By Chathuri Dissanayake
Eight Muslim members of the Government, including three Cabinet Ministers, resigned from their posts yesterday, along with Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, whose removal was demanded to enable impartial investigations on the Easter Sunday terror attacks.
Along with Industry and Commerce, Resettlement of Protracted Displaced Persons, Co-operative Development and Vocational Training and Skills Development Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, four State Ministers and one Deputy Minister also resigned, giving the Criminal investigations Department (CID) one month to complete investigations on any allegations against any of them.
The Muslim leaders, expressing disappointment in the way the Government has handled the recent communal tensions, emphasised they were “sacrificing” their portfolios to make way for “a proper investigation.”
Rauff Hakeem, who held the City Planning, Water Supply and Higher Education Ministry, making a statement at Temple Trees immediately after resigning, said that they expect the investigations to culminate in completely “vindicating” them all.
“We’re sacrificing our posts to create an environment to facilitate peace and coexistence,” the former Minister said.