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Sunday, 19 July 2015

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Kalmunai, a separate administrative district - Hasan Ali

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is currently working out a manifesto that reflects political, social and religious aspirations of the Muslim community, SLMC General Secretary and State Minister M.T.Hasan Ali said.

T. Hasan Ali
                                             (ytimg.com)

It will take about a week for this process to be completed, he said adding that the basic aspirations of the SLMC are also reflected in the MOU that was signed recently with the United National Party (UNP).

The SLMC is contesting the Vanni and Batticaloa electoral districts on its party symbol 'Tree' while contesting the Kandy, Digamadulla, Trincomalee, Kurunegala, Puttlam, Gampaha and Kalutara Districts on the UNP's 'Elephant' symbol. Explaining the salient features of the SLMC election manifesto, on issues to be addressed and partly incorporated into the MOU with the UNP -Hasan Ali said the incumbent government of six months has not been stable and, due to that, they have only been able to prepare the background for all basic requirements of the Muslim community and the possible ways and means of resolving them.

Unlike the previous government, the future government that would be formed after the August 17 polls will not be a hardline government and the problems of the Muslims would be addressed systematically with a sense of fairness, he noted.

He said there had been unlawful takeovers of land belonging to the Muslims of the East which are seriously disputed by the affected people, massive files containing documents to support their claims over the respective lands have now been handed over to the Prime Minister for necessary action. The PM has accepted the SLMC request to appoint a Special Task Force with extra-ordinary powers to handle the matter of land restitution.

Grievances

"It is only a matter of time. Once the new national government is formed, matters will start moving with regarding to addressing the problems and grievances of the Muslims.

"After I became the State Minister of Health, I visited virtually all hospitals in the North and East and submitted to the Minister a detailed report on shortcomings that need immediate redress. The Minister has consented to take necessary measures," he noted. Hasan Ali further said that requests have also been made, followed by discussions, on the release of enhanced funds to the North and Eastern Provincial Councils to address a number of issues and a consensus has already been reached on this.

"Three-phase talks were held on the lands of Muslims that have been unlawfully taken over and a consensus was reached on settling the problem. These were ministry level talks.

Talks with the Premier were held on establishing an additional Administrative District for Kalmunai and assurance has been given that this request will be fulfilled once the new government is formed after the elections.

All these will form part of the SLMC's election manifesto, State Minister Hasan Ali said.

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