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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2618

Muslim Ministers' Mass Resignation & No Confidence Motion Against Minister Rishad Bathiyutheen

By K.T.Rajasingham
Colombo, 07 June, (Asiantribune.com):

Parliament Speaker Karu Jayasuriya ruled yesterday that when the resignation letters of the Muslim Ministers were handed over, the No Confidence Motion against Minister Rishad Bathiyudeen would be removed from the Order Book.

Earlier Eight Muslim Ministers, and deputy ministers in Sri Lanka quit their portfolios on Monday in solidarity with the industry minister accused by the opposition of supporting Islamist militants who killed more than 250 people on Easter Sunday 21st April 2019.

The eight Muslim cabinet, state and deputy ministers declared on Monday that they have decided to resign in the wake of the allegations levelled against Minister Bathiyudeen.

Subsequently, the speaker made his observation in the Parliament, whilst the Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress was making a statement against some reports that appeared in some sections of the press casting doubts about the genuineness of the mass resignations of the Muslim Ministers.

Sri Lanka Muslim Congress leader and former Minister Rauff Hakeem MP told the Parliament yesterday, responding to news reports that cast doubts about their actual resignations, that the mass resignation of Muslim Parliamentarians from all Cabinet Ministerial, State and Deputy Ministerial portfolios was with effect from last Monday (03).

He pointed out that although some newspapers carried reports questioning their resignation, none of the resigned Ministers had participated in any functions or meetings as Ministers, Cabinet Ministers and Deputies.

Rauf Hakeem MP explained that their joint resignation letter was originally handed over to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday, but the following day the Prime Minister had asked them to hand over the letters individually to the President.

As the Ramazan festival was imminent, almost all the Muslim MPs had gone to their home towns thus making it logistically difficult to submit the letters to the President immediately.

He added Muslim former Ministers had decided to hand over the letters to the President yesterday.

In the meantime, it has been revealed that except for Minister Kabir Hashim, Minister for Highways & Road Development and Petroleum Resources Development, all the other eight Muslim ministers have handed over their letters of resignation to the Presidential Secretariat by yesterday evening, sources said.

It was reported that Kabir Hashim has not tendered the his individual letter of resignation, since he has undertaken a foreign visit.

Accordingly, Ministers Rauff Hakeem, M.H.A. Haleem, Rishad Bathiudeen, State Ministers Faizal Cassim, H. M. M. Harees, Ameer Ali Shihabdeen, Seyed Ali Zahir Moulana and Deputy Minister Abdullah Mahrooff have tendered their

In his address in the Parliament, Rauf Hakeem MP also stated that with the fast staged by Ven. Athuraliye Rathana Thera and the statements made by Ven. Galagodaatte Gnanasara Thera, Muslims across the country were feeling insecure and that was why they all decided to resign.

Hakeem also said that the Muslim MPs have requested the CID to complete the investigations against Minister Rishard Bathiudeen and the two Governors and inform them of the allegations against them before the 12th of this month.

At this stage MP Dinesh Gunawardena stated in the Parliament floor that the Secretary to the President had said that the resignation letters have not been received by them. They continue to be the Ministers and the No Confidence Motion is still in the order book. He added that the 19th amendment has the guideline to tender the resignation.

Responding to MP Gunawardena, MP Rauf Hakeem said that there was no amendment made to the procedure for resignation of Ministers by the 19th Amendment. It remained the same. It was a technical matter that had delayed the submission of the resignations to the President.

Also, subsequent to the statement made by MP Rauff Hakeem Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe made his observation in Parliament in connection with press reports claiming that the resignation letters of Muslim Ministers had not been properly submitted.

He told Parliament yesterday morning that the letters of resignation of some of the Muslim Ministers, State and Deputy Ministers had already been submitted by them and all the others would follow during the course of the day.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said that on Monday all the Muslim Ministers, State Ministers and deputy ministers had handed their letter of resignation to him. “However, the following day I informed them that, according to the Constitution, they had to hand over the letters individually to the President,” he said. The PM added that, as some of them had left for their villages to celebrate Ramazan, they did not have time to submit the letters of resignation.

- Asian Tribune -

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