We write this to General Secretary of UNP, Kabir Hashim on behalf of the majority of Sri Lankan Muslims who traditionally support the UNP.
At the outset let me state a few well established facts.
1. Since the UNP in the recent past (last two decades!!!) has been aligning itself with the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC), the UNP voter base among the Muslims living all over Sri Lanka has shown a steady and sustained decline.
2. Since the UNP’s political alliance with the SLMC, the quality and quantity of potential UNP Muslim candidates has shown a steady and sustained decline.
3. Due to SLMC candidates contesting at the expense of UNP Muslim candidates (and at times taking national list slot of the UNP) the average UNP Muslim voter is forced to vote for the SLMC Muslim candidate thus ensuring his/her election.
4. Once these SLMC candidates get elected (on majority UNP Muslim votes) they more often than not, abandon the UNP for self-preservation of their religious/regional based ideology at great political cost to the UNP. The UNP as a party never seems to learn a political lesson from this betrayal and keeps rewarding the SLMC at the expense of its own Muslim politicians and voters over and over again.
The net result of these plus a myriad of other facts has led to still more disturbing perception which is, that the UNP is not a national party which is willing to address its UNP Muslim voters’ political aspirations.
We are in no doubt that you too are aware of these facts; and further more as the very first Muslim to hold the office of General Secretary of the UNP you will have first hand encountered the outcome of the alliance with the SLMC and thus will be more appreciative of the concerns of the UNP Muslims articulated once again in this correspondence.
With the impending on set of General Elections, we are quite sure that the UNP as a National Party is about to repeat points 1 to 4 with the aforesaid net result yet again.
As incumbent General Secretary of the party I believe it is your duty to ensure the resounding victory of the UNP at these impending elections and at the same time ensure the growth of the voter base of the UNP among all segments of voters. In this context, it is imperative that you reassess the now traditional handing over to the SLMC of the UNP Muslim voter base on a platter to ensure victory of SLMC candidates without any formal and/or politically transparent MoU/agreement.
We urge you – as we have been doing for at least two decades – to at least now reconsider the handing over of Muslims votes to the SLMC on a platter and seriously consider putting forward UNP Muslim candidates for the upcoming General elections.
This correspondence is a result of a meeting held among a gathering of a few UNP Muslim intellectuals and a still fewer number of regional and local UNP political representatives. The undersigned is articulating the views of this group on their behalf.
In the hope that you will bring this point of view up for discussion at the time the decision is inevitably made to go ahead with the mistake the UNP always makes in repeating points 1 to 4 of this correspondence.