Sri Lanka

SLMC Leader accused of deal maker with gov

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) stripped Minister of Environment Naseer Ahamed of his party membership. The decision was taken at a meeting of the party convened on Friday (April 22), as per Ada Derana.

However Minister Naseer Ahamed and other MPs in damning letter hit back at SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem and exposed the real circumstances that led him to support the ruling SLPP, Colombo Times reports.

On Friday, the SLMC at its high command meeting chaired by Rauf Hakeem decided to sack Ahamed from the membership due to disciplinary grounds 

In an open letter sent in response to the announcement made by the SLMC, Minister Naseer Ahamed said on Monday April 25 :

“It is the Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) Kandy district MP Rauff Hakeem who got me, the only MP elected to the present Parliament on the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) ticket to work with the present party in power the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) in October 2020, within two months of the SLPP winning the 5th August 2020 general elections. How can he mislead the country by claiming that I have been suddenly expelled from the SLMC without any duly constituted inquiry?

Can he deny that, he together with his friend who is presently Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in a neighbouring country negotiated with His Excellency The president Gotabaya Rajapaksa without the approval of the SLMC or SJB and came to certain understanding with the SLPP elected President?

Can he deny that in consequence thereof President’s brother Mr Basil Rajapaksa had an hour long meeting at Rauff Hakeem’s Carnival office on 18th October 2020 at which at Hakeem’s request I and HMM Harees, Faizal Cassim and Thowfeek MP’s attended and wanted us to vote for the 20th Amendment and work with the SLPP, though he cannot do so because of the SJB leadership and his Kandy district SJB slot?

I agreed because the people had sent the SLPP to Parliament with a resounding victory and it was essential in the interests of my voters in the provincial district of Batticaloa that I work with the government in power to get essential relief to the electorate. I accordingly voted for the 20th Amendment trusting the elected political leadership. Under pressure from the SJB he called for my explanation  but did not pursue further action as he knew that he Hakeem is the one who wanted me to work with the SLPP.

Now suddenly he claims to have sacked me from the SLMC for voting in favour of the Budget in Parliament last year on 3rd November 2020, that too, after the President invited me to join the Cabinet and to assist him in resolving urgent national problems, which I have accepted in the national interest.

I have so far not received any communication on the alleged expulsion without any inquiry and will respond appropriately if and when received.”

Minister Ahamed was sworn in his ministerial portfolio on the 18th of April, along with 16 other new Cabinet Ministers.

He also endorsed the 20th Amendment to the Constitution and voted in favour of the Budget 2022.

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