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Ashraff in Parliament 1989–1992

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the former leader M.H.M. Ashraff’s speeches in parliament and how Muslim politics are presented in these speeches. As described above, the political conditions during the period of 1989–1992 were to a large extent dominated by the civil war. This chapter will therefore be divided into parts that correspond to different phases in the civil war and to when Islamic references are notable.

Keywords

  • Muslim politics
  • Islam
  • Muslims
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sri Lanka Muslim Congress
  • M.H.M Ashraff
  • Pragmatic politics
  • Religion and politics

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Notes

  1. 1.

    AP: 1989: 142 Provincial Councils (Consequential Provisions) Bill. 11/5 1989.

  2. 2.

    AP: 1989: 235, Provincial Council Election Petition Rules. 8/11 1989.

  3. 3.

    AP: 1989: 319, Police Commission Bill. 9/12 1989.

  4. 4.

    AP: 1989: 140, Provincial (Consequential Provisions) Councils. 11/5 1989.

  5. 5.

    AP: 1989: 118, Appropriation Bill 1989 Ministry of Finance. 11/4 198, see also AP: 1989: 148, 151, 177, 265.

  6. 6.

    AP: 1989: 118, Appropriation Bill 1989 Ministry of Finance. 11/4 1989.

  7. 7.

    AP: 1989: 324, Police Commission Bill. 9/12 1989. See also AP: 1989: 235, 278, 314, and AP: 1990: 9, 174.

  8. 8.

    AP: 1989: 46, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 3/4 1989.

  9. 9.

    AP: 1989: 46, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 3/4 1989. See also AP: 1989: 318–9, Police Commission Bill 9/12 1989.

  10. 10.

    AP: 1989: 236, Provincial Council Election Petition rules. 8/11 1989. The districts that Ashraff wanted to form this council in were Ampara, Pottuvill, and Batticaloa.

  11. 11.

    See Knoerzer 1998.

  12. 12.

    Ameerdeen 2006: 200.

  13. 13.

    AP: 1990: 225, Public Security Proclamation. 20/9 1990. These demands were made several times. For more examples, see: AP: 1989: 107–9, 139, 162, 218, 236, AP: 1990: 177, 192–3, 225, 255, and AP: 1991: 217.

  14. 14.

    This is a summary of the SLMC’s constitutional reform suggestions made in the Parliamentary Select Committee in 1995. Quoted in Ameerdeen 2006: 203–4.

  15. 15.

    AP: 1989: 39, Question by Private Notice Security Situation in Ampara District. 31/3 1989. Translated from Tamil.

  16. 16.

    AP: 1990: 250, Supplementary Supply: Contribution to Provincial Councils for Integrated Rural Development Project. 13/11 1990.

  17. 17.

    AP: 1990: 155, Local Authorities (Special Provision) Bill.14/6 1990.

  18. 18.

    AP: 1990: 100, Unilateral Declaration of Independence by EPRLF. 6/3 1990. See also AP: 1990: 113.

  19. 19.

    AP: 1991: 185, Public Security Proclamation. 25/9 1991.

  20. 20.

    AP: 1990: 158, Security Situation in Eastern Province and AP: 1990: 166.

  21. 21.

    Previously, Ashraff also mentioned that the LTTE had banned the SLMC as a political party. See AP: 1990: 102.

  22. 22.

    AP: 1990: 100, Unilateral Declaration of Independence by EPRLF. 6/3 1990.

  23. 23.

    AP: 1990: 117, Public Security Proclamation. 26/4 1990. See also AP: 1990: 101. In this speech, Ashraff referred to the LTTE as murderous but also said that it was welcome in the democratic process.

  24. 24.

    AP: 1990: 41, Question by Private Notice Security Situation in Ampara District. 30/1 1990.

  25. 25.

    The exact number of people that were actually evicted is rather unclear; Ashraff refers to 90,000 in his speech AP: 1992: 108, Defence Levy Amendment Bill 7/7 1992. In the speech AP: 1990: 250 Supplementary Supply: Contribution to Provincial for Integrated Rural Development Project, he talks about 22,000 people. AP: 1992: 109, Defence Levy Amendment Bill 7/7 1992. For another example, see AP: 1990: 263, Public Security Proclamation 22/11 1990.

  26. 26.

    AP: 1991: 63, Public Security Proclamation. 23/4 1991.

  27. 27.

    AP: 1991: 234, Appropriation Bill 1992. 15/11 1991.

  28. 28.

    AP: 1990: 240, Plight of Muslims in North & East. 9/11 1990.

  29. 29.

    AP: 1990: 141, Public Security Proclamation. 25/4 1990. Translated from Tamil.

  30. 30.

    AP: 1990: 148, Public Security Proclamation. 24/5 1990.

  31. 31.

    AP: 1990: 170, Security Situation in the Eastern Province. 10/8 1990.

  32. 32.

    The rules of war in the Qur’an are, however, often contradictory. Regarding the law of war, see Landau-Tasseron 2013.

  33. 33.

    AP: 1990: 170, Security Situation in the Eastern Province. 10/8 1990.

  34. 34.

    AP: 1990: 169–171, Security Situation in the Eastern Province. 10/8 1990.

  35. 35.

    Alexander 2015.

  36. 36.

    AP: 1990: 171, Security Situation in the Eastern Province. 10/8 1990.

  37. 37.

    AP: 1992: 129, Public Security Proclamation. 23/7 1992. The question of jihad had come up in a debate 2 years earlier in which Ashraff was vague in his description; however, he stated that the question of jihad had arisen. See AP: 1990: 65.

  38. 38.

    AP: 1992: 220–7, Appropriation Bill 1993 Minister of Post and Telecommunications (cont’d). 11/12 1992. Translated from Tamil.

  39. 39.

    AP: 1989: 341, Public Security Proclamation. 22/12 1989. Translated from Tamil.

  40. 40.

    See De Silva and Farook 1999, retrieved 2015-07-31.

  41. 41.

    AP: 1992: 191, Appropriation Bill 1993 Minister of Power and Energy. 7/12 1992.

  42. 42.

    AP: 1990: 165, Security Situation in the Eastern Province. 10/8 1990.

  43. 43.

    For example, see AP: 1991: 130, AP: 1991: 170, and AP: 1991: 188.

  44. 44.

    AP: 1991: 65, Public Security Proclamation. 23/4 1991.

  45. 45.

    AP: 1990: 163, General Sir John Kotalawela Defence Academy (Amendment) Bill. 7/8 1990.

  46. 46.

    AP: 1990: 163, General Sir John Kotalawela Defence Academy (Amendment) Bill. 7/8 1990.

  47. 47.

    AP: 1990: 220, Public Security Proclamation. 20/9 1990. See also AP: 1990: 317.

  48. 48.

    AP: 1989: 183, Security of Muslims in the Eastern Province: Statement by MR. M.H.M Ashraff. 25/8 1989 and AP: 1989: 220 Public Security Proclamation 19/10 1989.

  49. 49.

    O’Sullivan 1999: 278–9 and Eickelman and Piscatori 2004: 105.

  50. 50.

    AP: 1989: 214–21, Public Security Proclamation. 19/10 1989. See also AP: 1990: 111–129, P and AP: 1990: 161–3.

  51. 51.

    AP: 1989: 217–223, Public Security Proclamation. 19/10 1989. The request for Muslims to acquire guns and receive weapons training can also be found in AP: 1990: 163 Security Situation in Easter Province.

  52. 52.

    AP: 1990: 221, Public Security Proclamation. 20/9 1990. See also AP: 1990: 48 for similar arguments.

  53. 53.

    AP: 1989: 20, Appropriation Bill. 23/3 1989.

  54. 54.

    AP: 1991: 163, Government Policy of Privatization Peoplization State Establishment and Corporation. 9/8 1991. See also AP: 1992: 115–121.

  55. 55.

    Glynn 2012: 11.

  56. 56.

    AP: 1990: 289–90, Appropriation Bill 1991 Order read for Resuming Adjournment Debate on Question. 28/11 1990. See also AP: 1990: 101.

  57. 57.

    AP: 1991: 163, Government Policy of Privatization Peoplization State Establishment and Corporation. 9/8 1991.

  58. 58.

    AP: 1989: 21, Appropriation Bill. 23/3 1989.

  59. 59.

    In this talk, he includes the Burghers, who are a small Eurasian group in Sri Lanka. See McGilvray 1982.

  60. 60.

    AP: 1991: 119, Supplementary Supply: Agriculture Productivity Villages. 11/7 1991.

  61. 61.

    AP: 1989: 21, Appropriation Bill. 23/3 1989. See also AP: 1989: 279.

  62. 62.

    AP: 1989: 65, No Confidence in Government. 19/3 1992.

  63. 63.

    AP: 1991: 161, Tea Small Holding Development Amendment Bill. 8/8 1991. See also AP: 1989: 134–147, and AP: 1992: 61–8.

  64. 64.

    O’Sullivan 1999: 313–6.

  65. 65.

    AP: 1989: 249, Age of Majority Amendment Bill. 9/11 1989.

  66. 66.

    AP: 1989: 249–253, Age of Majority Amendment Bill. 9/11 1989. Ashraff refers to a book written by Imam Navavi in Minah Ajjutalibeen, who is described as a scholar of the Shafi‘i School.

  67. 67.

    Bearman, et al. 2006. See also Adams 2015.

  68. 68.

    AP: 1989: 247–254, Age of Majority Amendment Bill 9/11. 1989. See also AP: 1990: 12 for similar arguments.

  69. 69.

    AP: 1989: 247–254, Age of Majority Amendment Bill. 9/11 1989.

  70. 70.

    AP: 1989: 201, Public Security Proclamation. 21/9 1989.

  71. 71.

    AP: 1989: 201, Public Security Proclamation. 21/9 1989.

  72. 72.

    AP: 1990: 3, No Confidence in Government. 1/12 1990. See also AP: 1989: 135.

  73. 73.

    AP: 1990: 5, No Confidence in Government. 1/12.

  74. 74.

    AP: 1989: 213, Public Security Proclamation. 19/10 1989. See also AP: 1992: 1–9.

  75. 75.

    AP: 1991: 56, Public Security Proclamation. 20/3 1991.

  76. 76.

    AP: 1992: 90, Public Security Proclamation. 23/4 1992.

  77. 77.

    It is unclear which translation of the Qur’an Ashraff used. AP: 1990: 320, Appropriation Bill 1991 to the Ministry of Justice. 4/12 1989.

  78. 78.

    AP: 1989: 105, Appropriation Bill 1989 Ministry of Public Administration, Provincial Councils and Home Affairs. 10/4 1989. For similar arguments, see AP: 1989: 136 and AP: 1990: 321.

  79. 79.

    AP: 1989: 71, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Information. 6/4 1989.

  80. 80.

    AP: 1990: 138, Supplementary Supply: Mid-Day Meal to School Children. 23/5 1990.

  81. 81.

    AP: 1989: 74, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Information. 6/4 1989.

  82. 82.

    AP: 1991: 138, Teaching Appointments to Digamadulla Districts. 24/7 1991.

  83. 83.

    See AP: 1991: 282, Appropriation Bill 1992 Minster of Education & Higher Education. 2/12 1991.

  84. 84.

    AP: 1990: 138–9, Supplementary Supply: Mid-day Meal to School Children. 23/5 1990.

  85. 85.

    AP: 1990: 257, Question by M.H.M. Ashraff. 21/11 1990.

  86. 86.

    AP: 1991: 124, Adjournment Motion: Situation in North Colombo Medical College, Colombo University and Ayurveda College. 12/7 1991. AP: 1989: 73, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Information. 6/4 1989.

  87. 87.

    AP: 1992: 53, Question by Private Notice Selection of Muslims and Tamils to Sri Pada College of Education, Kotagala. 6/3 1992.

  88. 88.

    There are other examples where Ashraff talks about Tamil-speaking people; however, he distinguishes between Tamils and Muslims in the cases that I have seen. See, for example, AP: 1991: 53.

  89. 89.

    AP: 1990: 341, Appropriation Bill 1991 Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Information. 13/12 1990. AP: 1989: 68, Appropriation Bill 1989 Minster of Higher Education, Science and Technology. 5/4 1989. One year later, he repeated these arguments to the Minster of Higher Education. See AP: 1990: 328, Appropriation Bill 1991 Ministry of Education & Higher Education. 6/12 1990, and AP: 1991: 280, Appropriation Bill 1992 Minster of Education & Higher Education. 2/12 1991.

  90. 90.

    Ameerdeen 2006: 42.

  91. 91.

    Ameerdeen 2006: 113.

  92. 92.

    AP: 1989: 63, Appropriation Bill 1989 Minster of Higher Education, Science and Technology. 5/4 1989.

  93. 93.

    AP: 1989: 63–4, Appropriation Bill 1989 Minster of Higher Education, Science and Technology. 5/4 1989. See also AP: 1989: 129f, University (Amendment) Bill 27/4 1989.

  94. 94.

    For similar arguments, see AP: 1989: 109.

  95. 95.

    AP: 1989: 64, Appropriation Bill 1989 Minster of Higher Education, Science and Technology. 5/4 1989.

  96. 96.

    AP: 1991: 23–4, Civil Procedure Code Amendment Bill. 31/1 1991.

  97. 97.

    AP: 1991: 280, Appropriation Bill 1992 Minster of Education & Higher Education. 2/12 1991.

  98. 98.

    AP: 1989: 71, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Information. 6/4 1989.

  99. 99.

    AP: 1990: 81, Tertiary and Vocational Education Bill. 20/2 1990.

  100. 100.

    AP: 1990: 32, Appropriation Bill 1991 Ministry of Education & Higher Education. 6/12 1990. The source Ashraff used to quote the Prophet Muhammad is unknown.

  101. 101.

    AP: 1990: 326–7, Appropriation Bill Ministry of Education & Higher Education. 6/12 1990.

  102. 102.

    AP: 1990: 82, Tertiary and Vocational Education Bill. 20/2 1990.

  103. 103.

    AP: 1990: 10, No Confidence in Government. 21/1 1990.

  104. 104.

    AP: 1991: 280, Appropriation Bill 1992 Minster of Education & Higher Education. 2/12 1991.

  105. 105.

    AP: 1991: 281, Appropriation Bill 1992 Minster of Education & Higher Education. 2/12 1991.

  106. 106.

    AP: 1989: 228, Council of Legal Education Ordinance: Rules Adjournment. 7/11 1989.

  107. 107.

    AP: 1989: 108, Appropriation Bill 1989 Ministry of Public Administration, Provincial Council and Home Affairs. 10/4 1989.

  108. 108.

    AP: 1990: 136, Supplementary Supply: Mid-day Meal to School Children. 23/5 1990.

  109. 109.

    AP: 1991: 280, Appropriation Bill Minster of Education & Higher Education. 2/12 1991. See also AP: 1990: 137.

  110. 110.

    AP: 1992: 139, Implementation of the Official Language Policy. 4/8 1992.

  111. 111.

    AP: 1991: 363, Appropriation Bill: Ministry of Sports. 18/12 1991.

  112. 112.

    These ideas were also promoted in the text Our vision. See O’Sullivan 1999: 254.

  113. 113.

    AP: 1990: 23, Debt Recovery Bill. 24/1 1990.

  114. 114.

    AP: 1990: 25–27, Debt Recovery Bill. 24/1 1990. For another example, see AP: 1991: 119–124.

  115. 115.

    See Choudhury 2013.

  116. 116.

    AP: 1990: 27, Debt Recovery Bill. 24/1 1990. For another example, see AP: 1991: 119–124.

  117. 117.

    Smith 2015.

  118. 118.

    The constitution of Sri Lanka, quoted by Ashraff in AP: 1990: 196, Excise Amendment Bill. 5/9 1990.

  119. 119.

    AP: 1990: 385, Appropriation Bill 1991: Minister of Finance. 21/12 1990.

  120. 120.

    AP: 1992: 241–2, Turnover Tax Act. 16/12 1992 (translated from Tamil). For similar arguments, see AP: 1992: 15, Peoplization of State Banks. 19/2 1992.

  121. 121.

    AP: 1991: 120, Supplementary Supply: Agriculture Productivity Villages. 11/7 1991.

  122. 122.

    See Nanji 2013.

  123. 123.

    AP: 1992: 41, Finance Amendment Bill 4/3 1992. See also AP: 1992: 116.

  124. 124.

    AP: 1989: 25, Appropriation Bill. 23/3 1989.

  125. 125.

    The author of this book is described as a scholar of Islamic law.

  126. 126.

    AP: 1989: 25, Appropriations Bill. 1989 23/3 1989.

  127. 127.

    AP: 1992: 203–6, Appropriation Bill 1993: Minister of Justice. 8/9 1992.

  128. 128.

    AP: 1989: 110, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Tourism. 11/4 1989.

  129. 129.

    AP: 1989: 111, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Tourism. 11/4 1989.

  130. 130.

    See Rowson 2013.

  131. 131.

    Miller 2002: note 3.

  132. 132.

    AP: 1989: 110, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Tourism. 11/4 1989.

  133. 133.

    AP: 1992: 230, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Health. 14/12 1992.

  134. 134.

    AP: 1992: 230, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Health. 14/12 1992.

  135. 135.

    AP: 1989: 111, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Tourism. 11/4 1989.

  136. 136.

    AP: 1989: 329, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Tourism 1990. 11/12 1989.

  137. 137.

    AP: 1990: 196–7, Excise Amendment Bill 5/9 1990. For a similar argument, see AP: 1992: 270, Appropriation Bill 1992 Minister of Ports and Telecommunications. 29/11 1991.

  138. 138.

    AP: 1991: 33f Custom Resolution: Import Duties. 19/2 1991.

  139. 139.

    AP: 1989: 62, Question by private notice. 5/4 1989.

  140. 140.

    AP: 1989: 62, Question by private notice. 5/4 1989.

  141. 141.

    AP: 1992: 207, Appropriation Bill: Ministry of Justice. 8/9 1992. For another example, see AP: 1990: 1–12.

  142. 142.

    See Wagner 1990: 214.

  143. 143.

    AP: 1992: 208, Appropriation Bill: Ministry of Justice. 8/9 1992.

  144. 144.

    AP: 1992: 208, Appropriation Bill: Ministry of Justice. 8/9 1992.

  145. 145.

    AP: 1992: 30–3, Adoption of Children Amendment Bill. 21/2 1992.

  146. 146.

    See Powers 2013.

  147. 147.

    AP: 1992: 32, Adoption of Children Amendment Bill. 21/2 1992.

  148. 148.

    O’Sullivan 1999: 95.

  149. 149.

    AP: 1989: 46, Appropriation Bill to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 3/4 1989. See also AP: 1990: 314.

  150. 150.

    O’Sullivan 1999: 228.

  151. 151.

    AP: 1990: 261, Public Security Proclamation. 22/11 1990. Ashraff also talks about the CIA, Jews, and Zionists as having a hand in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka. See AP: 1991: 42.

  152. 152.

    AP: 1991: 216, Public Security Proclamation. 24/10 1991.

  153. 153.

    AP: 1991: 216, Public Security Proclamation. 24/10 1991.

  154. 154.

    AP: 1992: 215, Public Security Proclamation. 23/7 1992.

  155. 155.

    O’Sullivan 1999: 309.

  156. 156.

    The war that took place in 1990–1991 when the United States and its allies attacked Iraq in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

  157. 157.

    AP: 1991: 8, Adjournment Motion: Gulf War. 24/1 1991.

  158. 158.

    AP: 1991: 12, Adjournment Motion: Gulf War. 24/1 1991.

  159. 159.

    AP: 1991: 12, Adjournment Motion: Gulf War. 24/1 1991.

  160. 160.

    AP: 1991: 13 Adjournment Motion: Gulf War. 24/1 1991.

  161. 161.

    AP: 1991: 309 Appropriation Bill 1992 Ministry of Plantation Industries. 9/12 1991.

  162. 162.

    AP: 1992: 227, Appropriation Bill 1993 Minister of Post and Telecommunications (cont’d). 11/12 1992. Translated from Tamil. See also AP: 1992: 190.

  163. 163.

    Cf. Eickelman and Piscatori 2004: 102.

  164. 164.

    Knoerzer 1998: 152.

  165. 165.

    There is little doubt that the SLMC had its major support in the eastern part of Sri Lanka. This is clear when viewing voting statistics for the elections of the 1980s (Knoerzer 1998: 152).

  166. 166.

    Saravanamuttu 2010 : 15.

  167. 167.

    O’Sullivan 1999: 256.

  168. 168.

    Abubakar 2010: 128.

  169. 169.

    Balibar 2002: 132.

  170. 170.

    Cf. Anderson 2006: 121.

  171. 171.

    Balibar 2002: 123.

  172. 172.

    Balibar 2002: 119.

  173. 173.

    See National United Alliance n.d.

  174. 174.

    McGilvray and Raheem 2007: 29.

  175. 175.

    See Wilde and McAuliffe 2013.

  176. 176.

    See Landau-Tasseron 2013.

  177. 177.

    Lewis 1988: 73.

  178. 178.

    Despite Ashraff’s use of Islamic terms and symbols, some of his opponents consider him as having been an “Islamic fraud”. See Farook 2009.

  179. 179.

    See Eickelman and Piscatori 2004: 43.

  180. 180.

    Cordier 2010: 482.

  181. 181.

    Mawdudi was not alone among Islamist thinkers in proposing this. See Bellén Soage 2010: 30f; Altuntas 2010; and Mitchell 1969, Chapter VIII.

  182. 182.

    Ahmed 1985: 107

  183. 183.

    O’Sullivan 1999: 267.

  184. 184.

    O’Sullivan 1999: 266.

  185. 185.

    Klem 2012: 736. This could also be observed in Imtiyaz 2005.

  186. 186.

    The concepts are extremes and cannot be restricted to any organization in particular. They should be seen as tendencies among organizations. Hjärpe described these concepts in this way: “Secularism and fundamentalism are in opposite to each other when it comes to religion’s function in society. The secular sees religion as an individual choice […] The fundamentalist states that Islam in itself is a social order” Hjärpe 1983: 42.

  187. 187.

    Spencer 2012: note 7.

  188. 188.

    C.f. Eickelman and Piscatori 2004: 126.

  189. 189.

    Eickelman and Piscatori 2004: 109.

  190. 190.

    See Eickelman and Piscatori 2004: 13.

  191. 191.

    Eickelman and Piscatori 2004: 146.

  192. 192.

    Eickelman and Piscatori 2004: 16. See also Edwards 2009: 103f.

References

Primary Sources

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Johansson, A. (2019). Ashraff in Parliament 1989–1992. In: Pragmatic Muslim Politics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-12789-3_4

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