Fmr SLMC leader M.H.M. Ashraff admired racial harmony - M. M. Zuhair PC | Daily News

Fmr SLMC leader M.H.M. Ashraff admired racial harmony - M. M. Zuhair PC

Former President J.R. Jayawardene in 1987 merged the Eastern Province with the North under Indian pressure. The then leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) M.H.M. Ashraff and the Muslims in the country did not agree to the merger, President’s Counsel M. M. Zuhair, former Member of Parliament said.

He was addressing the 20th Ashraff Memorial Meeting held at the Abdul Majeed Hall, Sammanthurai recently.

“Because of the forced merger, new demands of a separate council for Muslims emerged at that time. If not for the SLMC led by Marhoom Ashraff, the LTTE would have succeeded in its Eelam objective far more early than its final defeat in 2009. Eastern Muslims paid a heavy price at the hands of the LTTE in 1989-90 for not supporting the division of the country,” he said.

“Muslims of Sri Lanka or the SLMC and its then leader Ashraff never supported separatism or the LTTE’s 30-year-struggle to establish an Eelam administration. Ashraff and the Muslims were opposed to the division of the country. It was the United Nations that created the first race-based state - Israel - seven decades ago in multi-ethnic Palestine. There is no place for other races in today’s Israel. It is today a land only for one race. Muslims of Sri Lanka did not want the country divided or to see the creation of a state for one race. Nevertheless, Ashraff saw devolution of power as the political answer to the LTTE. Devolution is the only way today to win the peace,” Zuhair PC added.

“Ashraff’s patriotic role during the 30-year-armed conflict will never be forgotten. He was however never opposed to the genuine aspirations of the Tamil people in the country,” he said.

Zuhair PC said MP Sumanthiran referred to the need for the unity of the Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala people, particularly in the East. Muslims will strongly support such moves.

The meeting presided by Professor Rameez Abdullah was addressed by Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP M.A. Sumanthiran PC, former MP and Sammanthurai Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman A.M.M. Naushad and Deshamanya Irshad A. Cader. The meeting was organized by the Humanitarian Welfare Council of Sammanthurai and the Deshamanya Irshad A. Cader Welfare Forum of Sammanthurai.