SLMC condemns Ashraff over ‘collaboration’

[TamilNet, Saturday, 27 April 2002, 02:19 GMT]
A section of Sri Lanka’s largest Muslim party Friday condemned the leader of a breakaway faction for siding with Sinhala chauvinists by speaking at an anti-peace rally organised to condemn the indefinite ceasefire between the government and the Liberation Tigers, press reports said. The Eravur sections of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) criticised Mrs Farial Ashraff, the widow of its former leader, for siding with Sinhala chauvinists and addressing the event in Colombo in her capacity as leader of the National United Alliance.

The congress of SLMC’s branches in Eravur said in a statement that Mrs. Ashraff’s actions betrayed the aspirations of her late husband and the party’s longstanding leader.

The congress’s leader and the Home Development Ministry’s Batticaloa coordinator said in a statement that, “the government of Sri Lanka, the Liberation Tigers and the SLMC were working sincerely to bring an end to the troubles faced by minority communities in this island. The situation that prevails today has the support of the international community.”

“That selfish minority MPs such as Mrs Ferial Ashraff support chauvinists’ attempts to scuttle the peace process has shocked and dismayed the Muslim and Tamil people.”

“The Muslim community has respected Mrs Ashraff on the basis that she is the wife of their leader Mr Ashraff. [But] Her actions appear to be aimed at burying his political aspirations and his dreams.”

“Her collaboration with people such as [Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) leader] Dinesh Gunawardene and [Janatha Vimukthi Perumana (JVP) chief spokesman] Wimal Weerawamsa who dismissed the late leader actions as racism is a disgrace to the Muslim community,” the congress argued. The anti-peace rally Tuesday was organised by the Sinhala nationalist JVP and supported by hardline Sinhala political forces, including the MEP.

“There may be differences of opinion between the Muslim Congress and the National United Alliance [but] these are matters that need to be resolved by talking,” the statement said.

“Joining hands with our common enemies is unacceptable. Those who guide Mrs Ashraff on the political front should seriously consider this,” it concluded.


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