Former Governor of the Eastern province M. L. A. M. Hisbullah yesterday told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), probing the Easter Sunday carnage that he had, in Parliament, warned of a bloodbath sometime back, but it had nothing to do Islamic extremism.
Giving evidence before the PSC during the second session of the fifth day of sitting, Hisbullah said that he warned of a bloodbath in case of the merger of the North and the East.
Hizbulla said that he had established an NGO by the name of Sri Lanka Hira Foundation in 1993 and it received funds from Saudi Arabia. The foundation had received around Rs. 350 million. The funds had been utilised to renovate mosques, help poor children in their education, sponsor Imams to Mecca, and to build an Intensive care unit at the Kattankudy hospital.
The former Government said he had introduced a project to establish educational institutes. “I asked for one such institute in the east. When Batticaloa University College was set up, Sri Lanka Hira Foundation became a shareholder. It had 90 percent of shares.”
Prof. Ashu Marasinghe: When you signed the agreement with Minister Dullas Alahapperuma you were a deputy minister. Isn’t it wrong for a government minister do business with the government?
Hisbullah: Ours is a non-profit organization. So it was not something commercial.
Yesterday’s PSC comprised Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa, Prof. Ashu Marasinghe, Dr. Jayampathi Wickremeratne, Rauff Hakeem, Ananda Kumarasiri, M.A. Sumanthiran, and Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka.
Sumanthiran: Why did you say in Parliament that there could be a bloodbath if harassment of Muslims continued?
Hisbullah: That was said in a different context. There was a proposal to merge the Northern and Eastern provinces. Then our people expressed their opposition to that proposal. I echoed their voice. Our people didn’t want to live under continued harassment from the people of the North. I warned that there would be a bloodbath if the provinces were merged.