M. L. A. M. Hizbullah

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M. L. A. M. Hizbullah

எம். எல். ஏ. எம். ஹிஸ்புல்லா
4th Governor of Eastern Province
In office
3 January 2019 – 3 June 2019
Preceded byRohitha Bogollagama
Succeeded byShan Wijayalal De Silva
Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for National List
In office
2015 – 4 January 2019
Member of the Sri Lankan Parliament
for Batticaloa District
In office
2010–2015
In office
2001–2004
In office
1989–2000
Member of the North Eastern Provincial Council for Batticaloa District
In office
1988–1989
Member of the Eastern Provincial Council for Batticaloa District
In office
2008–2010
Succeeded byK. L. M. Fareed
Personal details
Born (1963-02-02) 2 February 1963 (age 56)
Political partyUnited People's Freedom Alliance
Alma materUniversity of Madras

Mahamood Lebbe Alim Mohamed Hizbullah (born 2 February 1963) is a Sri Lankan politician and state minister. He is the Presidential Candidate 2019 Presidential Election.

Early life[edit]

Hizbullah was born on 2 February 1963.[1][2] He has a General Arts Qualification (GAQ) from the University of Peradeniya.[2][3] He has a M.A. degree from the University of Madras.[3]

Career[edit]

Hizbullah was a member of Kattankudy Divisional Council.[2] He was elected to the North Eastern Provincial Council at the 1988 provincial council election.[2]

Hizbullah contested the 1989 parliamentary election as one of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress' (SLMC) candidates in Batticaloa District. He was elected and entered Parliament.[4] He was re-elected at the 1994 parliamentary election.[5] He was Deputy Minister of Media and Deputy Minister of Post and Telecommunication.[3][6][7] He was not re-elected at the 2000 parliamentary election. He was then appointed chairman of the state owned National Water Supply and Drainage Board.[8]

In 2000 SLMC leader M. H. M. Ashraff was to going to suspend Hizbullah from the party but in September 2000 Ashraff was killed.[9] In the ensuing power struggle Hizbullah tried unsuccessfully to gain the leadership of the SLMC.[10] Rauff Hakeem became leader of the SLMC whilst Hizbullah became deputy leader of the National Unity Alliance which was led by Ashraff's widow Ferial Ashraff.[11][12]

Hizbullah contested the 2001 parliamentary election as one of the People's Alliance's candidates in Batticaloa District. He was elected and re-entered Parliament.[13] He contested the 2004 parliamentary election as a United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) candidate but the UPFA failed to win any seats in Batticaloa District.[14][15]

Between 2004 and 2005 Hizbullah was chairman of the state owned Airport and Aviation Services Limited during which time he and his wife Sithy Rameeza Sahabdeen are alleged to have defrauded Rs 67.5 million from the company.[16] Hizbullah defected back to the SLMC in 2005 before defecting again, in 2008, to the All Ceylon Muslim Congress, a constituent of the UPFA.[17][18]

Hizbullah contested the 2008 provincial council election as one of the UPFA's candidates in Batticaloa District and was elected to the Eastern Provincial Council.[19] Hizbullah had wanted to be Chief Minister but the UPFA made Pillayan (S. Chandrakanthan) chief minister.[20][21] He was instead appointed Minister for Health and Indigenous Medicine, Social Welfare, Probation and Childcare Services, Women's Affairs, Youth Affairs, Sports, Information Technology Education, Co-operative Development, Food Supply and Distribution.[22]

Hizbullah contested the 2010 parliamentary election as one of the UPFA's candidates in Batticaloa District. He was elected and re-entered Parliament.[23] Following the election he was appointed Deputy Minister of Child Development and Women's Affairs.[24] In January 2013 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Economic Development.[3][25]

Hizbullah's party, the ACMC, left the UPFA in December 2014 to support common opposition candidate Maithripala Sirisena at the 2015 presidential election.[26] Hizbullah chose to remain with the UPFA and support its leader Mahinda Rajapaksa in the election.[27] Hizbullah was one of the UPFA's candidates in Batticaloa District at the 2015 parliamentary election but the UPFA failed to win any seats in the district.[28][29] However, after the election he was appointed as a UPFA National List MP in the Sri Lankan Parliament.[30][31] He was sworn in as State Minister of Resettlement and Rehabilitation on 9 September 2015.[32][33]

Controversies[edit]

Extremist ties and role in Arabization of Sri Lankan Muslims[edit]

Hizbullah has been accused of supporting Islamic extremists in the Eastern Province and abusing his powers. In the aftermath of the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter Bombings opposition to him further grew with hartals in Trincomalee, Kantale, Serunuwara and Morawewa with some violence being reported. Complaints against him and Rishad Bathiudeen were also lodged in CID. Islamic extremists including those that support the National Thowheeth Jama'ath have begun replacing name boards in the Eastern Province with those in Arabic while out of the 72 acres of archaeological land that belonged to the Muhudu Maha Vihara, 55 acres were forcibly acquired by Muslim extremists while courts in the Eastern Province do not accept cases filled in Sinhala. The Tamil National Alliance also demanded the President Maithripala Sirisena to stop protecting him and asked Hizbullah to resign.[34][35][36][37] However despite heavy protests and criticism Sirisena appointed him as Co-Chairman of the districts coordinating committees in Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara on 29 May to "expedite development".[38]

CCTV videos of Hizbullah meeting with a group of Saudi nationals on the day after the bombings despite the curfew imposed were released to the public. The CID began investigations into the meeting. Further his role in the Batticaloa Campus also called the "Sharia Campus" which was being built with Saudi Arabian funds were also questioned. Hizbullah denied the institute will teach Sharia law. However according to letters sent to the Higher Education Ministry five academic cadre positions were allocated for the Sharia and Islamic Studies stream. Further the institute's website also claimed that Sharia Law was a subject but the website later removed mentions of Sharia.[39][40][41]

On 31 May Athuraliye Rathana Thera began a hunger protest requesting the removal of Hizbullah and several other politicians like Rishad Bathiudeen who are accused of having ties to Islam extremists. There were several protests by Sinhala and Tamil as well as Hindu, Christian and Muslim figures and organisations in support of the thera including by relatives of the bomb blasts.[42][43]

The protests were also supported by the Mahanayaka theras and Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith also visited the fasting Thera. Hizbullah initially refused to resign without "consulting his people" but later resigned alongside Western Province governor Azath Sally.[44][45][46][47]

On 10 June Hizbullah claimed "Muslims should live with their heads up. I wish to make it clear that only in this country that we are minorities, but in this whole world, we are in a majority. Till we find a solution to our problems, we should be united. At the time of the elections, we must reveal our stance,". Further his speech was marked with inflammatory language. His speech was condemned by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who claimed that everybody must identify as Sri Lankans.[48][49]

The Federation of Kattankudy Mosques and Institutions accused Hizbullah of encouraging the Arabization of Sri Lankan Muslims when its representative testified before the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to probe Easter Sunday attack.[50]

When questioned by the PSC Hizbullah accepted that he did meet Zahran Hashim, leader of the NTJ in the past but claimed that the two later had falling out resulting in Zahran's followers attacking his supporters. He also accepted that he met Zahran before the 2015 election but also revealed that other candidates had also met him. However Sufi leaders of Kattankudy revealed that Hizbullah was among the Muslim politicians who pledged their support to the NTJ and its leader despite the group actively inciting violence against Sufis. [51][52]

Electoral history[edit]

Electoral history of M. L. A. M. Hizbullah
Election Constituency Party Votes Result
1988 provincial Batticaloa District Elected
1989 parliamentary[4] Batticaloa District SLMC 15,832 Elected
1994 parliamentary[5] Batticaloa District SLMC 12,583 Elected
2001 parliamentary[13] Batticaloa District PA 19,785 Elected
2004 parliamentary[15] Batticaloa District UPFA 23,813 Not elected
2008 provincial Batticaloa District UPFA Elected
2010 parliamentary[23] Batticaloa District UPFA 22,256 Elected
2015 parliamentary Batticaloa District UPFA Not elected

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Directory of Members: M.L.A.M. Hizbullah". Parliament of Sri Lanka.
  2. ^ a b c d de Silva, W. P. P.; Ferdinando, T. C. L. 9th Parliament of Sri Lanka (PDF). Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited. p. 269. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d "Economic Dev. Deputy Minister Hizbullah assumes duties". Daily FT. 11 February 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 23 August 2015.
  4. ^ a b "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1989" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Result of Parliamentary General Election 1994" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2010.
  6. ^ Peiris, Roshan (13 February 2000). "A glimpse of Iranian culture". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka).
  7. ^ "Govt. has links with LTTE, alleges UNP". The Island (Sri Lanka). 5 October 2000.
  8. ^ Goonewardene, Dinali (3 December 2000). "Hot water in the pipeline". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka).
  9. ^ "The ultimate solution: Only between Govt. and LTTE". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 1 March 2003.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Power struggle for SLMC leadership takes new turn". TamilNet. 13 August 2001.
  11. ^ Krishnaswamy, P. (1 September 2002). "Ferial: 'No merger' : Joint SLMC-NUA plank for Thailand talks". Sunday Observer. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
  12. ^ Jayasekara, Bandula (27 June 2005). "Ferial under pressure, Hisbullah quits". The Island (Sri Lanka).
  13. ^ a b "General Election 2001 Preferences" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2010.
  14. ^ "Parliamentary General Election 2004 Final District Results - Batticaloa District". Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012.
  15. ^ a b "General Election 2004 Preferences" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2010.
  16. ^ Jansz, Frederica (13 September 2009). "This week - Hizbullah in the dock". The Sunday Leader.
  17. ^ "The huff, puff and the bluff". The Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). 25 May 2008.
  18. ^ "Hizbullah crosses over to UPFA". TamilNet. 1 April 2008.
  19. ^ "PART I : SECTION (I) — GENERAL Government Notifications PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ELECTIONS ACT, No. 2 OF 1988 Eastern Province Provincial Council" (PDF). The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Extraordinary. 1549/17. 15 May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Pillayan sworn in as CM for Eastern Province". TamilNet. 16 May 2008.
  21. ^ "Independent, his bull ah?". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 25 May 2008.
  22. ^ "PART IV (A) — PROVINCIAL COUNCILS Appointments & c., by the Governors APPOINTMENTS OF THE EASTERN PROVINCE PROVINCIAL COUNCIL" (PDF). The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Extraordinary. 1552/19. 5 June 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 April 2013.
  23. ^ a b "Parliamentary General Election - 2010 Batticaloa Preferences" (PDF). Department of Elections, Sri Lanka. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 May 2010.
  24. ^ "PART I : SECTION (I) — GENERAL Appointments & c., by the President" (PDF). The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Extraordinary. 1651/03. 26 April 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 May 2010.
  25. ^ "PART I : SECTION (I) — GENERAL Appointments & c., by the President" (PDF). The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Extraordinary. 1795/43. 31 January 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 May 2013.
  26. ^ Srinivasan, Meera (22 December 2014). "Rajapaksa's Muslim ally defects to opposition". The Hindu.
  27. ^ Bandara, Kelum (23 December 2014). "Rishad's party splits; Hizbullah remains with MR". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka).
  28. ^ "UPFA appoints 7 defeated candidates on National List". Daily FT. 22 August 2015.
  29. ^ Santiago, Melanie (18 August 2015). "General Election 2015: Several former MPs will not return to parliament". News First.
  30. ^ "PART I : SECTION (I) — GENERAL Government Notifications PARLIAMENTARY ELECTION — 2015 Declaration under Article 99A of the Constitution" (PDF). The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka Extraordinary. 1928/25. 21 August 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 September 2015.
  31. ^ "UPFA finalises National list". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 21 August 2015.
  32. ^ "New State and Deputy Ministers". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). 9 September 2015.
  33. ^ "State and Deputy Ministers take oaths (Updated Full List)". The Nation (Sri Lanka). 9 September 2015. Archived from the original on 10 September 2015. Retrieved 12 September 2015.
  34. ^ "Complaints against Bathiudeen and Hizbullah handed over to the CID - Sri Lanka Latest News". Sri Lanka News - Newsfirst. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  35. ^ "Extremists replacing Sinhala signboards with those in Arabic: Prelate". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  36. ^ "Hartal in Trinco against Hizbullah". Daily News. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  37. ^ "Bathiudeen, Asath Sally and Hizbullah must resign: TNA". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  38. ^ "Hizbullah gets new appointment". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  39. ^ "Mystery shrouds Batticaloa's 'Shariah' campus". The Sunday Times Sri Lanka. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  40. ^ "Batticaloa campus: Did Hizbullah misuse his office?". Sunday Observer. 18 May 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  41. ^ "CID to probe the meeting between Hisbulla and a Saudi team". Hiru News. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  42. ^ www.adaderana.lk http://www.adaderana.lk/news/55503/two-monks-join-tna-mp-viyalendiran-in-protest-fast-supporting-rathana-thero. Retrieved 2 June 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  43. ^ Ada Derana (2 June 2019), බදියුදීන්, සාලි, හිස්බුල්ලා ගැන රජය වහාම පියවර ගත යුතුයි... ඥානසාර හිමි පවසයි, retrieved 2 June 2019
  44. ^ "Maha Nayake Theras urge Prez, PM to resolve Rathana Thera's demands". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  45. ^ "Cardinal visits Rathana Thera". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  46. ^ "I will only resign after consulting my people: Hisbullah". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  47. ^ "Salley, Hizbullah resign". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
  48. ^ "We are in majority globally and cannot be subjugated: Hizbullah". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  49. ^ "PM condemns Hisbullah's remarks". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  50. ^ "Hizbullah began Arabization in Kattankudy: Muslim Org". www.dailymirror.lk. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  51. ^ www.adaderana.lk http://www.adaderana.lk/news/55736/hizbullah-gives-evidence-at-parliamentary-select-committee. Retrieved 13 June 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  52. ^ "Informed authorities on Zahran's call to kill all non-Muslims - Moulavi Sahlan". www.adaderana.lk. Retrieved 30 July 2019.