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Bold but very much belated step

By A.A.M.NIZAM Matara.

Since the day one of the institution of the present government the political minion Mr. Rauf Hakeem had put the Muslim community into utter disrepute by his various unrealistic, unwarranted demands and personal pomposity. By holding the government to ransom, he was attempting to pale the immense contributions made by the great Muslims political leaders such as Sir Marcan Markar, Sir Razik Fareed, Dr. Badi-ud-din Mahmoud, Dr. T.B.Jayah and even Mr. Ashroff, to consolidate national unity, social integrity, and communal harmony in this country.

The National Unity Alliance under which he managed to get elected, because of the inapt proportionate system, secured only 197,983 votes in the last general election throughout the island. This is only a fraction of the Muslim community votes, and Minister Fawzie received more than half of the total NUA votes (100,900 votes) from the Colombo District alone. Muslims in many of the electorates either voted for P.A. or the UNP or even JVP, and they did not even see the hue of this so-called self-proclaimed Muslim leader.

He started with his infamous 100 day ultimatum, then unrealistic demands for ministerial portfolios, diplomatic appointments, top posts in the government sector etc. etc. etc. None of these demands were for the benefit, progress, or salvage of the Muslim community but were merely to appease and pacify his henchmen.

When the whole Muslim community sincerely appreciated the prompt action taken and efforts made by the President to quell the spread of violence and diffuse tension following the unfortunate incident in Mawanella, Mr. Hakeem tried to make personal political mileage out of the misery of the affected people.

He made utterly irresponsible statements and even belittled the generous contributions made by the President on behalf of the government to renovate the damages caused to places of religious worship.

He announced that he himself is opening a Fund by contributing Rs. 100,000. Even an ordinary uneducated Muslim would not have behaved in this manner at a crucial time like this. Yet the President was very tolerant.

When the UNP is trying to diffuse its internal crisis of trifurcation into Ranil Goup, Athukorale-Jayasuriya Group, and Moragoda Group by presenting various anti-government motions as a measure to hold their members united, Mr. Hakeem once again had been trying to demand his pound of flesh.

He is reported to have held even secret consultations with the UNP, and have made irresponsible public statements denouncing the Government, while being in the Government.

No Government would have tolerated even an ordinary member to utter nonsense in this manner within or outside its ranks.

The bold but very much belated decision taken by the President to sack Mr. Hakeem from the Govenrnment would certainly be acclaimed by majority of Sri Lankans, especially the Muslim community as it puts a seal to pawning the whole Muslim community to one man's benefit, and pomp.

It is time now for Mrs. Farial Ashroff, leader of the NUA, to do the needful to appoint a suitable and responsible member as its representative in the Parliament.

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