Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 10 April 2016





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SLMC to meet on April 15:

Hassan Ali’s removal of powers to be discussed

Hassan Ali Rauff Hakeem

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 said.

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 discussion.

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 said.

“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 party.”

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 Prophet.”

He said that the party was loosing its grip on the core values which it had built.


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