SLMC against postponement of Amparai local elections

[TamilNet, Sunday, 01 February 2004, 13:42 GMT]
Leader of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), and Minister in the UNF Government, Rauf Hakim, told a party meeting that under no circumstances the Amparai local council elections scheduled to be held on 22 February should be postponed. "We may be forced to take extreme measures against the Sri Lanka Government if it accedes to request by a few for postponement," Minister Hakim added, political sources said.

The meeting was presided by the Thigamadulla district parliamentarian, Anwar Ismail. Deputy Minister of Housing Bazeer Segu Dawood, Parliamentarians H.M.M.Kariz, K.M.Tawfeek and several others spoke.

Earlier, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentary group leader and the Secretary General of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Mr.R.Sampanthan wrote to the Elections Commissioner to postpone the elections to 24 October 2004 when the elections to the rest of the districts of the northeast province are to be held. Mr.Sampanthan cited the Amparai ground situation is not very different from the rest of the northeast and hence not conducive to holding elections.

"SLMC is fighting for the rights of the Muslim people. We will allow anyone to denigrate our struggle. All Muslims should forget their differences and join together under SLMC's 'Tree' symbol. Then we can demand a separate Muslim representation in the on-going peace talks," said Mr.Hakim while speaking to his party members.

"President Kumaratunge has to invoke the Emergency Regulations if she intends to postpone the elections. I don't think Ms.Kumaratunge will take such a measure," Mr.Hakim added.

"We are not prepared to handover the Amparai district to anyone. We demand the same rights the Tamil people are demanding," said Mr.Hakim.


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