With Muslim political parties largely divided over who should represent the community at the forthcoming Geneva talks, the Muslim Forum comprising all political parties meet at the Parliamentary complex today for a final decision the matter.
At a meeting with Muslim leaders at Temple Trees last week, President Mahinda Rajapaksa requested them to name a representative.
The Daily Mirror learns that the Peace Secretariat for Muslims, comprising the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) and the National Unity Alliance (NUA) were of conflicting opinions over a representative.
?Ferial Ashraff`s name is being proposed since she hails from the East and has a better understanding of their problems. But the SLMC is insisting on a separate Muslim delegation?, sources said.
Meanwhile, A.L.M. Athaulla is insisting on his going for talks while Rishard Badurdeen of All Ceylon Muslim Congress says that President`s Counsel Faiz Musthapa is the most suitable. However Mustapha opted to stay out.
With Muslim members pulling in different directions, President Rajapaksa summoned Minister Ferail Ashraff for a discussion on Saturday and even sent a chopper to Kalmunai for her to rush back to Colombo.
Transport Minister A.H.M Fowzie said the Muslim Forum chaired by him would take a final decision today and inform the President on Wednesday.
The Minister lamented that the Muslim political parties could not even take a unanimous decision on a matter like selecting a representative.
Objecting to the SLMC demand of sending a Muslim delegation for the talks, the Minister said it could be considered at a later stage.
?First of all we need to assess the problems of the Eastern Muslims properly. Then we can suggest to President Rajapaksa on the need for a Muslim delegation?, the Minister said.