- Thirty eight private sector business chambers and associations write to Speaker calling for interim government to end instability
- Urge all elected representatives of people to bring upon political stability to the country by the end of this week
- Warn if current trend continues it could turn into a spiral of violence damaging people and economy
- Say vital sectors of the economy are witnessing fast and steady collapse of supply chains
A letter has been sent to Speaker of Parliament by 38 private sector business chambers and associations that represent vital sectors of the economy calling for an interim government to end the ongoing social, political and economic instability.
The letter, which was also copied to the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and all the parliamentarians, urged all elected representatives of people to bring upon political stability to the country “by the end of this week, where a pragmatic interim solution is brought up by the sitting parliamentarians together with the executive branch to address concerns of citizens that has let a massive public uprising.”
The letter also warned that if this trend is continued, it could turn into a spiral of violence “which can cause serious damage to the people and economy of this country.”
“Therefore, we urge every one of you to take up responsibility and act in the best interest of the country at this crucial juncture of our nation to establish an interim government that can focus on the immediate priorities described above,” the letter read.
It also stated that vital sectors of the economy are witnessing fast and steady collapse of the supply chains, which could in turn seriously disrupt both financial markets and banking systems.
“If all industries, exports and other critical sectors of the economy come to a standstill, the result will be the destruction of the entire social fabric with the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector being the hardest hit.
Therefore, it is imperative that the government is able to take forward the engagement with IMF and the debt restructuring process coupled with other much needed reforms with a sense of urgency to avoid an economic catastrophe,” the letter read.
The business chambers and associations that have taken part in sending the letter are:
All Island Dairy Association, Association of Container Deport Operators , Association of Container Transporters, Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, Ceylon Motor Traders Association, Colombo Rubber Traders Association , Colombo Tea Traders’ Association, Diamond exporters Association of Sri Lanka, Essential Food Importers and Traders Association, Exporters Association of Sri Lanka, Federation of the Information Technology Industry Sri Lanka, Free Trade Zone Manufacturers Association, Hub Operators Association of Sri Lanka, Industrialists Association Minuwangoda, Insurance Association of Sri Lanka, Joint Apparel Association Forum, Lanka Fruit & Vegetable Producers, Processors & Exporters Association, Leasing Association of Sri Lanka, National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka, Plastics & Rubber Institute of Sri Lanka,
Sri Lanka Association for Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM), Sri Lanka Association of Air Express Companies, Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO), Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products, Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council, Sri Lanka Logistics and Freight Forwarders Association, Sri Lanka Retailers’ Association, Sri Lanka Shippers Council, Sugar Importers Association, Tea Exporters Association, The Colombo Brokers’ Association, The Finance Houses Association of Sri Lanka, The Hotels Association of Sri Lanka, The Industrial Association of Sri Lanka, The Planters’ Association of Ceylon, The Sri Lanka Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association and Travel Agents Association of Sri Lanka (TAASL).
Sri Lanka is experiencing its worst economic crisis since independence with the Gotabaya Rajapaksa government completely mismanaging the country’s fragile economy, which largely depends on apparel and tea exports, tourism and worker remittances.
The country’s usable foreign reserves currently stand at less than US$ 1 billion and a US$ 1 billion sovereign bond is up for repayment in July. Sri Lanka has sought a rescue package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) along with the Fund’s support to restructure its international debt. But, the ongoing political turmoil could complicate that process with the resignation of key officials, Moody’s Investors Service warned on Wednesday.