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Why Are Muslim Ministers Betraying Muslim Interests in North-East?

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  • Hilmi Sulaiman
    do something to ignore or kick them out ... From: noor nizam To: lankamuslims@yahoogroups.com ; Sri Lanka Muslims Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 4:26 PM
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 2, 2007
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      do something to ignore or kick them out
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 4:26 PM
      Subject: Why Are Muslim Ministers Betraying Muslim Interests in North-East?

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,

      If this is true, what should the Muslim community at large, including the Sri Lankan Muslim diaspora do, Insha Allah?

      Noor Nizam
      Canada.

      Why Are Muslim Ministers Betraying Muslim Interests in North-East?

      November 1st, 2007
      by Ms. Fathima Mohamed
      There are 24 Muslim Members of Parliament, out of 225 in total. Eighteen of them hold ministerial portfolios. Every single Muslim political party-SLMC, ACMC, NUA, NMC, DUA-is in the government. Yet, ordinary Muslims in the north and east continue to suffer despite the parties relying primarily on vo tes from the East and the North. And all these ministers do nothing much to help. In fact, they assist a Sinhala racist government.
      Even Rauff Hakeem, the only Muslim politician to show any spine and stand up to the racist Rajapakse government, has joined it. He says he did so because four of his six MPs joined the government and gave him no choice. But this makes him a follower, not a leader!
      Together, these Muslim members of the government are serving as proxies to cover up the atrocities of the government against eastern Muslims and its larger agenda of SinhalisationLG of the east under the "Negenahira Navodaya" program. In the process, these Muslim parliamentarians are blocking justice for the people who elected them.
      Take the following incidents during the past year:
      During the August 2006 fighting in and around Mavil Aru, 54 innocent Muslim civilians were killed. Of this number, 49 died when the Sri Lankan military launched multi barrel rockets into civilian areas. It is true that the LTTE provoked the attack. But the government was informed of a large number of civilians being trapped in Mutur town. One wonders whether, if the civilians were Sinhalese, the government would have reacted in the same manner. To date the Muslim ministers have turned a blind eye to the government's responsibility for a major part of the destruction and killings in Muttur. ACMC politicians went a step further and ensured, through intimidation, that the Citizens' Committee for Victimized Muttur Muslims' effort to gather evidence to file a case against the government in this regard was stopped.
      It is still fresh in the minds of Muttur Muslims how they were forced out from Kanthale IDP camps by the military on September 07th 2006. Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Risath Bathiyutheen, was very proud that he was able to put the Muslims back in Muttur within a month, unlike the northern Muslims who still languish in temporary shelters 17 years after their eviction by LTTE.
      But these IDPs were hurriedly resettled because the government, particularly certain Sinhala extremist parties, did not want the displaced Muslims in Kanthale in the first place. Did these Muslim ministers ever bother to recognize under what condition these IDPs were forced back? Did they ever make an effort to negotiate with the government about their security, compensation and livelihood? Not at all. Instead, Non-cabinet Minister of Disaster Relief Services, Ameer Ali Sihabdeen, justified the government's refusal to register the Muttur Muslims as IDPs in Kanthale.
      This is the first time in the history of the conflict in Sri Lanka that a large number of IDPs belonging to one community has been denied registration of their IDP status while they were displaced. The agenda here was to prevent these IDPs staying in a Sinhala majority area for long. Bathiyutheen and Sihabdeen worked against the Muslims for the Rajapakse regime's Sinhala racist project.
      Today the Muttur Muslims' plight is pathetic. Apart from the meager compensation they received, their freedom of movement and right of access to basic facilities and livelihood is very much restricted. The heavy militarization of the civil administration in the Trincomalee district and the Sinhala colonization agenda pursued under the pretext of development and high security zones is turning a self sufficient and productive community into a poverty stricken and dependent population.
      In Arafat Nagar, Muslim farmers were evicted, on August 10th, just as they were about to harvest their crops. In Jabal Nagar 3rd mile post, a stone quarry that was the basis of income generation for 400 families has been declared a Buddhist shrine. Access to the sea, for fishermen, has been restricted from 350 km to a mere 2 km. A ceiling on the quantity of goods that can be carried in and out of Mutur has severely curtailed trade. All these acts by the Rajapakse regime have made it virtually impossible for the Mutur Muslims to earn a living.
      The situation is similar elsewhere in the east. On September 17th 2006, 10 construction labourers were brutally murdered in Radal Kulam (Radella - Pottuvil). There is substantial evidence that the killings wereLG done by a group of Sinhala home guards with the help of the Special Task Force. (There has also been a long drawn out conflict in the area between STF and the Muslim community over the STF wanting to control the lucrative timber business in Pottuvil.
      There are indications that the STF is being used to assist the government's long term LGplan of creating Sinhala colonies in land that has been Muslims for centuries.) Disgustingly, Muslim ministers rushed to cover up for government in the aftermath of this massacre. Minister of Water Supply and Drainage, A. L. M. Athaullah, forcibly interviewed the sole survivor of the massacre, Meera Mohideen, even though he was found not fit enough to talk to the Pottuvil Magistrate and anyone for that matter. Athaullah got himself into the intensive care unit of the hospital to take testimony.
      At this point, according to the doctors, Mohideen only could grunt due to a deep throat injury. The minister went on asking him whether the murderers were LTTE and his grunt was taken as a yes. This was videotaped and broadcast on all the state media as proof of STF innocence. Athaullah worked against the Muslims for this Sinhala racist project. Rauff Hakeem alone tried to raise awareness of the Pottuvil people’s view of STF’s involvement in the massacre. In retaliation, the government scaled down his security detail. None of the Muslim members of the government protested about this.
      Other incidents clearly bring out the current government agenda of Sinhalisation of the east. There is an ongoing attempt to steal the lands of the minority communities in the name of development, national security and protection of environment, especially in Muslim-majority Ampara district. It all started with the appointment of military officers to key administrative positions.
      In furtherance of their Sinhala racist policies, these officers even invented a new flag for the district, with the Sinhala lion emblem. The Muslim ministers have done nothing so far to make sure government does not proceed with its vicious plan of changing the ethnic demography of the east, or to prevent their community from becoming victims of all these vicious moves of this government. Aren't they all guilty of advancing the cause of Sinhala racist domination of Sri Lanka?
      Digawapiya Viharadhipathi Nannapurawe Buddharakkitha Thera recently issued a statement stating that 32 Muslim families should be evicted immediately since they occupy the Buddhist historic land that he claims totals up to 12,000 acres surrounding the Dighawapiya temple. He went on to state that Buddhist families should be settled to counter the fear of Muslim families acquiring historic Buddhist lands. Here one must remember the uphill struggle of late SLMC leader Ashraff of saving the traditional lands of Muslims.
      Unlike the current so-called leaders, Ashraff worked tirelessly for the community and opposed Sinhala domination. He even took special lessons in Sinhala to debate with Gangodawila Soma Thera over the issue of the Sinhala colonization of Digawapiya. Almost single-handedly, he helped his people save thousands of acres of their land. It is ironic that these Muslim party men and a woman who sprang from the SLMC now silently watch the current government reacquire the land that was allocated to the Muslims only due to the tireless efforts of their late leader. Our current crop of so-called leaders, who seem more interested in filling their pockets than serving the community, would do well to learn from his example. Their duty is to lead, not follow; and to oppose the Rajapakse regime's Sinhala racism, not enable it carry out racist policies.


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    • siraj ahmed
      Politician Bashing - Is it productive? We get a rush out of pointing out how screwed up our society is in the hands of our politicians or our leaders. Is there
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 17, 2007
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        Politician Bashing - Is it productive?
         
        We get a rush out of pointing out how screwed up our society is in the hands of our politicians or our leaders. Is there a purpose to it all?
         
        Let’s be honest with ourselves for a minute.

        The funny thing is – no matter our differences, there is one thing we all agree on. What ever is wrong with our country or our community, and opinions vary, we all know for certain that none of it is in any way our fault.

        Politicians are the most hated group in Sri Lanka today and it doesn’t really matter what party they belong to. But it seems time to ask the trillion dollar question here. What came first, the do-nothing blame-everyone chickens running our government, or the egg-headed idiots who keep electing them to office for all the wrong reasons?

        In a country designed to be run by, of and for the people, how is it we escape personal responsibility for the outcome of our own actions, or in the case of the mostly silent moral majority in our society, our inaction, and either way, the condition of our community?

        Kicking politicians is one of our favourite pastimes. But sooner or later, don't we have to claim personal responsibility for the country "we" were supposed to govern? It struck me recently that the only way we can blame politicians for everything is if we allow them to become responsible for controlling everything. Isn't this the cart ahead of the horse right from the start?

        We are supposed to be a "representative" government and those "representatives" must be held accountable for "representing" us, the people who elected them. But seriously, don't you think our current leaders are really no better or worse than the society who elected them, and therefore, really pretty "representative" of that society?

        My point isn’t that we should accept whatever the leadership we have. My point is - we must accept responsibility for our leaderships. Today, even people who believe that our leaders aren’t (or shouldn't be) in charge of anything, holding them responsible for everything, as though we had no part in the making of this mess.

        If we are to have any part in fixing this mess, we must first claim at least some personal responsibility for how we got here.
        The silent moral majority of Muslims can not remain silent and expect their interests to be represented by their leaders.

        Want to change the fate of our community? Start by accepting personal responsibility for where we are now and accept personal responsibility for fixing it.


        Siraj.


        Hilmi Sulaiman <hilmis@...> wrote:
        
        do something to ignore or kick them out
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Friday, November 02, 2007 4:26 PM
        Subject: Why Are Muslim Ministers Betraying Muslim Interests in North-East?

        Dear Brothers and Sisters,

        If this is true, what should the Muslim community at large, including the Sri Lankan Muslim diaspora do, Insha Allah?

        Noor Nizam
        Canada.

        Why Are Muslim Ministers Betraying Muslim Interests in North-East?

        November 1st, 2007
        by Ms. Fathima Mohamed
        There are 24 Muslim Members of Parliament, out of 225 in total. Eighteen of them hold ministerial portfolios. Every single Muslim political party-SLMC, ACMC, NUA, NMC, DUA-is in the government. Yet, ordinary Muslims in the north and east continue to suffer despite the parties relying primarily on vo tes from the East and the North. And all these ministers do nothing much to help. In fact, they assist a Sinhala racist government.
        Even Rauff Hakeem, the only Muslim politician to show any spine and stand up to the racist Rajapakse government, has joined it. He says he did so because four of his six MPs joined the government and gave him no choice. But this makes him a follower, not a leader!
        Together, these Muslim members of the government are serving as proxies to cover up the atrocities of the government against eastern Muslims and its larger agenda of SinhalisationLG of the east under the "Negenahira Navodaya" program. In the process, these Muslim parliamentarians are blocking justice for the people who elected them.
        Take the following incidents during the past year:
        During the August 2006 fighting in and around Mavil Aru, 54 innocent Muslim civilians were killed. Of this number, 49 died when the Sri Lankan military launched multi barrel rockets into civilian areas. It is true that the LTTE provoked the attack. But the government was informed of a large number of civilians being trapped in Mutur town. One wonders whether, if the civilians were Sinhalese, the government would have reacted in the same manner. To date the Muslim ministers have turned a blind eye to the government's responsibility for a major part of the destruction and killings in Muttur. ACMC politicians went a step further and ensured, through intimidation, that the Citizens' Committee for Victimized Muttur Muslims' effort to gather evidence to file a case against the government in this regard was stopped.
        It is still fresh in the minds of Muttur Muslims how they were forced out from Kanthale IDP camps by the military on September 07th 2006. Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services, Risath Bathiyutheen, was very proud that he was able to put the Muslims back in Muttur within a month, unlike the northern Muslims who still languish in temporary shelters 17 years after their eviction by LTTE.
        But these IDPs were hurriedly resettled because the government, particularly certain Sinhala extremist parties, did not want the displaced Muslims in Kanthale in the first place. Did these Muslim ministers ever bother to recognize under what condition these IDPs were forced back? Did they ever make an effort to negotiate with the government about their security, compensation and livelihood? Not at all. Instead, Non-cabinet Minister of Disaster Relief Services, Ameer Ali Sihabdeen, justified the government's refusal to register the Muttur Muslims as IDPs in Kanthale.
        This is the first time in the history of the conflict in Sri Lanka that a large number of IDPs belonging to one community has been denied registration of their IDP status while they were displaced. The agenda here was to prevent these IDPs staying in a Sinhala majority area for long. Bathiyutheen and Sihabdeen worked against the Muslims for the Rajapakse regime's Sinhala racist project.
        Today the Muttur Muslims' plight is pathetic. Apart from the meager compensation they received, their freedom of movement and right of access to basic facilities and livelihood is very much restricted. The heavy militarization of the civil administration in the Trincomalee district and the Sinhala colonization agenda pursued under the pretext of development and high security zones is turning a self sufficient and productive community into a poverty stricken and dependent population.
        In Arafat Nagar, Muslim farmers were evicted, on August 10th, just as they were about to harvest their crops. In Jabal Nagar 3rd mile post, a stone quarry that was the basis of income generation for 400 families has been declared a Buddhist shrine. Access to the sea, for fishermen, has been restricted from 350 km to a mere 2 km. A ceiling on the quantity of goods that can be carried in and out of Mutur has severely curtailed trade. All these acts by the Rajapakse regime have made it virtually impossible for the Mutur Muslims to earn a living.
        The situation is similar elsewhere in the east. On September 17th 2006, 10 construction labourers were brutally murdered in Radal Kulam (Radella - Pottuvil). There is substantial evidence that the killings wereLG done by a group of Sinhala home guards with the help of the Special Task Force. (There has also been a long drawn out conflict in the area between STF and the Muslim community over the STF wanting to control the lucrative timber business in Pottuvil.
        There are indications that the STF is being used to assist the government's long term LGplan of creating Sinhala colonies in land that has been Muslims for centuries.) Disgustingly, Muslim ministers rushed to cover up for government in the aftermath of this massacre. Minister of Water Supply and Drainage, A. L. M. Athaullah, forcibly interviewed the sole survivor of the massacre, Meera Mohideen, even though he was found not fit enough to talk to the Pottuvil Magistrate and anyone for that matter. Athaullah got himself into the intensive care unit of the hospital to take testimony.
        At this point, according to the doctors, Mohideen only could grunt due to a deep throat injury. The minister went on asking him whether the murderers were LTTE and his grunt was taken as a yes. This was videotaped and broadcast on all the state media as proof of STF innocence. Athaullah worked against the Muslims for this Sinhala racist project. Rauff Hakeem alone tried to raise awareness of the Pottuvil people’s view of STF’s involvement in the massacre. In retaliation, the government scaled down his security detail. None of the Muslim members of the government protested about this.
        Other incidents clearly bring out the current government agenda of Sinhalisation of the east. There is an ongoing attempt to steal the lands of the minority communities in the name of development, national security and protection of environment, especially in Muslim-majority Ampara district. It all started with the appointment of military officers to key administrative positions.
        In furtherance of their Sinhala racist policies, these officers even invented a new flag for the district, with the Sinhala lion emblem. The Muslim ministers have done nothing so far to make sure government does not proceed with its vicious plan of changing the ethnic demography of the east, or to prevent their community from becoming victims of all these vicious moves of this government. Aren't they all guilty of advancing the cause of Sinhala racist domination of Sri Lanka?
        Digawapiya Viharadhipathi Nannapurawe Buddharakkitha Thera recently issued a statement stating that 32 Muslim families should be evicted immediately since they occupy the Buddhist historic land that he claims totals up to 12,000 acres surrounding the Dighawapiya temple. He went on to state that Buddhist families should be settled to counter the fear of Muslim families acquiring historic Buddhist lands. Here one must remember the uphill struggle of late SLMC leader Ashraff of saving the traditional lands of Muslims.
        Unlike the current so-called leaders, Ashraff worked tirelessly for the community and opposed Sinhala domination. He even took special lessons in Sinhala to debate with Gangodawila Soma Thera over the issue of the Sinhala colonization of Digawapiya. Almost single-handedly, he helped his people save thousands of acres of their land. It is ironic that these Muslim party men and a woman who sprang from the SLMC now silently watch the current government reacquire the land that was allocated to the Muslims only due to the tireless efforts of their late leader. Our current crop of so-called leaders, who seem more interested in filling their pockets than serving the community, would do well to learn from his example. Their duty is to lead, not follow; and to oppose the Rajapakse regime's Sinhala racism, not enable it carry out racist policies.

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