Minister Rishad Bathiudeen was a Muslim leader who respected democracy, Minister of Health, Rajitha Senaratna said yesterday, addressing a media briefing at Temple Trees.
If Bathiudeen has committed anything wrong, the government was in a position to uncover it. “Rishad Bathiudeen has not left the country. During the tenure of President J.R. Jayewardene, Tamil leader A. Amirthalingam also faced similar allegations,” he said.
Senaratna said that continuous attacks on democratic leaders would lead to the destruction of democratic institutions. “By encouraging racist attacks on Muslims, you are pushing them towards extremism. The no-confidence motion against Bathiudeen is a political game and we are ready to face it,” he said.
A number of politicians have demanded the resignation of Bathiudeen for alleged involvement with extremist groups. On Sunday former MP, A. L. M. Athaullah asked Bathiudeen to resign without hiding behind the Muslim community.