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Hakeem says Muslim Congress would not agree to proposed relocation of Dambulla mosque

Minister of Justice and SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem

BY Harischandra Gunaratna

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress yesterday said that it would not agree to the relocating of the Mosque in Dambulla.

Minister of Justice and SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem, speaking to the media, said that his party would not agree to the proposed re-location of the disputed mosque which had triggered a huge controversy.

Minister Hakeem said: “We want the government to act according to the law. Any other course of action would lead to disastrous consequences and there wouldn’t be a compromise.”

There were xenophobic forces holding the government to ransom, the Minister claimed.

SLMC won’t

Hakeem said that as a responsible government the UPFA would do its utmost to protect the rights of other religions and his party had faith in it.

Responding to a question on whether the SLMC would resign from the government, Hakeem ruled out the possibility of a pullout. There would be no absolute divorce, he said, adding that there was speculation of his resignation from his portfolio and warned that certain elements were attempting to internationalise the issue. He said: “This is an internal issue and it could be nipped in the bud. Hence, we don’t need outside intervention.”

Asked about the comments made by Tamil Nadu politician Vaiko on the controversy fuelled by the construction of a mosque in the ‘Sacred Area’ belonging to the Rangiri Dambulu Temple, Minister Hakeen said that it was an internal issue and re-iterated that others need not interfere in Sri Lanka’s affairs which could be solved internally.

Hakeem said that he had already spoken to President Mahinda Rajapaksa about the issue and the latter had told him that he would study the case and summon a meeting.

The SLMC would not give in to intimidation, harassment and violence, Minister Hakeem said courtesy: The island

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