Minister Mangala Samaraweera emphasized that no one must bow down before racism and therefore Muslim ministers must not resign.
When Muslim ministers, including state and deputy ministers, arrived at Temple Trees yesterday (3) to inform the Prime Minister of their resignation, Minister Samaraweera had expressed his opposition.
Hizbullah was forced to resign
At the meeting, a senior minister had informed the Prime Minister that Eastern Province Governor Hizbullah had been forced to tender his resignation by threatening that ethnic conflicts may arise across the island. Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero had also made this statement yesterday publicly.
The ministers had emphasized stated that the entire government may also be threatened in future, and therefore, they have decided to resign. They had further stated that a certain group is waiting to gain political advantages by causing a bloodshed in the country.
At the meeting, the Muslim ministers had stated that they are resigning temporarily, and that they believe this issues would be resolved after investigations of the parliament select committee and the debate on no-confidence motion.
Do not repeat Bandaranaike’s mistake!
Mangala Samaraweera, speaking at the meeting, had emphasized that allowing Muslim ministers to resign is a mistake tantamount to S.W.R.D. Bandaranike tearing the Bandaraniake-Chelvanayagam agreement on 9th April 1958.
He had reportedly stated that Sri Lanka had to pay for Bandaranaike’s inability to take a stand for what is right and that he is against ministers’ resignations.
Don't resign, explain the truth
Minister Samaraweera had suggested to explain the true situation to the public instead of resigning.
In response, Muslim ministers had stated that resigning from their positions until Rishad Bathiudeen is acquitted is more advisable.
Ready to resign with Muslim ministers
Subsequently, Minister Samaraweera had stated that he is ready to resign along with the Muslim ministers and a few more ministers can also resign if necessary. He had reportedly said that doing so would create a good public opinion against racist ideologies brought up by Ven Rathana Thero, Ven Gnanasara Thero and SLPP politicians.
Eventually Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had stated that other ministers must not resign and the decision taken by Muslim ministers collectively is more than satisfactory.
Reportedly, Muslim minister had also requested Mangala Samaraweera to remain in his position.
Thanking Mangala for not bowing down to racism
Within Sri Lanka’s political context, racism is on the rise. Many have chosen racism as the only way of saving themselves and many have chosen to give in to racism. Mangala Samaraweera should be thanked for proving that there is at least one politician in the government who can take a stand against racism.