Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, in a statement issued on behalf of the National Movement for Social Justice, has called for a multi stakeholder approach to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the statement, the National Movement for Social Justice notes the importance of every citizen in their responsibility to come together in collective thought and action to face the current pandemic situation faced by our country.
“Today, we are faced with an unprecedented health situation caused by the alarming increase in the rates of infected cases of COVID 19. The pandemic which is not only limited to Sri Lanka has been a global threat since the beginning of 2020. As the situation unfolds in Sri Lanka, we foresee the important role each and every stakeholder should play to assist the affected people and make every precautionary action to ensure the safety of all others,” the statement said.
Jayasuriya says while the Government will continue to play a crucial and a central role supported by the health and defence services, ensuring the effective engagement of all key stakeholders is important.
“As the pandemic situation is unfolding with new challenges, we underline the importance of a collective response involves representation of all political parties, religious leadership, industries and the civil society,” the statement said.
The National Movement for Social Justice is confident that the present Government has the goodwill and the necessary constitutional power to address this critical situation.
“As we know, the present success of the government’s response to the COVID 19 outbreak as well as the President’s commendable efforts to contain the drug menace have been able to be achieved at a time when the 19th Amendment to the Constitution has been in place. Let us also be reminded of the fact that, Sri Lanka was able to defeat one of the deadliest terrorist groups in the world when the 17th Amendment to the Constitution was effective. That reform too had introduced independent commissions and certain checks and balances on the executive branch of the government. The much publicized argument for the need of excessive executive powers for efficiency and effective governance, therefore, is an out-of-context abstraction,” the statement said.
In the present situation, the National Movement for Social Justice requested the Government to reassess the challenges set out by the proposed 20th Amendment and as very clearly stated in the election manifesto of the ruling party to lead to the design of a new constitution through positive and wide public consultations. (Colombo Gazette)