Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) Leader, MP Rauff Hakeem had requested former president Maithripala Sirisena and former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to create a separate administrative district for Tamil-speaking people in the Eastern Province, the PCoI into the Easter Sunday attacks was told on Monday.
He said he had made this request during the 2015 presidential election and that it was a just proposal because people have to conduct their administrative work in their own language.
“The SLMC was of the view that a separate administrative district should be given to the Tamil- speaking people in the coastal areas of the Ampara district and I do not think it was a barrier for reconciliation,” Mr. Hakeem said in response to a question asked by a representative of the Attorney General's Department.
He said there was a vast difference between an administrative unit and a political unit and the administrative unit was convenient for people living in a particular area.
The AG's representative asked Mr. Hakeem if this was part of the Oluvil declaration put forward by some university students during the then minister A.H.M. Ashroff's tenure as SLMC leader.
Mr. Hakeem said it could be possible because by signing the Indo-Lanka agreement in 1987, the Muslims were severely affected and with the 30-year armed conflict, the Muslim leaders feared that Muslim community would take up arms.
However, Mr. Hakeem answered in the positive when told that most of the administrative activities in the Northern and Eastern Provinces were currently being conducted in Tamil. (Yoshitha Perera)