Muslims have awakened far too late
- Muslims have awakened far too late - Hashim/ Musthafa
Bandula Jayasekara in Colombo, SLT 7.35 A.M Friday 24 June 2005. United National Party Parliamentarian and Member of the Political Affairs Committee, Kabir Hashim says that Muslims have woken up far too late to oppose the proposed joint mechanism with the LTTE. He said there should have been Muslim representation at the point of discussion and what the President had done was to prepare and show the document to the LTTE.
"It is the failure of the Muslim ministers in the government, Ferial Ashraff, A. L. M. Athaullah and A. H. M Fowzie. They are a part of the government. They made a public statement two weeks ago that they would support the mechanism and now they are objecting to it at the 11th hour saying it's not fair and so on. You cannot blame SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem for it because he is not in the government. Therefore the ministers must take the blame", Hashim said.
The UNP Member of Parliament also said that the Muslims must play a role in the signing the joint mechanism and also in the implementation. "Since the beginning the President has not given intricate details. We know only on the surface and we don't know what is in it and the President need to explain it". he added. Kabir Hashim pointed out that the United National Party cannot take a clear stand because the party didn't know how power would devolve. He said it all depends on the type of mechanism and it should have some base on the Oslo/Tokyo declaration to safeguard the Muslim and Sinhalese interest.
Eminent lawyer, Presidents Counsel Faiz Musthafa accused the Muslims of not getting their act together. "They are divided. At least now they must get together and work on the issue. There is a need for a mechanism but, the Muslim leaders have woken up far too late" Musthafa lamented.
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