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SLMC to veto scrapping 13A

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) High Command at a meeting held on Thursday night has unanimously decided to oppose the proposed amendments to the 13th Amendment, a senior party spokesman told Ceylon Today.
Meanwhile, the draft document of the proposed amendments was presented to the Cabinet on Thursday and the SLMC Leader had informed the Cabinet that he would announce the decision of his party at the next Cabinet meeting after consulting the SLMC High Command. Later in the evening, the SLMC High Command decided to vote against the proposed amendments, the spokesman said.

SLMC Leader and Justice Minister, Rauff Hakeem also confirmed in an interview with BBC that the SLMC would vote against amendments the government is planning to introduce to the existing 13th Amendment to the Constitution.
He also said his party’s decision, whether to remain as a constituent party of the government, will largely depend on how the government will act from now onwards in relation to the 13th Amendment and added it will be difficult for the SLMC to remain in the government. Hakeem told BBC that it was due to the insistence of Vasudeva Nanayakkara and himself that President Mahinda Rajapaksa decided to give the UPFA constituent parties a week to submit their proposals to amend the 13th Amendment.However, Ministers Prof. G.L. Peiris, Champika Ranawaka and Wimal Weerawansa, had strongly opposed this, claiming the amendments had to be implemented soon.

 Reliable sources said, President Mahinda Rajapaksa had inquired whether there was meaning to Hakeem being in the Cabinet as the SLMC representative, if he is not capable of making bold decisions expeditiously.

Sanjaya Dassanayake /CT

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