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The Sharia Law & the SLMC

“The SLMC was seen to be a party for the Muslims, when it emerged as a political party and contested the NE PC and the 1989 Parliamentary Elections. The SLMC election propaganda was intended for the Muslims community alone and the political climate that prevailed at that time facilitated Ashroff to draw a strong racial line. He had a lot of Tamil friends and clients in the Eastern Province and had realized that he should explain away his purpose of forming a Muslim political party to the Tamil people in general."

by S.M.M.Bazeer

“The primary function of democracy is not to elect good leaders, since nobody can predict in advance how a politician will perform. It is to eject leaders who have manifestly failed. The ability to remove leaders who turn out to be corrupt, dangerous, outrageously dishonest or manifestly incompetent is the primary privilege and duty of any democracy.

Anatole Kaletsky (Reject the failed statesman)


(May 09, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The SLMC claimed from their formation that the Quran and the Hadith were their party constitution but no party member had any idea whether the party had submitted any constitution when the party was registered as a political party with the Commissioner of Elections on 11th of February 1988. However the SLMC’s party Constitution was officially approved on the 5th July 1992. The SLMC constitution does not deal with the aspect of how a leader is elected or removed from leadership and the constitution has no mention about any disciplinary actions against the leader.

The Chapter 1 of the Constitution set out the Guidelines of the Party that:

1.3 The Holy Quran and the tradition of the Holy Prophet shall be the supreme guidelines of the party; the flag of the Party (1.6) and the party flag shall contain the words” La-ilaha-illalahu mohamadur-rasillulu” ( There is no God but Allah and Muhamed is his Prophet) and the party anthem shall be (1.7) “ “Bismilla Hirahmanir Raheem”.( In the name of the Most compassionate and the Most Merciful )

The SLMC party flag contains “Sahadah” which is also known as “Kalima Tayyab”, the declaration of belief. “Kalima Tayyab” is the acknowledgement of faith in Islam. A person cannot be considered to be a Muslim if he/she does not believe in the words of this “Kalima”. To become a Muslim, a person must say this “Kalima” with total belief. Another point about this Kalima is the name given to it, which is Tayyab. Tayyab means Purity. By uttering this “Kalima”, a person is purified from disbelief.”. The national flag of some of the Muslim countries or organizations like Hamas and Taliban exhibit “Shahadah” in their flags. Green Colour has been identified as the Colour of the Muslims although there is no compelling evidence to adopt green Colour. Nonetheless, the green silk garment is mentioned in Quran in Sura Al-Insan (76.21) and this seems to be the most important reason for choosing green. The SLMC flag also looks similar to the flags of the Islamic nation such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

It is interesting the Constitution of Saudi Arabia was also adopted by the Royal Decree of King Fahd in March 1992 and the SLMC officially approved their constitution in the same year in July. The Articles 1 and 3 of Chapter 1 of the Saudi constitution look more or less similar to that of the SLMC Article 1

Article 1 “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a sovereign Arab Islamic state with Islam as its religion; God's Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet

The state's flag shall be as follows:
(a) It shall be green.
(b) Its width shall be equal to two-thirds of it's length.
(c) The words "There is but one God and Mohammed is His Prophet" shall be inscribed in the center with a drawn sword under it.

Chapter 2 (g) of the SLMC constitution deals with the objective of the party:

(g) To preserve and promote Sharia Laws and encourage the members of the party and others to adopt the entire code of the Sharia Law in their private and community life.

The constitution also set out the Special powers of the leader:

“The leader shall be entitled to the exercise of special powers within the spirit of this Constitution and such powers inter alia shall include the following:

(A) Notwithstanding the powers conferred on the disciplinary committee and the other procedures set down for disciplinary action against any member of the Party; under extraordinary circumstances the Leader shall have the power to take any appropriate disciplinary action against any member of the Party with the objective of safeguarding the best interests of the Party.

(B) Any such decision made by the Leader shall be communicated to the Working Committee.

The SLMC was seen to be a party for the Muslims, when it emerged as a political party and contested the NE PC and the 1989 Parliamentary Elections. The SLMC election propaganda was intended for the Muslims community alone and the political climate that prevailed at that time facilitated Ashroff to draw a strong racial line. He had a lot of Tamil friends and clients in the Eastern Province and had realized that he should explain away his purpose of forming a Muslim political party to the Tamil people in general. When he first formed the Muslim Liberation Front along with Dr.Uthuma Lebbe and proctor Samsudeen, their political rivalries were major national parties and not the Tamil parties. They felt they were part of the Tamil speaking people and struck a deal with the TULF. When the MUF was disbanded Samsudeen joined the SLFP and became a strong critic of Ashroff. However Dr.Uthuma lebbe eventually joined up with Ashroff. He is currently contesting the Provincial council elections in the UPFA.

The SLMC was alleged to have forged the names of the Candidates in order to portray that there were Tamils and Sinhalese contesting under the SLMC. The Tamils and Sinhalese were not deluded by the trick of the SLMC. The author recalls that the Muslims in the Batticaloa District were made to believe that there was a Sinhalese also contesting from Mangalaoya, a boarder Sinhalese village of the Batticaloa District. There were a couple of Tamils who were frequently seen in the SLMC party office in Colombo in early 1990’s. O.A. Ramiah was said to be member of the SLMC and he worked at the party office as a clerical staff.

There was no Tamil or Sinhalese politburo member in the SLMC at any time. However some unconfirmed sources maintain that Asitha Perera was a politburo member although he was in the party for a short while. Soon after the parliamentary election in December 1989, Ashroff had his 9th annual party conference in Colombo on 7th January 1990 and thanked the people of all race and religion for their support

“We are grateful to the enthusiastic support extended to us by the people of this country irrespective of race or religion. We have always felt the divine help the right through this noble struggle”.

May Allah’s guidance be with all of us and our Muslims brethren in the other parties to gracefully come and join us?”. Thus Ashroff acknowledged that it was divine help that the SLMC were successful in the Parliamentary elections and invited only the Muslim brothers to join his party. This statement showed that he wanted support from all the people irrespective of their religion but not prepared to accommodate them as members of the party like the Muslims.

In the recent local government elections in the Eastern Province, two Sinhalese brothers in a family were elected to Eravur Pattu Pradesiya Sabha from Mangalagama.

Mudaiyansalage Dayananda was elected as a member of the UPFA whilst Mudaiyansalage Nanthasiri was elected as a member of the SLMC. Mudaiyansalage Nanthasiri may have not read the constitution of the SLMC but contested under the tree symbol and secured votes to represent the SLMC in the Eravur Pattu Pradesiya Sabha.

It is on record that Rauff Hakeem made a sarcastic remark about the President Mahinda Rajapaksha when he contested the Presidential election and described him as greenhorn who had had no experience in international politics. Later on 27th July 2006, he praised the President at the SLMC District Conference in Kurunagala(Kuliyapitiya)

“The SLMC campaigned against the President at the last Presidential Election though he invited us to join the Government. He had also signed a MoU with UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and got CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman and P. Chandrasekaran into the Government fold. All these show his political maturity. He is a good statesman who keeps the country before the Party. Majority of other leaders keep the party before the country`. The President wants to serve all the communities alike. For that, he seeks the co-operation of political parties. I can see a new political culture in the offing. We are unable to change the policies of the Government, So are our policies. However, The Government and the party have common policies on which we could work together.”

Hakeem has once again changed his position and reprimanded the President that he would put an end to his regime. He also vowed to bring his senior college mate (Royal college) Ranil Wickramsingha to power.

Former Eravur leader of the EROS and the current SLMC Chairman Segu Dawood Basheer and his minions were involved in serious human rights violations and also a Muslim Commissioner of Eravur Town Council was allegedly shot by the EROS and the crime has not been investigated by the authorities for about two decades. Segu Dawood and Abu Hanifa were in charge of the EROS activities in Eravur.

According to the Quran, war should have been waged against the LTTE when they expelled the Muslims from Mutur and Thoppur. When the Muslims were expelled from Muttur in 2006, Segu Dawood Basheer could not take up arms but his propensity to arms appeared obvious later when he took part in the Minnal Programme aired by Sakthi TV on 03 September 2006. “In the event of the government fails to ensure the safety of the Muslims and a situation arises where the Muslims would have to ensure their own safety, the leader of the SLMC, its Chairman , Secretary and all its party activists would take up arms. In such a situation not only the SLMC leadership but the entire Muslim community would have to follow suit”.

When Ashroff was in Mecca to perform UMRA in 2000 he urged Hisbullah and Hakeem to “relinquish their party positions immediately by sending their resignations to Mecca on the fax machine. Hakeem was perturbed as no reasons were given and when Ashroff spoke to him on telephone he did not question why but said that as Ashroff was due in Colombo the next day he would submit the resignation. ( Deshavemala- The Island 24th September 2004). Hakeem was not prepared to send his resignation letter to Mecca whilst Asitha Perera agreed to resign “without batting an eyelid.”

Ferial Ashroof seems to have annoyed by the SLMC propaganda that resurrect Ashroff for the Elections “You know whenever the SLMC is facing an election they come up with everything about Asraff. If you go to the eastern province you would find Ashraff on the walls. On TV, especially Shakthi TV you would find Ashraff talking about something or the other – old tapes that they are bringing out. Even the comparison “(The Nation) .

To Be Continued…
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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