Muslim ministers are insisting on that the government amend the proposed Post- Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS), to ensure more roles for Muslims in the apex bodies coming under the mechanism.
Media and Information Deputy Minister and National Unity Alliance General Secretary Cegu Isadeen told the Daily Mirror yesterday that all Muslim ministers in the government would hold a discussion today regarding the amendments to be made to suit the interests of the Muslims.
Mr. Isadeen said the Muslims were the most and the worst affected community in the North-East and therefore they too should be given a significant role in establishing the mechanism.
?Muslims are a community with a separate political entity. If the Joint Mechanism is for the purpose of reconstructing the tsunami-affected North-East, they should also be a signatory to the Mechanism along with the LTTE and the Government. We are appealing to the President to grant the Muslims that role,? Mr. Isadeen said.
He said when amendments are made major positions should be entrusted to Muslims in Muslim-dominated districts like Ampara.
?We are not against such a mechanism for the tsunami-reconstruction work. The President has undertaken to consult the parties concerned regarding the Muslim demands. The LTTE also will see reason in the Muslim demands,? he said.
He also said that they would hold another round of discussions with the President regarding their concerns shortly. Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) also has decided to mobilize the support of all Muslim MPs in the Government and the Opposition to ensure fair play for Muslims in the proposed Mechanism.
SLMC National Organizer MP K.A. Baiz said according to the contents of the proposed mechanism, Muslims had not been treated properly and therefore they should raise objection in unison against it.
?This is a serious matter needing immediate attention. If we are not treated fairly in this issue, we cannot have any confidence about Muslims being addressed in a just way in future peace talks,? he said.
Mr. Baiz said his party would consider supporting the government only if Muslims were entrusted with a reasonable role to play in the Mechanism.