Muslims party mad at Balasingham's utterance

Apr 1 (InfoLanka) The Ashraff Congress yesterday came out strongly against a recent statement made by LTTE theoretician Anton Balasingham where he rejected tripartite talks and thereby the Muslim plea for an independent delegation at the peace talks.

They urged Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to respond immediately to this statement by Anton Balasingham.

Leader of the Congress S. Subairdeen appealed to Muslims living in the North and East to be alert to the danger of the LTTE betraying them on the crucial question of sharing power. He also called upon the Premier to guarantee the participation of an independent Muslim delegation at the next round of talks, as assured by the government earlier. "This statement by the LTTE theoretician has come as a rude shock to the Muslims of the North-East."

"We are seriously disturbed that this statement has come at a time of critical importance to finding a lasting peace to the ethnic conflict involving the three major communities, namely the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims," he said.

We wish to draw the attention of the LTTE that the educated Muslim youths in the East are fully watchful of the growing indifferences to the Muslims amongst sections of the LTTE leadership. We appeal to the leader of the LTTE not to think of all Muslims as purchasable or disposable commodities in their newfound international market, an assessment sometimes not without justification when considering the stance taken by some Muslim leaders. That would be a grave error of judgment in respect of the Muslim community as a whole, the congress stated.

"We wish to remind the LTTE, that they cannot claim sole credit for bringing to power the present government, which had lost a series of elections. But credit must also be given to the Muslims for bringing this government to power," he said.

"How can the Muslims who have been suffering for long under the dictates of armed Tamil groups, ever expect the LTTE to share power when they refuse today to sit with them for talks or respect them as an independent group?" the party queried.

If the struggle of the LTTE, is to guarantee that the future of the Tamils of this country are decided by the Tamil people, how can the LTTE expect the Muslims of the North-East to allow it, however well-meaning they may be, to decide the destiny of the Muslims?, the congress queried.