Monday, 23 September 2013 01:08
Secures seats on all three Provincial Councils; Hails UPFA, TNA for their victories
Following is the statement issued by Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader and Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem MP thanking voters for their support at the provincial council elections.
I take this opportunity to congratulate the Tamil National Alliance for the decisive endorsement they received from the people of the Northern Province and the UPFA in the other provinces. On behalf of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, I thank all voters of the North, North-Western and Central Provinces of Sri Lanka for helping our party to retain its core support base in each of the three Provincial Councils with four seats in total.
We have succeeded in earning our presence in every council having contested on our own. We obtained a single seat representation for the first time in the demerged Northern Provincial Council. We remain content with the three seats we won in the North-Western and Central provinces as it allows us the voice we sought for the Muslim community in provincial power sharing.
We must say quite sincerely that elections were largely free and fair but for some irregularities and violation of election laws. In some parts, Samurdhi officers were deployed to dole out provisions and the state media was not neutral in its coverage, a sin even the UNP was guilty of, when in office.
We are grateful to our supporters for their solidarity shown despite the absence of fair state media coverage. My sincere thanks go to the voters and party members who continue to place their trust in me and my party. I thank the private news media networks for their coverage of our party events.
The manner in which the people of the Northern Province exercised their voting rights at the first Provincial Council election is a great victory for the entire Sri Lankan nation state. We can say that today we have truly embarked on a democratic process of reconciliation and reconstruction. The ultimate prize that awaits us is a united Sri Lankan nation that finds its single voice in its plural democracy.
While congratulating the TNA and the UPFA for their singular successes in electoral terms I fervently hope that both parties will adopt conciliatory approaches in resolving their differences. Let the rhetoric be replaced with the conscientious determination to mould a shared future for all our people. Let no one be left behind in our shared journey.
The landslide victory given by the Tamils in the North to the TNA and the disenchantment of the Muslims towards the SLMC for coalescing with the UPFA Government are lessons I read as conveying the same message. It resonates on the erosion of trust of minorities in the UPFA Government to resolve the ethno-religious divisions.
I fervently plead that the Government take note of this message and work towards national integration. The Government should regard the victory of the TNA as an opportunity to work with a party that represents a people who wish to share the same destiny as that of the majority of people who have solidly expressed their support for the UPFA.
As its name suggests, it should indeed be a united freedom alliance of all the people of Sri Lanka.
The SLMC stands vindicated for their consistent and uncompromising stand on the 13th Amendment that promised the devolution and development for the regions. However, SLMC is thankful for the ultimate democratic space that the party on the whole was provided to carry out our successful campaigns unhindered with adequate security measures and for also being given equal space as that for the other parties, during the run up to elections.
Despite being a constituent party of the Government we exercised our right to critique it openly and denounce some of its actions too in areas where we felt it was needed to deplore them.