MP asks SL Moslems not to cheer Pakistan
May 23, 1997
Agence France Presse (AFP)
A Muslim member of the Sri Lankan parliament has urged the
Muslims in his country to cheer their national team, and
not Pakistan, when the two teams clash in the finals of
the Independence Cup ODI tournament.
"Every Sri Lankan should be wishing and praying that our
national team pulls off yet another magnificient win,"
says A H M Azwer, MP belonging to the main opposition, the
United National Party.
"There is disquiet and rumbling in certain quarters,
however, that a few misguided elements in the Muslim
community hail Pakistan against Sri Lanka," Azwer said in
his statement. "This is neither sporting, nor a real
Islamic attitude. Sri Lankan Muslims in the past have
displayed an astounding sense of patriotism from the day
they landed in this serene island. And they should keep it
up even today. Hail they country, hail thy motherland
should be the cardinal motto and slogan the Muslims of Sri
Lanka should cry when the best of three finals between our
country and Pakistan begins on Saturday.
"Let us not leave an iota of doubt in the minds of our
brother communities that we tend to support a foreign
country," Azwer said, adding that he was relieved to learn
that the ulemas (preachers) had been making extraordinary
efforts, in their Friday prayers, to "instill in the minds
of the faithful the lesson of patriotism."
Azwer has appealed to the community not to leave room for
"msichievous elements to take advantage of those few
misguided persons, and earn for the community the blame of
being thought unpatriotic!"