- Created on Monday, 24 September 2012 12:43
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The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress has declared that its decision to support the SLFP-led United People’s Freedom Alliance to form the Eastern Provincial Council was a collective decision taken by the party.
Addressing the media conference held at the SLMC headquarters, ‘Darussalam’, yesterday the General Secretary of the party Hassen Ali countered allegations that SLMC leader Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem had taken a unilateral decision against the wishes of some members of the party. They denied reports of serious discontent among members due to the SLMC siding with the UPFA, while reiterating their commitment to the ruling coalition.
Hassen Ali said that the SLMC had secured two thirds of the Muslim vote in the Eastern province and therefore it had every right to reach an understanding with the UPFA on behalf of the Muslim community.
He said that his party decided to throw its weight behind the ruling coalition at the EPC after careful consideration of all relevant issues, and President Mahinda Rajapaksa has promised to address their grievances in line with an understanding reached between the two parties.
Hassan Ali further said although the Tamil National Alliance also invited them to explore the possibility of forming the Eastern provincial council their priority, however, was an arrangement with the UPFA, due to SLMC being a constituent party of the UPFA.
He said that that talks on formation of EPC involved several ඵinisters, including UPFA General Secretary Minister Susil Premjayanth, SLFP General Secretary Minister Maithripala Sirisena, and Ministers, Basil Rajapaksa, Dallas Alahapperuma, Nimal Siripala de Silva and Anura Priyadarshana Yapa.(niz)