Hakeem suspends SLMC Chairman, General Secretary

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 December 2002, 17:19 GMT]
Rauff Hakeem, Minister in Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and President of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) suspended the party's Chairman A.L.M.Athaullah and the General Secretary Dr.M.Hafrath for allegedly plotting to upstage him in his absence violating the party discipline, SLMC sources in Colombo said.

Mr.Rauff Hakeem currently in Oslo, Norway to attend peace talks between the government and the Liberation Tigers, which begins Monday issued the suspension notices from Oslo.

SLMC Chairman A.L.M.Athaullah is also Minister of Highways in the United National Front (UNF) Government and is a parliamentarian from the Ampara district in eastern province.

Both Mr.Athaullah and Dr. Hafrath are said to be involved in an attempt to sack Minister Hakeem from the post of President of the party while he is away from the country, SLMC sources said. The General Secretary of the SLMC Dr.Hafrath is said to have summoned the politburo of the SLMC Sunday night or Monday to expel Mr.Hakeem from the party.

On receipt of the latest development Mr.Hakeem has acted fast to thwart the attempt to overthrow him from the leadership, political sources said. Minister Hakeem has already informed the Commissioner of Elections about the suspension of party's General Secretary Dr.Hafrath. This is to ensure any suspension of members who support Mr Hakeem in the power struggle by Dr.Hafrath in the capacity of general secretary, SLMC sources said.

Mr.Hakeem said in Oslo that he has taken these disciplinary measures in the interest of the SLMC using the powers accorded to on him by the Party's constitution.

Sources said Minister Hakeem is in touch with the Prime Minister to take a decision whether he should return to Colombo immediately to avoid a split in his party, which has eleven seats forming a major constituent of the UNF government.

 

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