General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, T. M. Hassen Ali MP yesterday told The Island that there should be a negotiated political settlement on the basis of the 13-A plus and the SLMC wouldn’t oppose the move. But, the SLMC’s support would be conditional to the government agreeing to the creation of a South-Eastern Council comprising Pradeshiya Sabhas controlled by the party in Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Pottuvil, Samanthurai and Kalmunai as well as other predominately Muslim areas in the Eastern Province, Responding to a query, MP Ali emphasized that the proposed PC, too, should have both land and police powers.
The SLMC contested the last parliamentary polls on the UNP ticket but switched its allegiance to President Mahinda Rajapaksa over a year ago.
MP Ali said that the SLMC would discuss the entire gamut of issues with the government shortly. He said that bilateral talks between the government and the TNA wouldn’t address the problems other ethnic communities were faced with.
Ali expressed confidence that those living in the Eastern Province would be benefited by the creation of South-Eastern Council. The SLMC was also ready to join the all party confab called by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to resolve the national issue, he said.