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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2676

Sri Lankan President offers top ministerial portfolio to SLMC leader

By Munza Mushtaq – Reporting from Colombo for Asian Tribune

Colombo, 12 June, ( Mahinda Rajapakse has offered the country's predominant Muslim political party leadership the Ports Ministry (currently being held by Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera) and other 'handsome perks' in a bid to gain the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) support, sources told the “Asian Tribune.”

During a meeting between the President and the SLMC hierarchy recently, President Rajapakse had also assured the SLMC that all other demands of the party's will also be 'well looked after'.

However, the SLMC is yet to take a final decision on the President's offer. "The SLMC has many issues to iron out with the Government, before reaching any final agreement," the source noted.

"The SLMC has several fundamental issues with the Government which need to be sorted out first. They include representation in Muslim dominated areas and also the need to include a separate Muslim delegation when peace talks resumes," the source added.

The “Asian Tribune” reliably learns that when several SLMC dissident groups now with the Government one led by A.L.M. Athaullah and the other group led by Rishard Badurdeen had voiced their disapproval to the President over his invitation to the SLMC. However President Rajapakse had assured them that the SLMC joining his Government does not mean that the dissidents would be sidelined. "Everything will be looked after," the President is reported to have assured.

- Asian Tribune -

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