COLOMBO : Founder of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress and National Unity Alliance political parties and one time Cabinet Minister, Member of Parliament Late M H M Ashraff, died on September 16th 2000.
Late Ashraff 23rd death anniversary September 16.. He breathed his last while on his way to his native Ampara District, when his Sri Lanka Air Force helicopter crashed in a blaze of flames in Aranayake. Had he been alive ,he would celebrated his 75th birthday on October 23 .
Ashraff was the only son of Mohamed Hussain, Being a son of the Eastern soil, he was a talented lawyer, articulate legislator and effective minister. He was also an accomplished poet, reciting poetry or quoting from literature at the drop of a hat. But more importantly he was a deeply humane person, who genuinely shed tears for the poor, the oppressed and the downtrodden. His dedicated efforts have transformed his home district Ampara from a backwarded rural district into a far developed area, moving rapidly towards modernity.
His single handed dedication to establish the South East University will be recorded in letters of gold . Former President Chandrika Banadarayke Kumaratunga Government He was signed the Ashraff-Chandrika pact and contested 1994 general election, As a Minister of Port and Shipping and Rehabilitation Reconstruction. He was not only a policy formulator but also a hard taskmaster in implementing the decisions of the Government. His qualities of leadership and respect for bureaucracy developed loyalty and team sprit, Ashraff was a very kind-hearted sensitive and highly emotional personality always with a ready smile and kind word never failing to greet his staff, at least with a smile and at the same time he was a leader who wanted things done accurately. Ashraff was a deeply religious man and would commence nothing without remembering the Almighty and seeking his guidance and blessings .
Muslim community lost a good kind hearted politician, and he was survived by his one and only son Aman Ashraff, and his wife former Minister Ferial Ashraff . He felt Muslims, particularly the Muslim farmers and fishermen of the Eastern Province did not have a voice and say in the politics of our country. His speeches in Parliament are replete with the concerns of the people of Eravur, Kalmunai, Addalachenai and his native Nintavur. But he was not a communalist. Ashraff was deeply committed to a vision of building a just society for all Sri Lankan.
The legacy of Ashraff leaves us is a commitment to a just state and a compassionate society. He reminds us that we must face this country’s challenges with both our heart and soul.
May Allah grant his soul Jannathul Firdious – Ameen
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