SLMC Displeased With Blake
US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake’s failure to meet with any Muslim political leaders during his recent visit to Sri Lanka is being criticized by the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC).
The SLMC High Command is to decide whether to officially raise objections with the US Embassy in Colombo on Blake’s failure to include a meeting with Muslim political leaders during his visit where attention was paid to finding a political solution to the ethnic issue.
According to SLMC sources, the party is considering commencing a campaign demanding that due recognition be given to the Muslim community when addressing the ethnic issue.
SLMC Leader Rauf Hakeem who was overseas returned to the country last Friday and the senior SLMC members were due to discuss the issue with him.
A majority of the SLMC maintains that the Muslim community cannot be ignored when finding a solution to the ethnic issue. SLMC Chairman and Deputy Minister Basheer Segudawood said the Muslim community has also been affected by the war and has the right to be part of the process of finding a political solution. He said even the international community needed to pay attention to the Muslim community on this matter. According to Segudawood, the party is to officially request the government to include Muslim representation in the discussions to solve the ethnic issue. The SLMC has also decided to participate in the proposed parliamentary select committee (PSC) to find a political settlement to the ethnic issue. Nevertheless, the SLMC is to agitate for the inclusion of the Muslim community in the process to find a political solution.
Now Mervyn Bans Beef In Gampaha District
Public Relations and Public Affairs Minister Mervyn Silva, who was in the center of a controversy last week by preventing animal sacrifices at the Munneswaran Kovil in Chilaw, has once again intervened to stop the slaughter of cows, this time in the Gampaha District.
Silva has banned the sale of beef in the meat stalls in the Gampaha District.
He has said that it was a sin to slaughter an animal that provided a great service to the country’s agriculture sector. Silva’s directive to stop the sale of meat in the district has affected meat stall owners who have expressed fear in violating the order, given the thuggery used by the Minister.
MP Mutuhettigama To Star With Anarkali
UPFA Galle District parliamentarian Nishantha Mutuhettigama has also made his film debut by acting in a movie next to actress turned politician, UPFA Southern Provincial Councilor Anarkali Akarsha.
Mutuhettigama is to appear in the movie, “Ethuma Saha Methuma” that is being produced by Nilwala Labels.
The parliamentarian had got the chance of acting in a movie when he had stopped his vehicle and walked up to a crowd on the road in the Hokandara area. Mutuhettigama had gone up to the crowd thinking it was a brawl.
However, it was when he walked up to them that he had realised they were shooting a scene from a film.
The film producers had then asked Mutuhettigama to act in a scene that was being filmed at the time. The movie is to be released in November.
Talks After Indian And US Pressure
Continuous pressure from India and the US has resulted in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) expressing its willingness to re-commence discussions with the government on finding a political solution to the ethnic issue and other problems faced by the Tamil community.
The TNA on Thursday (15) said that negotiations with the government were likely to re-commence and both parties returned to the discussion table on Friday (16). The Tamil media reported that the resumption of the discussion between the TNA and the government was following a meeting between TNA Leader R. Sampanthan and President Rajapaksa earlier in the month. The Indian government after encouraging the TNA to engage in a dialogue with the Sri Lankan government on the ethnic issue continued to ask the alliance to return to the discussion table after talks stalled a few months back.
Discussions between the government and the TNA came to a standstill following a dispute over the government’s failure to hand over its proposals to the ethnic issue in writing. The US has also requested the TNA to resume discussions with the government. US Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake, who was recently in Sri Lanka, was the first to announce the resumption of the dialogue between the government and the TNA. TNA sources said the party was requested by the US and India to resume talks with the government.