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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2738

Rishad slams careless ‘Jihadi’ gossip

Colombo, 25 April, (

False accusations for cheap political mileage hurled at a time of crisis only deepens Sri Lanka’s predicament. “I strongly condemn false accusations” slammed Sri Lanka’s Minister of Industry & Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons & Cooperative Development, Skills Development & Vocational Training Rishad Bathiudeen on 24 April in Parliament.

Minister Bathiudeen was making a statement in Parliament on the afternoon of 24 April, speaking on 21 April terrorist attack and its aftermath.

“Any Industry and Commerce Minister meets business and trade representatives for trade issues and business development. As the Trade Minister I too meet business and trade representatives on a regular basis.

I met Ibrahim Hajiar (YM Ibrahim, the Chairman of Colombo Traders’ Association-CTA) in 2017 June along with his CTA representatives at my Ministry office to solve the supply issues that they officially submitted to me.

However, referring to the photo of this official meeting a Parliament MP publicly accuses me of having personal links with terrorists. I strongly condemn such false accusations.

‘The very people opposed to terrorism like me, are now accused of it’-Rishad in Parliament

Says no private meet with now detained ‘Ibrahim’: “Only June 2017 official discussions

Sadly the very people like me who have always been opposed to terrorism are now being accused of having links with terrorists” said Minister Bathiudeen and added: “Ibrahim Hajiar came to meet me officially with his association representatives.

Referring to the photo of this meeting, they accuse me of having links with a terrorist. There cannot be worse and cheaper political campaigns than this!

The international terrorism that affected developed countries such as the US has now arrived in Sri Lanka. This is not a time for such talk. The Muslim community in Sri Lanka already condemned this act. There is also an accusation that a “certain politician MP” had managed to get arrested individuals on the “Vanathavilluva incident” released, apparently defying law.

But despite making allegations about a “certain person”, no one clearly identifies who this politician is. Today I demand to know the identity of this politician. Who was this? Please reveal it to us. I sincerely urge to not to make wild allegations such as these and create a difficult situation for people like me.”

On 1 June 2017, officially meeting Minister Bathiudeen, the CTA said that the prohibited market practice of mixing imported and domestically milled rice could be overcome with a simple move, instead of resorting to punitive official raids.

CTA added that Maximum Retail Prices (MRPs), imposed by the government have become an impediment, hampering Lankan consumer well-being, rather than improving it.

Responding to CTA and Chairman YM Ibrahim, Minister Bathiudeen said: “Since MRPs and raids on errant traders are to safeguard consumers and directed by the Cost of Living Committee, CAA and higher levels of the government, and I on my own, will not change its implementation. MRPs also need more study and closer watch. We are here to safeguard consumers and we focus on the market/demand side.”

Selling designated “essential items” above the gazetted MRPs is an offence in Sri Lanka. The CAA, operating under Minister Bathiudeen’s Ministry, intervenes in the market under Sections 14,18,19 ad 20 of CAA Act No 9 of 2003, when violations of MRPs are reported.

- Asian Tribune -

The official photo released to the press on 2 June 2017 of Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen’s June 1, 2017 official meeting with the Colombo Traders Association’s (CTA) Secretary Mr Suriyar (at left- also Chairman  of Sooriyan Traders ) and  Chairman of CTA YM Ibrahim (Chairman, Ishana Exports Pvt Ltd –seated at far right) at the Ministry premises, Colombo 3.
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