Local Government and Provincial Councils Minister Faizer Musthapha yesterday castigated two Muslim ministers for what he described as their ‘racist attitude’ by not being present at the voting on the local government electoral amendments.
He told a news conference the two Muslim party leaders and ministers kept away because they did not have a guts to support or oppose the amendments.
“They may tell their people that they did not vote for the LG electoral amendments because it will affect the Muslims. Their action is selfish and detrimental to the larger interests of the people,” the minister said.
Introducing late Soma Edirisinghe's daughter Deepa Edirisinghe as a UPFA candidate for the Colombo Municipal Council the minister said he was able to persuade her to contest the elections because the new law that requires a minimum of 25% women candidates.
“Another policy adopted by the SLFP was not to include two candidates from the same family. We asked them to adhere to the policy of nominating only one member from one family. This policy will put an end to nepotism in the SLFP,” the minister said. “Since the independence, all political parties, the UNP and the SLFP in particular have given opportunities to political families to thrive. It is extremely difficult to win a seat in a LG body, a provincial council or Parliament without powerful political connections. That is how political power was handed down from father to son, husband to wife, father-in-law to son-in-law and from brother to sister. This undemocratic practice must end.” Ms. Edirisinghe also addressed the media. (Sandun A Jayasekera)