'Lanka Muslim congress not to accept ministerial portfolios until issues are resolved'

    Colombo, Jul 22 (PTI) Sri Lanka Muslim Congress, an ally of the government on Monday said that they will not return to the government and accept any portfolio until proper solutions are found for the issues faced by the minority Muslims especially after the Easter Sunday attacks.
    All Muslim ministers, including Cabinet, state and deputy ministers in the Sri Lankan government resigned from their ministerial portfolios on June 3 citing the government's failure to ensure the safety of Muslims following the attacks.
    However, parliamentarians Kabir Hashim and Abdul Haleem re-accepted their ministerial portfolios on June 19.
    The Muslim political parties have been raising concerns over the arrests of several Muslims while the Sinhala majority nationalist groups focused on targeting certain Muslim politicians who they claimed had helped the National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) to carry out the attacks on April 21.
    Parliamentarian Rauf Hakeem said the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) supreme council held a special meeting on Sunday to decide whether to resume the ministerial portfolios left by the Muslim ministers in the government headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
    Following the deliberations, the SLMC said they would not return to the government to take up ministerial positions despite appeals to change their stance.
    "We have more outstanding issues and concerns of the Muslim community to deal with," Hakeem, the SLMC leader who was the Minister of Urban Development before his resignation told reporters.
    He said the SLMC was hoping to meet Prime Minister Wickremesinghe to discuss the concerns of the Muslim community.
    Nine suicide bombers from the radical Islamic group attacked three churches and as many luxury hotels on April 21, killing 258 people and injuring 500 others.
    The ISIS terror group claimed the attacks, but the government blamed the local Islamist extremist group NTJ for the Ester Sunday bombings. PTI CORR AMS AKJ

(This story has not been edited by THE WEEK and is auto-generated from a PTI feed.)