Sri Lanka’s Joint Chambers of Commerce in a letter addressed to President Gotabaya Rajapakse has requested action to be initiated to repeal the 20th amendment to the constitution.
The full text of the letter follows…..
Letter by the Joint Chambers to H E the President
Current Economic and Political Situation
The Private Sector, as represented by the Joint Chambers, welcome the commencement of negotiations with the IMF, the process of selecting legal and financial advisors to guide the debt restructuring process and the suspension of external debt repayments as a first step in this process.
We also hope that these actions together with bridge financing arrangements can be translated to reduce the power interruptions that continue to disrupt daily lives of people and business activities.
The Joint Chambers are however concerned that the current political deadlock coupled with growing public unrest could potentially derail the actions being taken to resolve the serious economic crisis faced by the country, and that the absence of political stability could significantly disrupt the successful and speedy completion of initiatives taken thus far.
Therefore, the Joint Chambers urge Your Excellency, as President, to immediately initiate legislative action to repeal the 20th amendment to the constitution which contributed to the present situation. This will be viewed as a historic positive development for this country both from a political and economic perspective.
This we are confident will ensure a better balance of power between the Executive and the Legislature along with the reintroduction of the Constitutional Council and other independent Commissions that will lead to a more acceptable political framework that could help resolve the current impasse.
Once this is done through a consensual approach, we recommend that a bi-partisan national government is established with the ability to support the economic management team to steer the country out of the current economic crisis and resolve the continuing issues relating to fuel, electricity, gas and other critical elements of the supply chain.
We are hopeful by taking these initiatives, a positive assurance can be be given to the people of Sri Lanka towards a better future.
We trust that Your Excellency will give this appeal the attention that it deserves.