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Vigneswaran vows to lend a hand to the Tamil-speaking-Muslims

(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Delivering a speech at the ‘Ezhuga Tamil’ (Arise Tamil) rally in Batticaloa, on Friday (10th February), C V Vigneswaran, the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, brought to light the hardships the Tamil speaking Muslim community had to face during the years of war. He added that he will work to give them proper political representation and better standard of life in the majority Tamil speaking regions.

He ruefully acknowledged that “unfortunate incidents” had been done against them with lasting effects. However, he neither specified these incidents nor did he proceed to extend any apology on behalf of the state.

On 3rd August 1990, the LTTE massacred 143 Muslims while they were praying in the Kattankudy mosque in Batticaloa. In October that year, around 80,000 Muslims were ordered to leave the Northern Province with just 24-hour’s notice by the LTTE.

Vigneswaran made a plea for the Tamils and Muslims to set aside their differences and to form a united front against the Sinhala ‘majoritarianism’, citing that Muslims had always entered politics via Tamil parties, such as MHM Ashraf, who attended the Tamil United Liberation Front’s Vaddukoddai conference in 1976. He also alleged that Muslim leader have been won over to the ‘Sinhala parties’ by offering ministerial positions over the years.

He also requested them to fight for a Federal Government, despite the ‘Sinhala administration’ insisting that it did not comply with the mandatory referendum. He stressed that his party requested for a Federal system along the lines of the one In Switzerland, and not total independence.

In addition, Vigneswaran questioned why the Armed Forces still occupy a large portion of the people’s lands, affecting their livelihood, in the Nothern and Eastern Provinces. “The Prevention of Terrorism Act is not repealed as promised”, he observed adding that the Office of Missing Persons is yet to be established. (Courtesy – FP)

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