SLMC to meet on April 15:
Hassan Ali’s removal of powers to be discussed
The politburo of the Sri Lanka Muslims Congress (SLMC) will meet on
April 15 at ‘Darussalam’, the party headquarters, where issues
surrounding the removal of powers vested with the Secretary General
Hassan Ali would be taken up for discussion.
Party insiders told the Sunday Observer that members of both factions
have expressed dismay over the prevailing intra-party rivalry.
“The SLMC has lost a great deal of credibility due to its factional
in-fighting and opportunism,” party sources said. “The sole reason the
party is stable now, is because of the foundation that the late founder
M.H.M Ashraff laid.”
Sources said internal dissensions and defections were not new but it
had increased after Rauff Hakeem took over as the leader.
Referring to one of the contentious issues, the source added that the
fact that Basheer Segu Dawood and Rauff Hakeem do not mutually agree and
that complicates matters. Issues include contesting elections in the
past and recently, the call from Dawood for a separate Muslim province.
“Dawood has become unpopular in the party after he called for a
separate state for Muslims,” he said. “It remains to be seen what action
or recommendations would be put forth at this high-command meeting,”he
SLMC Secretary General, Hassan Ali who boycotted the annual national
convention because his powers were stripped said an amicable solution
was not reached.
“I didn’t want to attend the convention because I had expected a
solution or a discussion which has not happened.”
Party sources who did not want to be named, have repeatedly inquired
as to why Hassan Ali had not come forth with these claims in December
last year when his powers were stripped. “There have been several
meetings since then, but Hassan Ali never mentioned it then,” the source
said. A high-command member who did not wish to be identified said most
issues could be resolved through discussion, if the leader was open to
The sources added that the suspension of the two Moulavis after they
raised concern with the All Ceylon Jamiyyathul Ulama (ACJU) was a bitter
experience. “The leader feared that there was a coup against him, when
in reality the two members were seeking an opinion from the ACJU,” he
“There is a difference of opinion on the matter but the fact remains
that no one in the party is allowed constitutionally to take decisions
on his own.” SLMC Deputy Secretary General and Mayor of Kalmunai,
M.Nizam Kariapper said “There was strong suspicion that external
factions were using the Secretary General Hassan Ali to weaken the
He added that the SLMC did not want to go public with internal issues
because they wanted to safeguard the party from a split.
Party sources said Minister Rauff Hakeem prior to leaving for China
visited every district to seek the views of party supporters. “He went
around the country; wanting to know how every party rank and file felt
about this matter.” “The late Ashraff was an exemplary leader because he
not only called for our suggestions but always prayed before making a
decision,” he said. “He lived up to the party’s core principles that all
decisions should emanate from the Quran, Hadiths and teachings of the
He said that the party was loosing its grip on the core values which
it had built.