Muslim MPs meet Norwegian envoy

[TamilNet, Thursday, 27 March 2003, 01:38 GMT]
A delegation of Muslim parliamentarians met Norwegian ambassador to Sri Lanka, Mr. Jon Westborg, at the Norwegian embassy on Wednesday and requested that Muslims of the North-East be allowed to have separate representation in the peace talks currently being conducted between the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), sources said.

The delegation comprised Mr. Rauff Hakeem, Minister in the present UNF cabinet and the leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), Deputy Housing Minister Mr. Basheer Segu Dawood, Secretary of the group Mr. M.L.A.M. Hisbullah, and parliamentarians Ms. Ferial Ashraff, S.M. Haris, M.I.Thowfeeq, Izad Badiudeen and Dr. Hafrath.

The delegation reiterated its demand that the interests of the Muslim people need to be taken into discussion at the peace talks and they should have separate representation at the peace talks. They pointed out a recent statement by the LTTE’s political advisor that the Muslims do not need a separate political unit in Sri Lanka and that there is no need for a separate representation for Muslims, and said they were disheartened by that approach and disagreed with it.

The decision to meet the Norwegian envoy was made in an emergency meeting of the coalition earlier in the day at the parliament building, Mr. Hisbullah said.

Meanwhile, a meeting between Muslim representatives and the LTTE will be held Thursday morning in Vavunatheevu at the Batticaloa-Vavunatheevu divisional secretariat and the problems facing the Muslim people will be taken up at the meeting, sources said.

 

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