SLMC’s going with the government in the East is not a surprise. This order was written by the higher ups. Present day SLMC is a party where cadres and leaders think differently.
While the former is prepared to shed blood for the party the latter is accused of looking for a cushy political life at the cost of policy and dignity, but in the name of development. Whose development is a question?
After the demise of the founder Ashraf, the party had little discipline with elected members who always jumped the fence for greener pasture. When the son of Kathankudy revolted against Ashraff, he did not let him go for ever but waited for the opportunity to knock on his head. He did.
Hakeem is not capable to do that or control his sheep. May be for various reasons, mental and geographical. Further his political enemies are nobody else but the same people who grew up in the same camp- rested under the same tree and now leave no stone unturned to cut the tree and destroy it as they are more interested in the leaves than the tree. Can he allow it?
Passiveness is not a quality of a king or a leader. Aggressiveness and arrogance will only save a kingdom. Here Hakeem has allowed the ex SLMCers to flourish in their career. A leader can not be satisfied with strengthening his battalion only. He must find sources and means to to weaken his enemy too at the same time.
What has the SLMC done so far to decimate the opposition camp that prey on the same terrain? Nothing. On the 8th September Eastern voters gave SLMC a sharp sword to deal with them. But the leader and his associates failed to evaluate it.
Was the election fair and free from violence? Did not the Muslim opposition camp try every means to undermine the SLMC vote base by hook or crook where some supporters were physically assaulted and life threatened? In short with the government machinery in hand they hesitated not to become murderers even.
Ok, are these newly elected SLMC members going to sit on the same table for dinner with those who had a dog’s fight with them for seats? No not at all. If so how will they work together in the council? It is not a workable marriage. Yeah there is no chemistry.
What should have Hakeem done? He should have stayed away from the alliance siting the pre marriage conflicts and contradictions. His seven members should have become independents, leaving the UPFA or the TNA to form the provincial council government, with the pronouncement that the Muslim Congress would give support issue by issue who ever may form the government.
Definitely the Captain would have no room to feel sour but the political analyst would acclaim Hakeem’s move as a clever diplomacy.
The UPFA that has the big number will claim to form the government with the idea that tomorrow will be better than today, and the governor is also sure to invite them. If SLMC members happened to be bought over, the leader should resign and it will be no more worth while to hold the post.
Any way the situation will be chaotic and the EPC will ultimately collapse, going for new election. How the election results will be? The SLMC will triumph. Out of the seven opposition members at least three or four would lose and that would be added to Muslim Congress’ kitty. Thus it will be the beginning of the end of those two Muslim parties, bringing down the UPFA tally. So you diminish your enemy.
TNA will also improve its vote bank. The Eastern province will have a new political culture in the country which will pave way for the Muslims to have a better – stronger say in Sri Lanka. Alas that opportunity was lost due to lack of foresight, guts, greed for power, post and perk.
Initially Hakeem was adamant to contest together with the government despite heavy objection from the party and Muslim quarters as there is a discontent with the central government not only in the East but also through out the country.
Later he broke away on arithmetic of seats and hailed his decision that the entire party accepted it as the best move. If contesting against the UPFA is the wish of the party supporters, how could forming a government with the UPFA be the wish of the party supporters?
It is to be noted here the SLMC leader frequently complained that though they are with the government, they are neither recognized nor respected. Then why again step into the same house that ignores you?
Will Sri Lanka Muslim Congress run into an Eastern storm? Yes it will soon.
(This opinion piece was written exclusively for this blog)