Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse said it is no wonder that the Ceylon Workers Congress leader, Arumugam Thondaman and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Leader, Rauff Hakeem have decided to be with the UNP at the Presidential Election as they had contested the general elections under the banner of the UNF, but the regional leaders in the areas represented by them are with me.
?In spite of the decision taken by the leaders, villagers in the East and the estate sector are with us because we have initiated massive programmes for their development. We intend to enhance these development activities in the future. These people are well aware of the manner in which we mediated and granted them redress in the unfortunate incidents that took place in the recent past,? he said.
Speaking further, the Premier said that both Arumugam Thondaman and Rauff Hakeem contested the elections under the banner of the UNF but when they were defeated they had joined the government to accept ministerial portfolios.
?The rights of the Muslim community and the people in the estate sector will be looked after well and necessary facilities will be provided to them inspite of these two leaders joining the UNP?, he said adding that an environment will be created for them to live without fear or suspicion.