Athaullah group expelled, Hakim leadership strengthened
[TamilNet, Monday, 09 December 2002, 03:57 GMT]
The leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and Minister Mr.Rauff Hakeem Monday consolidated his position by expelling rival leaders from the party politburo permanently during a five-hour politburo meeting Sunday early morning at party headquarters Darussalam in Colombo and filled the vacancies created by the expulsion with his close confidantes, SLMC spokesman said.
The politburo commenced its marathon session Saturday around eleven in night and it was nearly 4am Sunday when the expulsion decision was reached.
Minister Mr. A.L.M.Athaullah, general secretary Dr.M.Hafrath who is also a national list parliamentarian, Mr.S.Subairdeen and Dr A.Uthumanlebbe were the members of the group expelled from the policy making body of the SLMC, party national organizer Mr.K.M.Faiz said Monday morning.
Batticaloa district parliamentarian Mr. Basheer Segu Dawood was appointed to the post of general secretary replacing Dr.M.Hafrath until the annual convention of the party is held. He will function as general secretary till a new person from Ampara district is elected, SLMC sources said. Political sources speculate that the post of general secretary would go to Mr. Harris, Amparai district parliamentarian who is included in the party politburo.
Mr.A.L.M. Abdul Majeed, fondly called "Mullakam Majeed' (talented speaker) was appointed as the Senior Deputy Leader of the party and Mr.Farook Majeed as Deputy Leader. Both are from Amparai district.
Parliamentarians Messrs H.M.M.Harris (Amparai district), Risard Badiudin (Vanni district), K.M.Thowfeek (Trincomalee district) have replaced other expelled politburo members. Another leading member of the rival group, who is also the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Shipping Corporation, Mr.A.J.M.Mussamil was suspended from party membership. The Sri Lanka Shipping Corporation comes under the Minister of Port and Shipping Mr.Rauff Hakeem.
Vanni Development Minister and parliamentarian Mr. Noordeen Mashoor who earlier joined hands with the rival group led by Minister Athaullah has now expressed his support to the Hakim leadership. Another dissident minister
Mr. Mohideen Abdul Cader has not yet announced his stand, SLMC sources said.
Meanwhile hectic moves are afoot to reconcile with the
National Unity Alliance (NUA) led by Ms Ferial Ashraff, Amparai district parliamentarian and the wife of late leader Mr.M.H.M. Ashraff. One of the NUA leaders, parliamentarian Mr. Segu Issadeen, is leading the effort forge unity between NUA leader Ms Ferial Ashraff and Minister Mr.Rauff
Hakim, political sources said.
The politburo meeting was held after Minister Rauff Hakim regained his leadership of the SLMC last Thursday following the Colombo District Court order which reinstated his party leadership.