SLMC continues to lament over Separate Muslim Delegation

May 21 (IL) Sri Lanka’s predominant Muslim party, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) has stressed the need for a separate Muslim delegation at peace talks, so that the aspirations and security of the Muslim community could be safeguarded, if the government decides to set up the LTTE demanded Interim Self Governing Authority (ISGA). SLMC Leader Rauff Hakeem expressed this need when he met with Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi early this week.

The SLMC Leader pointed out to the Japanese Envoy that, “If the affected communities are represented at the peace discussions, then they could reach a balanced consensus on the structure, which would be practical to all communities living in the North and East,”. Who in response agreed to Hakeem’s view.

Mr. Hakeem also reminded that one of the ten conditions to the Sri Lankan Government by the donor nations was the inclusion of a separate Muslim delegation at peace talks, during the Tokyo Aid Conference held last year.

He also noted that even though the new Government when in the Opposition severely criticized the way the previous United National Front Government handled the peace process, the present Government seem to have take a much more hard line stand and agreed to discuss only the ISGA when peace talks resume, thus sidelining other issues related to the rights of the other communities affected.