Angry Muslims quit peace panel and declare ‘war’ on Sri Lanka President

Sri Lanka’s main Muslim party Monday withdrew from a peace panel set up by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and declared “all out war” against her for allegedly trying to splinter the minority community. Sri Lanka’s main Muslim party Monday withdrew from a peace panel set up by President Chandrika Kumaratunga and declared “all out war” against her for allegedly trying to splinter the minority community. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) said it was staying away from the first official-level meeting of the National Advisory Council for Peace and Reconciliation, which Kumaratunga launched last month.

SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem said Kumaratunga had engineered the defection of three of his legislators over the weekend in an effort to change the constitution and that the move was prejudicial to minorities.

Three SLMC dissidents were sworn in by Kumaratunga at the weekend as non-cabinet ministers, boosting the strength of her coalition government in the 225-member assembly where it has a wafer thin margin.

“She wants to use our members and form a constituent assembly and resort to extra constitutional means to change the constitution and perpetuate herself in office,” Hakeem told reporters.