try to bury the hatchet
By Nilika Kasturisinghe
Following Friday's court order on the SLMC crisis, Minister Rauff
Hakeem continues to be the leader of the SLMC. The Athaullah faction
obtained an enjoining order from the District Court, against Mr.
Hakeem upholding the position that the latter has been suspended
from the party. But the enjoining order was suspended and Mr. Hakeem's
leadership was upheld.
faction then tried to canvass the order made by the District Judge
suspending the enjoining order issued earlier. That was rejected
and they were back to their old position with Hakeem as the leader.
While the main
facilitator in the SLMC rift, Faiz Mustapha, Sri Lanka's High Commissioner
to the UK is to leave the country this weekend, disputed SLMC leader
Rauf Hakeem confirmed that a meeting between the two factions was
in the offing.
are working on a settlement, and the need to bury the hatchet and
preserve the unity is being emphasised,' he said. A meeting between
the two factions ought to take place in the next few days, Mr. Hakeem
said, expressing hope that at this meeting the two sides could discuss
and arrive at a compromise which will not jeopardise the need to
have strong party structures.
Mr. Hakeem presently
being condemned by his rivals for his authoritarian role told The
Sunday Times, "In the guise of wanting to have more consultation
with the party rank there is a move to dilute the powers of the
party leader which might not augur well for the party."
The need to
come together without laying down conditions was stressed by the
SLMC leader who was presented with a charge sheet of 37 items, by
the Athaullah faction. The case pertaining to the leadership crisis
in the SLMC was taken up on Friday, with the Appeal Court upholding
the decision of the District Court to remove the restraining order
on Rauff Hakeem acting in the capacity of SLMC leader.
is preparing to outdo his rivals show in Nintavur when he holds
a public rally there tomorrow. Party General Secretary T. Hassan
Ali told The Sunday Times this will be a 'big show'. Denying claims
by the rival camp that 6,000 people had attended last week's meeting,
he said when Mr. Subairdeen was addressing the meeting only 172
people were there alongside 300 police and STF cadres.
The SLMC delegates
conference is to be held next month, he confirmed. In the Hakeem
camp, MP Basheer Segu Dawood who was initially appointed Secretary
General of the SLMC, following the suspension of Dr. A.L.M. Haffrath,
was obliged to step down before 12 hours passed and was replaced
by Mr. Hassan Ali from Ampara.
by The Sunday Times Mr. Segu Dawood said he had resigned because
of pressure of work. He also expressed the need to speak to the
rival camp, "We also like to talk to Athaullah's group, but
they must come with no demands" he said.
elected SLMC Secretary General Dr. A.L.M. Haffrath issued a notice
to the party organisers and supporters informing them of the expulsion
"I am requesting
our branch offices not to organise meetings or follow brother Rauff
Hakeem's instruction without consulting me. You all are well aware
that brother Rauff Hakeem has been expelled from the leadership
of the Party High command of the SLMC," the notice stated.
It further stated,
"The time has come for us to march forward with our struggle
to win our rights. For this the co-operation of our branches and
the supporters is required, as such, refrain from organising party
branch offices, appointment of new office bearers, organising meetings
and discussions until further notice and without the party's consent."
At an emergency
meeting held on December 11 a discussion took place on the agreement
reached at the Oslo Peace Conference for the formation of a federal
set-up to solve the ethnic problem of the country.
faction is organising a conference of political analysts and thinkers
to discuss and then advise the SLMC on a workable formula to safeguard
the interests of the Muslims, particularly the Muslims of the North
For this purpose
an Advisory Council comprising 18 members headed by former Senator
Al-Haj. S.Z.M. Mashoor Moulana has been appointed. Minister of Wanni
Rehabilitation Noordeen Mashoor in a statement issued this week
said "Like all other communities in this country the Muslims
too are entitled to enjoy such facilities as are provided to the
Tamils in the Eastern Province. Our struggle is to achieve these
All Ceylon Muslim Congress has condemned the moves to create confusion
in the SLMC at a crucial time for the Muslim community by disrupting
and preventing the participation of a Muslim representative at the
Oslo peace talks. The ACMC called on UNP Minister M.H. Mohamed to
represent the community at all future conferences pertaining to
the future of the Muslim people of the North and East.