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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2619

Eastern Province Optimistic about a Great UPFA Win at the Elections: Hussein Bhaila

Colombo, 28 April, (Asiantribune.com): The Eastern province voters are eagerly awaiting the elections. Their enthusiasm is markedly high. They know that they are about to have an administration of their own. This is something they longed for and are working hard to achieve. So far, the election campaign of the UPFA has gone on very well. No major incidents have been reported. The Muslims vote is bound to be strongly with the UPFA. These were the sentiments expressed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Hussein Bhaila in an interview to Asian Tribune.Deputy Minister Hussein Bhaila: He has betrayed the Muslim community when all the other Muslim leaders were prepared to come under any common symbol, so that to get Muslim majority in the Provincial Council and getting a Muslim Chief Minister. Deputy Minister Hussein Bhaila: He has betrayed the Muslim community when all the other Muslim leaders were prepared to come under any common symbol, so that to get Muslim majority in the Provincial Council and getting a Muslim Chief Minister.

Full Text of the Interview is given below:

Asian Tribune: ow is the election campaign of the UPFA in the Trincomalee District going?

Hussein Bhaila: Trincomalee campaign for the United Peoples Freedom Alliance is going very well. A peaceful election campaign is going on in the district and so far no incident of violence reported in the district.

Furthermore, there is a marked improvement in the works and also there is a marked improvement in the lives of the people and one can easily gauge the enthusiasm of the people in this area. They are enthusiastic because they are going to elect their own provincial Council members after a lapse of more than two decades.

By this election, people are able to carry out their wishes as well as have a say in their day to day affairs. So, there is a marked enthusiasm clearly visible among the people. I am involved with the election campaign work of the UPFA in Kinniya, which is predominantly a Muslim area and there, we are able to see peoples’ appreciation for the work government has done in improving their quality of life.

Asian Tribune: What you think of the chances of Rauff Hakeem?

Hussein Bhaila: As a whole, Raiff Hakeem is contesting under UNP ticket in the first place and there is a feeling among the people that he has let down the community by not coming forward to contest together with all the other Muslim parties. He earlier said that he will not give up the ‘Tree’ symbol of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and if at all anybody wanted to contest, they have to contest under the Tree symbol.

He berated that under no circumstance, he wants to sacrifice the Tree symbol. That was the reason he gave when all the other Muslim parties met him.

Suddenly, he went back and now contesting under the Elephant symbol. Thus he has betrayed the Muslim community when all the other Muslim leaders were prepared to come under any common symbol, so that to get Muslim majority in the Provincial Council and getting a Muslim Chief Minister. To deter a Muslim becoming a Chief Minister he gave up even the Tree symbol.

He hoped by contesting under the UNP symbol, he could deter the chances of a Muslim becoming the Chief Minister.

However, now I can categorically say, that is not going to happen.

I think now he has gone into the field after resigning the Parliamentary seat. He is now realizing that what he decided to stop a Muslim becoming a Chief Minister, he will not be able to do that. The Muslim people are now very much aware of his duplicity.

Furthermore we observed that Rauff Hakeem is always directed by others and always by some sort of a group alien to our community.

Asian Tribune: Do you think that a Muslim can become a Chief Minister now?

Hussein Bhaila : We are very confident that a Muslim can now become a Chief Minister. Because the President has stated very clearly that, whichever community which gets more number of seats in the polls, the chief Ministership of the Eastern Province will go to them.

Asian Tribune: What is the position of the Tamil candidates in the Trincomalee district?

Hussein Bhaila: Look, the Tamil candidates in the Trincomalee district are doing very well in the Tamil areas. But as I told you that I am campaigning in Kinniya and there is a miniscule percentage of Tamils. But as I have seen all the three communities are equally popular in the district.

For your information, Tamils have put forward three candidates in the Trincomalee district, Muslims are having six candidates and Sinhalese has put forward four candidates.

It is not at all possible for all the candidates of the UPFA to win under the proportionate representations system. But the majority of the winning candidates would be from the UPFA. think out of the 11 seats up for grab in the Trincomalee district, I expect the UPFA to have 8 seats out of 10 available seats in the Trincomalee district.

- Asian Tribune -

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