Muslim MPs to back Vasu

Minister of National Languages and Social Integration Vasudeva Nanayakkara has received the backing of Muslim parliamentarians in the government for a new Cabinet paper he is expected to produce seeking a ban on hate speech, the Sunday Leader reported.

Senior Minister A. H. M. Fowzie said that such legislation should be introduced in order to safeguard the coexistence among communities.

He said that all other Muslim parliamentarians in the government should back the Cabinet paper if it is submitted.

“We need to safeguard the freedom that we won after defeating the LTTE. As Muslim MPs we must support the legislation,” he said.

Another Muslim MP in the government, Minister Rishard Badurdeen said that he will also support the Cabinet paper. He added that his political party will also back the Cabinet paper.

The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress (SLMC) is also supportive of a ban on hate speech and the General Secretary of the party, Hassan Ali, said that the party will support the Cabinet paper if it is put forward by Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara.

Ali said that the SLMC High Command which had met recently also discussed the matter at length. However he said the SLMC will not take any other decision on the issue until the final report of the committee, appointed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to look at the latest issues which had arisen among communities, is submitted.

Minister Vasudeva Nanayakkara is expected to present the Cabinet paper soon after the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

The Cabinet paper looks at cracking down on hate speeches made by various groups which could destabilize the country.