mr.Ashraff resigned from the PA cabinet when Minister Fowzie issued an open challenge to the SLMC leadership that he would quit politics if Sri Lanka Muslim Congress won more than five parliamentary seats in the forthcoming general election, contesting separately.

Mr.Fowzie's reply was to a claim made by Mr.Ashraff that his party would win more than 11 parliamentary seats if it contested the general election separately. The SLMC leadership has demanded the removal of Mr.Fowzie from the cabinet if a settlement is to be reached between two political parties about an electoral alliance.


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