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Executive Presidency vital for protecting minorities - Minister Ameer Ali


M.S.S. Ameer Ali
President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only leader capable of protecting the fundamental rights of the minority communities in Sri Lanka, says Disaster Relief Services Minister M.S.S. Ameer Ali in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer. Here are excerpts from the interview.

Q: Why should the people support President Mahinda Rajapaksa especially in the Eastern Province?

A: The people who bore the brunt of LTTE terrorism are now experiencing the value of real freedom after nearly thirty years under President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Government. So it is high time to show their gratitude to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

While confronting LTTE terrorism President Mahinda Rajapaksa implemented several mega development projects throughout the country and rural livelihood development projects to eradicate rural poverty.

Until the eradication of LTTE terrorism all fundamental rights of the people in the East had been violated by LTTE terrorists. As they were liberated from the clutches of LTTE terrorists they have a responsibility to assure the victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

If they failed to do so it will be an act of ingratitude. It is doubtful whether even in the future such a bold leader who loves the nation without any majority-minority discrimination would emerge.

Until the regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa all Presidents of our country held peace talks with LTTE. They also continued the war. Presidents J.R. Jayewardene and Ranasinghe Premadasa held peace talks that ended in failure. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga too held peace talks with LTTE. Except war nothing could be achieved. During the Ranil Wickremesinghe’s regime there was a ceasefire, which really achieved nothing. Thereafter President Mahinda Rajapaksa invited the LTTE for peace talks. As they neglected peace talks President Rajapaksa declared war against the LTTE to eradicate terrorism completely from the country.

He not only concentrated on the war but also won development challenges. Within four years President Mahinda Rajapaksa could implement several rural development projects in parallel to the major development projects aiming at strengthening rural livelihoods. No one thought such mega development projects could be implemented in just four years. From the day President Rajapaksa assumed duties he started to think of the prosperity of the country. He inaugurated the Hambantota Harbour project and the second international airport construction project in Mattala, Hambantota.

With a view to find a sustainable solution to the transport problems of the people the President inaugurated highway development projects.

With the intention of promoting the living standards of the masses in Batticaloa, Ampara districts he implemented mega road development projects as well as livelihood development projects. Kinniya Bridge is a gateway for the development of Kinniya and surrounding areas. The Pudawaikkattu Bridge too was initiated by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Oluvil harbour will be the main employment generating means for unemployed youth in the Eastern province.

The President has inaugurated Kerawalapitiya and Norochcholai power plant projects. It is the bounden duty of every citizen to vote for President Rajapaksa.

Q: What is the present state of Eastern people who were liberated from the clutches of LTTE specially the Muslims?

A: During the LTTE dominated period the people in the Eastern province underwent untold hardships. The farmers couldn’t cultivate their paddy lands due to LTTE threats. The LTTE damaged the properties of the people. The LTTE took ‘kappam’ (extortion) from the business people. Land owners had to pay Rs. 5,000 per acre of paddy land to the Tigers.

The fishermen couldn’t go to the deep sea owing to LTTE threats.

Now the people are free to engage in their business activities. Now there is only one tax that is Government tax.

After the eradication of Prabhakaran and LTTE not even one such incident was reported in the Eastern province.

The people are enjoying real freedom after nearly 30 years.

During the ceasefire period, LTTE terrorists killed two Muslim youth who went to a Tamil area. Their bodies too were burnt by the LTTE in the presence of their parents, police and army. The Forces could do nothing as the ceasefire agreement was in effect. I have never heard of such brutal killings. During Ranil Wickremesinghe’s regime the LTTE strengthened themselves. They were provided sensitive telecommunication equipment.

Funds were provided to the LTTE. They launched attacks against the Armed Forces and the police.

Now Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Christians, burgers, and all other communities in Sri Lanka are experiencing the real outcome of the real freedom and peace. This is the peace we want.

Q: If the Executive Presidential system is abolished, how will the minority communities be affected?

A: The executive presidential system is the only means to protect the rights of minority communities in the country.

Nothing can be achieved by minority communities if the executive presidential system is abolished. The aspirations of the minority communities can be fulfilled under the executive presidency.

Those days the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress never talked of the abolition of Presidency. Rauff Hakeem is marching towards the wrong path of abolishing the executive presidential system.

Q: What is your view as the Leader of Sri Lanka National Muslim Congress on the anticipated victory of President Mahinda Rajapaksa?

A: President Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only suitable leader to govern this country. His leadership will secure the rights of the minority people in our country. If he is elected to another six years the problems of this country could be entirely solved while the country achieves the peak of the development.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa has four decades of Parliamentary experience. He has held the posts of Deputy Minister, Ministerial posts, Prime Minister and present President. From the basic he got training in politics.

During earlier days when Sarath Fonseka was asked comment on politics he has mentioned that he was not familiar with politics, but only with military matters.

The person who mentioned so suddenly entered politics. He has been hired by various bankrupt parties. Ranil Wickremesinghe is a mastermind. He certainly knows that he would lose the Presidential election. If he is defeated he would face a threat to his position as the leader of the party. Thus they are fielding another candidate.

Q: Has President Mahinda Rajapaksa given any promise to protect the rights of minority communities?

A: Already President Mahinda Rajapaksa has mentioned that there are no minority communities in Sri Lanka. Its meaning is so deep. The term comprises solving the problems of the minority communities, fulfilling their aspirations and solving the problems of Tamil speaking people. He will fulfil this task.

Courtesy: SundayObserver

Posted on Sunday, January 10, 2010 @ 01:30:26 LKT by

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