Presidential Elections & the Muslims - 020110
I Will Provide All the Rights to Muslims According to Constitution – General Fonseka
Tuesday, 15 December 2009 19:45
“I will take all the necessary steps to provide the Muslims with all their rights in this country according to the constitution and if necessary adding some new laws” said the presidential candidate General Sarath Fonseka when addressing the Muslim ulemas. General Sarath Fonseka made a visit to the head office of All Ceylon Jamiethul Ulema to get the blessings of the Muslim Ulemas last Thursday. General Fonseka when addressing at the meeting presided by the president of Jamiethul Ulema Moulavi Rizvi Mufthi said that he knew the different problems the Muslims of this country were facing and he would take necessary action to solve them when elected to power.
“The Muslims of this country faced immense problems and difficulties due to the war. Thousands of Muslims were chased out from the north and the east and they are still living in IDP camps without being resettled. I like to mention firmly at this prestigious meeting that I will resettle all of them in their own places when I come to power” asserted the general.
He said that some Muslim politicians were trying to portray him as the enemy of the Muslims accusing him of having mentioned that this country belong only to the Sinhalese. “I said that the Sinhalese kings ruled this country for a long period and the people of other communities assisted them and this was twisted by the media” said general Fonseka.
The general further said that all the communities in this country would be treated as equal and he would make ways for the Sinhalese, Tamil and the Muslim communities to live in peace with unity and equal rights.
Over 90 Percent Muslims Will Vote for President - Risarth Bathiutheen
Friday, 18 December 2009 14:27
Minister of Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Risath Bathiutheen claimed that 90% of Muslims will vote for President Mahinda Rajapaksa at the forthcoming Presidential Election for the President has done his duty by the country and the Muslim community.He expressed his views while participating at the handing in of President Mahinda Rajapaksa's nomination papers to contest the upcoming presidential election at the Election Secretariat, Rajagiriya, Colombo. He said t the future of LTTE terrorism has been sealed after 30 years and LTTE leader Prabhakaran has gone forever. ”President stands out as the only President who defeated LTTE terrorism to unify the country taking control of all territories, thus preserving the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he noted.Ali Zahir MoulanaThe year was 2004. Ali Zahir Moulana had a big grievance.An election pact that the UNP had entered into with the SLMC for the April 2004 polls had killed his chances of contesting parliamentary elections. When asked about the agreement on the eve of the polls he told Daily Mirror that ‘the UNP had sold the sole rights of Eastern Muslims to the SLMC’.It was the second blow in the political career of the UNP MP from Batticaloa. The first came in December 2001. Moulana was banking heavily on the Tamil vote and a blockage of Tamil votes from uncleared areas saw him losing the seat. Immediately after the polls Moulana filed a case in the Appeal Court alleging that the then Deputy Minister of Telecommunication M.L.A.M. Hisbullah had blocked the Tamil civilians from entering cleared areas resulting in the UNP losing a seat to the PA. Moulana produced nearly 5000 affidavits from the Tamils in the uncleared areas claiming they were to vote for him. It was of no avail to him though. However due to the case many came to know about his links with those in the uncleared areas and the LTTE Eastern leadership. The UNP sponsored peace process in 2002 saw him consolidating his ties with Karuna. Following the 2004 polls, which he failed to contest, Moulana was offered a national list slot by the UNP.So for anybody who was monitoring Moulana’s political moves it did not come as a surprise when it was made public that it was he who brought Karuna to Colombo from the East, taking a huge risk.
Also it is not that difficult to figure out the role that Moulana has been assigned in the presidential and parliamentary polls. While the muscle power of the TMVP ensured a victory for the government at the Eastern Provincial polls in 2008, everyone knows that the peaceful environs have changed the mindset of the people today. The TMVP or the ‘boys’ have lost their clout. Chief Minister Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan is almost emasculated. On the other, Easterners are sick of Karuna for his merry making in Colombo. This disillusionment is also shared by Muslims who feel that that they have been repeatedly misled by leaders from both sides of the divide.
In this political vacuum a rather sophisticated politician who used to be equally popular among the Muslims and Tamils stands a reasonable chance of being welcomed. The five year break which detaches him from the political mess that followed the liberation of the Eastern province too will be to his advantage.
Moulana’s return has triggered a wave of speculation among the political circles. The thinking of the opposition is that he has been brought to break the SLMC dominance in the Muslim areas in the East. One may say that Moulana is not the ideal candidate for what he has been tasked with. However no one disagrees that the East is in need of informed, sophisticated politicians instead of the present lot of mavericks.
I Was Betrayed by Party Leader, Says Ali Zahir Moulana
By Sandun A Jayasekera
Former UNP Parliamentarian Ali Zahir Moulana who left the country under controversial and suspicious circumstance in 2004 with the alleged involvement of whisking down then LTTE eastern Commander Vinayagamoorthi Muralidarana alias Karuna to Colombo yesterday charged that he was betrayed by the party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe after he accomplished the mission on the instructions of Mr. Wickremesinghe.
Addressing a media briefing at the Mahaweli Centre yesterday Mr. Moulana said when he confided Karuna’s intentions to come to the democratic process to the then Prime Minister Mr. Wickremesinghe. The advice I got was to ‘Keep the door open for Karuna’. “This was in April, 2004. The situation was tense and precarious. The LTTE was violating the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) freely. To make it worse the SLMC was bent on attacking people and on one occasion injured 250 civilians. I was an MP in Batticaloa District but helpless.
Karuna Amman had denounced violence and left the ranks and file of the LTTE. He had been depleted, side lined and was under the threat of the LTTE. It was a no win situation. Even the International Community could not do anything about it. Ultimately, we were able to arrange a safe passage for Karuna to come to Colombo as wanted by Mr. Wickremesinghe. Even President Chandrika Kumaratunga did not have a clue about this. But after I brought him to Colombo the government deserted me and I with my family (wife and two children) was in extreme danger. I could not go back to Batticaloa either. So I decided to leave the country on my own wish without anyone’s help. I left the country with my family on April 10, 2004,” Mr. Moulana said.
He said he decided to support President Mahinda Rajapaksa as he is the only leader who could bring a new lease of life to the Muslims in particular and to the entire country as a whole.