Thursday, May 22, 2008

Political crisis in Lanka's Eastern Province ends

The political crisis in the newly-established Eastern Provincial Council ended on Thursday, when the dissident Muslim leader, MLA M Hisbullah, joined the government as Minister of Health, Youth and Women’s Affairs.

Hisbullah had threatened to walk out of the ruling United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) with two other councilors and reduce the government to a minority, if he was not made Chief Minister after the UPFA won the provincial elections on May 10.

But the head of the UPFA, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, stood firm on his decision to appoint TMVP leader Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, alias Pillayan, as the CM in order to help solve the long-standing Tamil problem.

Hisbullah was willing to reconsider his threat if he was offered important portfolios like Health, Education and Land, but Rajapaksa offered only Health and stuck to his stand. It is believed that Muslim religious leaders urged Hisbullah to accept the President’s offer and not precipitate a Muslim-Tamil communal problem.

Read more,

No comments: