Opposition political parties and civil society groups have issued a joint statement urging the government to seek urgent, constructive and sustainable solutions amidst the current economic crisis.
The statement highlights that the country’s ratings have fallen to the level of being blacklisted in international credit markets, the depletion of usable foreign reserves to below one-month of imports, the ratio of public debt compared to value to Sri Lanka’s GDP being highest on record at 120 percent and the also ratio of interests on debt to government revenue being above 70 percent in 2020 which is a historical high.
Former Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya, Opposition Leaders and Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Member of Parliament Tissa Vitharana issuing a statement have noted that they recognise that the government has a daunting task ahead and there is a need for a collective programme to overcome the current challenges.
They also say Sri Lanka needs sound reforms to the national economic policy which will help address the root causes of the current situation and ensure sustainable solutions that will steer the country out of the economic crisis.
Accordingly, through the statement, political leaders propose the government immediately initiate a multi-step process towards an orderly negotiated postponement and restructure of the repayment of Sri Lanka’s sovereign debt.
They also said the move to restructure the debt will ease the economic crisis and also allow authorities to help resolve the hardships endured by vulnerable Sri Lankans.
The joint statement has been signed by former Speaker of House Karu Jayasuriya, Leaders of Opposition parties including the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, Leader of the Tamil National Alliance R Sampanthan, Leader of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Rauff Hakeem, Leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance Mano Ganesan, Leader of the All Ceylon Makkal Congress Rishad Bathiudeen and Parliamentarians, Tissa Vitharana MA Sumanthiran, Kabir Hashim, Harsha de Silva, Eran Wickramaratne and Shanakiyan Rasamanickam.