SLMC leader and Sri Lankan government  Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem on Tuesday (2) said that the outcome of the recently concluded election to the Eastern Provincial Council (EPC) highlighted the need to implement the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

The SLMC leader said that the people of the Eastern Province had strongly endorsed the empowering of Provincial Councils. The minister was speaking with US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O’ Blake on the sidelines of the 67th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.

The SLMC recently earned the wrath of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and the UNP for helping the SLFP-led UPFA to form the Eastern Provincial Council.

The SLMC secured seven seats in the EPC, whereas the UPFA obtained 14 seats, including two bonus slots.

Having had talks with both, the government and the TNA, in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 8 poll, the SLMC proposed the establishment of an all-party administration in the EPC, though none of them were agreeable to the arrangement, the minister told the former US Ambassador in Colombo.

Hakeem said that the Muslims wouldn’t accept the TNA’s assertion that it could represent both communities in talks with the government, whereas the SLMC could discuss whatever the issues were with the TNA. The SLMC leader said that the TNA couldn’t represent the interests of the Muslims.

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