The country needs a Constitution that is able to foster national unity, the Chairman of the National Movement for Social Justice Karu Jayasuriya said.
Pointing out that an environment should be created in which all communities can live with respect and dignity, he urged the President to keep his promise and not further delay the unveiling of a new Constitution, formulated with the agreement of the country’s people and esteemed parliament.
The former speaker made these remarks yesterday (27) at the Kurunegala District Convention of the “New Constitution for a Better Country,” jointly organised by the National Movement for Social Justice and the Collective for Ethnic and Religious Harmony.
Jayasuriya stressed that Sri Lanka must once again earn the respect of the world as a country that safeguards democracy.
"We must earn the trust of investors. The 20th Amendment to the Constitution caused great damage and destruction to the country’s democracy, its principles and institutions. This must be rectified," he said.
Addressing the convention, Karu Jayasuriya said:
It gives us a great sense of strength and honour that the Maha Sangha representing the North-Western Province, as well as Catholic, Christian, Muslim and Hindu religious leaders, civil society activists and a large number of distinguished guests have gathered here today.
This conference is held today, not with the intention to either embarrass the government or to provoke the people of this country.
Instead, our only noble objective is to foster national, religious and political unity in Sri Lanka and to save the country and its people from the great calamity we are facing today.
It must be emphasised that the country will not be able to recover unless there is national unity and assure a consensus on national policies. The disastrous economic downturn and the spread of the Omicron variant have invariably become a threat to the lives of Sri Lankan people today.
However, the National Movement for Social Justice is deeply disturbed by this situation. This is because, despite the catastrophic situation in the country, the country’s rulers and the people are yet to understand its many dire consequences.
The North-Western Province is home to a quite significant Muslim and Tamil community. While they continue to live in harmony, however, we have observed attempts to spread hatred and disunity among these communities through various political influences.
But it must be noted that the country is being severely harmed by these narrow objectives. The Easter Sunday attack has also deeply hurt the Catholic, Christian and Buddhist communities in Sri Lanka. This is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
Even the judiciary has instructed the police to act impartially and complete investigations expeditiously. If such issues are publicised internationally, it will be very detrimental to the reputation of our country and the people.
Today we have chosen the North Western Province to present it as an example due to the exemplary unity displayed in the region. The people of the North-Western province are peaceful and intelligent.
National and religious unity, as well as a national consensus, are essential for resolving the problems of the country. For this, we must cast aside all party affiliations and divisions. We must all band together to control this situation.
Shortage of foreign currency, diesel, essential foods, LP gas, milk powder are burning issues that must be addressed immediately. It also must be noted that if the country is forced to implement a restriction of electricity it will severely affect the daily lives of the people. It will also cause serious issues in the sectors of health care, water supply, manufacturing and national security.
However, the government is yet to present a firm and lasting resolution to resolve these issues. Neither has a discussion been held between the government and the parties of the opposition. Instead of the petty debates between ministers, the government and the finance minister should take the lead in this instance. Resolving any issue after it has already occurred is no easy feat. This is the reality.
Finally, we urge all of you who are present today to not allow for racial, religious or any other conflict to raise its ugly head once again in Sri Lanka!
Let’s come together!
Let's bestow on our future generation a modern and prosperous country!"