SLMC's Rauf Hakeem A De-Stabilizing Influence On Any Entity.

Periscope - Global Sinhala Village for LankaWeb

In questioning the stability of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's Government it has to be concluded that it was was never really stable as the coalition with unpredictable elements such as Rauf Hakeem known for his own instability and turncoat mentality is now manifesting itself into a nightmare for the UNF Government and seems to be poetic justice for the waiting Opposition whose objective patience appears to be poised to gather dividends deservedly. Laughably and as expected Hakeem in the manner of a disgruntled school boy in suspending two SLMC Officials has inadvertently thrown the gauntlet at theUNF once more through his rather puerile attempt to retain his capacity as leader of the SLMC in the face of great opposition from within his own ranks which interestingly is being looked at with disdain both by the Nation as well as the incumbent Administration caught in a catch 22 situation in trying to decide whether "to be or not to be!" and how? with Hobson's Choice to help them along!!

Rauf Hakeem's notoriety for prevaricating on issues is well known and documented and the real leadership of the SLMC probably belongs to the charismatic Mrs.Ferial Ashraf in the event of complete Muslim Unity but someone who has been chauvinistically cast aside yet carries great admiration and respect from the Nation for the manner in which she conducts herself as it may not be long before the Muslim Community rallies round her and furthermore it would represent a feather in the cap for the President with whom she is aligned with great dignity and integrity.

Rauf Hakeem, the now contested leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) on which the Government depends for its parlimentary majority, suspended two senior party members after learning they were mounting a challenge to his leadership in his see sawing mentality of a confrontational nature which would probably result in his ultimate demise as his lack of diplomacy nor respect to protocol appears to have now surfaced.There are positive indications that such an attitude will not be tolerated by the more perceptive of the hierarchy within the administrative body of the SLMC who oppose the unilateral decision making at times by Hakeem on behalf of his community whom he has embarrassed on many an occassion.

The SLMC are in umbrage over the lack of enthusiasm and aggression and they accuse Hakeem of, not appreciably taking up the cause of the Muslim Community in the settlement of peace involving Muslim Issues in the present Peace Initiative as the insecurities of the Muslims in the North and North East continue to augment regardless of the lip service of the likes of Anton Balasingham who has failed to provide too many incentives to appease them although his verbal assuarances have been continuous throught the Peace Talks as has been the ambiguous promises of the Minister for Constitutional Affairs G.L. Peiris whose intonations have a ring similar to Balasinghams. Rather hollow!

Hakeem has has made an about turn to return to Sri Lanka from Norway where he was part of the Lankan Peace Delegation, in face of the ensuing crisis within his party.On Monday, the dissidents, who did not recognise their suspension denouncing it as being extraordinary and irregular, announced that the SLMC leadership had in turn acted against Hakeem who has been placed in a quandry on many issues now relating to the SLMC which was quoted as announcing that "The party high command which met Sunday night decided to suspend the membership of Rauf Hakeem and remove him from the position of the party leader," said SLMC secretary A.L.M. Hafrath, who was suspended by Hakeem and something which certainly is an ill omen for Hakeem as well as the Wickremasinghe Administration and for the entire peace process where the ramifications also involving the LTTE could turn out to be anti-climactic to say the least as any split in the SLMC, which has 12 members of parliament, could upset the balance and affect the political survival of Wickremesinghe, whose coalition has only a two-seat majority in the 225-member Parliament.

Raising a very valid point in support of the oppossition to Hakeem the president of the SLMC, Mr.A.L.M.Athaullah has reiterated that quote "They do not want Muslim representation in Oslo as a mere show. In any event, the outcome of peace talks has to be presented in Parliament." Mr. Athaullah was also suspended by Hakeem. Many Muslims who have long complained of harassment at the hands of the Tamil Tigers believe it has grown worse since the rebels entered a Norwegian-brokered ceasefire with the Wickremasinghe Government in February which does not augur well for the Peace Process.

Wickremesinghe also faces criticism of the Peace Process from President Chandrika Kumaratunga, who has continued to pinpoint critical issues which have been overlooked and has been gathering support for her cause in recent times.The President is the ultimate authority on the decision making of the Administration which may be teetering on the brink of insolvency as a result of this rift within the SLMC. She has the power to dismiss the Government after it completes a year in office -- which means anytime after midnight Thursday, December 4, 2002 (1800 GMT) as the apprehension grows within the Nation which wants no more long shadows.



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