The transport minister Mr. A. H. M. Fowzie in an interview published in  "The Sunday Leader" of July 12 has said that the ethnic communities in Sri Lanka have no grievances. He has also said that the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress( SLMC) of Mr. Ashraff is a communal party. When he was asked what he thinks of the line taken by Mr. S. Thondaman, Mr. Fowzie replied, "I also tell the same thing, what I told about the SLMC".

We are not reporting this with the intention of justifying our stand that there are no grievances as far as the ethnic communities are concerned, with a statement by Mr. Fowzie. We do not agree with him in general, and being a politician it is quite possible that he might change his views on this question in the future.

The interview only reveals the differences of opinion in the PA cabinet. On the issue of grievances Mr. Fowzie is not in agreement with Ms. Kumaratunga and Dr. G. L. Peiris as well who talk of historical injustices to the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

The PA and the UNP have mentioned these so-called injustices in their manifestoes in order to gain the Tamil vote at the elections and to win the vote of the Tamil parties in the parliament. Mr. Fowzie at least for the moment seems to be thinking that the Muslim vote can be gained even after denying that the ethnic communities have grievances!