The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), while urging the government to implement in full the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations immediately, has mentioned categorically the party will oppose any attempt to weaken or sabotage the existing Provincial Council system.
The above decision was one of the eight resolutions adopted by the SLMC at its 24th Delegates’ Conference held at the S. de S. Jayasinghe Hall yesterday.
The event was presided over by Chairman of the SLMC, Parliamentarian Basheer Segu Dawood. Leader of the SLMC, Minister of Justice, Rauff Hakeem delivered the keynote address.
The resolutions mainly highlighted the need to safeguard the Provincial Council system and outlined the importance of devolving more powers to the Provincial Councils in order to protect the rights of the minorities. They were passed unanimously at the Conference attended by the SLMC delegates from various parts of the country.
The party also expressed grave concern over the intensity of the widespread religious intolerance that is being unleashed and spread unchecked.
The party also warned that it would oppose any move that will undermine the devolution process and vowed to firmly stand for a meaningful devolution to safeguard and ensure equal rights to all communities in Sri Lanka.
The SLMC also in its resolutions pointed out that it shall henceforth oppose enactment of any legislation that is considered and/or aimed at eroding the powers of the existing Provincial Councils and shall strive to further enhance and strengthen the existing mechanism to make devolution meaningful.
While insisting on the importance of devolving powers the party had stated the SLMC shall use its influence to further the devolution to the Provincial Councils and pointed out that it would oppose any attempt to abolish the Provincial Council system without setting up an alternative mechanism through which state power could be devolved and shared as acceptable to all communities.
Expressing its concerns over the post-war political and humanitarian activities, the Conference noted with deep sense of regret that despite 43 long months have passed since the end of the war, the displaced persons due to the war as well as those in protracted displacement have not been duly resettled with satisfactory reparation.
This is particularly significant in relation to the ethnically cleansed Muslims from the Northern Province in 1990 and therefore the SLMC urges and ensures that the government takes immediate and concrete steps in formulating and implementing a National Policy for Resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees as well as ensuring that conducive environment is established to facilitate the voluntary return of the Northern Muslims and to provide and protect economic, social and cultural rights.
The SLMC convention also brought out a resolution reiterating its support to extend solidarity to the struggle of the people of Palestine for self-determination and Statehood and called on the Government of Sri Lanka to strengthen its relationship with Palestine and to engage constructively in the efforts to dismantle the structures of Israeli occupation in Gaza and work towards the achievement of durable solutions that would satisfy the aspirations of the people of Palestine.