President Ranil Wickremesinghe has called for an end to past rivalries and to join a common effort to overcome Sri Lanka’s worst economic crisis in the recent past.

In a speech on the economy to parliament today (06), he outlined a four-pronged strategy towards economic recovery, and said the first step gained success already and the foundation is being laid for the second one.

President Wickremesinghe said he was following the preaching of Lord Buddha to rebuild a country, as mentioned in Kutadantha Sutta.

Informing the House about his recent visits to Japan and the Philippines, he said the former has agreed to play a key moderator role in Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring.

Japan would be asked to co-chair a summit with the lending nations, he said.

Further, multilateral agreements would be reached with India, China, Japan and other major lending countries.

Referring to his talks with the Singaporean prime minister, Wickremesinghe said a free trade pact needs to be revived for a stable economic approach with that country and to strengthen economic ties with South East Asia.

Accelerated steps taken in the field of agriculture have helped in a harvest higher than expected in Yala season, he said, adding that seeds and fertilizer are being prepared for a successful Maha season.

Also, despite an existing production drive for food security, steps should be taken as well to prevent the contraction of the economy and inflation, the president added.