The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) has written to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, presenting strategies to cope with the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks and requesting their support.
Subsequent to concerns discussed at its April meeting of the Chamber Committee, the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce sought meetings with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss matters relating to security concerns and national revival efforts, following the acts of terrorism which occurred on Easter Sunday.
In response, the Prime Minister met with the leadership of the Chamber on May Day during which several action points were discussed. The Chamber leaders also handed over to the Prime Minister a letter addressed jointly to the President and Prime Minister.
The Chamber said it has forwarded the letter to President Maithripala Sirisena signed by Chairman Rajendra Theagarajah and awaiting an appointment to discuss matters further.
In its letter, the Chamber highlighted the following.
The available information points to a serious lack of co-ordination, competence and effectiveness in handling national security. It is also abundantly clear that petty divisive political differences among the political leadership has contributed to a situation where the interests of the country are subordinate to political agendas.
The events of October 2018 were also an indication of this sorry situation, which was fortunately corrected by an independent Judiciary. On that occasion too, it was the people that suffered.
Going forward, the people of this country need to be assured that the Government machinery to safeguard its people from acts of terrorists is effective, that national security will be accorded the highest priority and that the political leadership of this country has the capacity to work together, setting aside political differences to accord the highest priority to national issues.
It is unfortunate but true that the recent events and the mishandling of security has contributed to the erosion of confidence in the political leadership to keep this country safe, and to ensure that its economy, which is also challenged due to external factors, is not further embattled due to domestic issues which are avoidable.
While the immediate victims of the Easter attacks were those that lost their lives and their families, the consequences will impact millions more whose dependence on sectors that are seriously adversely affected will impair their livelihood prospects for a considerable period. This is unfortunate.
“We also condemn the utterances of elected representatives of the people and other political personalities of all parties who are continuing to engage in the blame game in an attempt to make political capital of the current situation. This is indeed a pathetic display of insensitivity to current national issues which should be addressed by all political parties collectively and in a spirit that accepts that there is a national crisis,” the Ceylon Chamber letter pointed out.
To engage in such narrow political pursuits is to demonstrate an inability to appreciate the true role of leaders of the people, it said, adding that “The need of the moment is for statesmen, not mere politicians.”
In these circumstances, the Chamber’s letter urged the President and Prime Minister to take the suggested specific action on four areas – national security, revival of the economy, overall revival and effective communication and management of perceptions.
See Page 4 for the full text of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce submission to President and Prime Minister.
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