In a hard hitting speech, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said yesterday the UNP was making good use of the Muslim community for their political purposes especially aiming at the presidential election, while Muslim leaders, completely dependent on Muslim votes, want a government they could manipulate. He said this at his official residence in Colombo while urging the leaders of the country and of the Muslim community to act in a responsible and circumspect manner.
“All of us should understand that everything that we see happening now, is directly connected to the presidential election that is due to be held in a few months. The present government is seeking to retain the Muslim vote base that they organised around themselves using various stratagems before 2015,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
He said the opposition tabled a no-confidence motion against one minister on the grounds that he had connections with the terrorists responsible for the Easter Sunday attacks.
“However, all Muslim ministers resigned. This seems to be ploy on the part of the UNP government to organise and line up all Muslim politicians on one side and to obtain Muslim votes at the presidential elections. The UNP is making good use of the Muslim community for their political purposes. The UNP needs the votes of the moderates as well as the extremists within the Muslim community. They don’t care from where their votes come from. The Muslim leaders for their part, want a government they can manipulate at will. But this confluence of interests will not solve the problems that the ordinary Muslims face. The ordinary people of this country want protection from extremist terrorists. The ordinary Muslim folk want to weed out the terrorists from their midst and to resume their normal lives,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
He said a brutal terrorism that targets the followers of other religions has emerged from within the Muslim community today.
“Buddhists, Hindus and Christians are joining hands in a common endeavour against that terrorism. Moderate Muslims should not be isolated from this unity of purpose that is being forged. Muslim religious leaders and intellectuals have admitted that as a result of the extremist ideologies that came into this country from outside, the Sri Lankan Muslim community had gradually isolated themselves from the rest of Sri Lankan society,” he said.
He said due to the emergence of exclusively Muslim political parties from the 1980s onwards, Muslims isolated themselves in the political sphere as well.
We must understand everything has to do with the polls