John Keells urges leaders

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Commenting on the current situation in the country, the John Keells Group, issuing a statement, urged all key parties to reach consensus, within the construct of the Constitution and to follow the due process, in respecting the will of the people.

The statement is as follows:

“Our country is facing its most significant and challenging crisis – economically, politically and socially.

As a corporate citizen and member of the business community, the John Keells Group has been gravely concerned over the dire economic circumstances facing the country, which require immediate remedial measures. Whilst we note the positive developments in relation to the engagement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the commencement of the requisite steps pertaining to the debt restructuring process, we reiterate the need for all parties to come together to ensure political and social stability in the country which, we believe, will be a precursor to achieving the desired outcomes to avoid an economic catastrophe.  We are at an inflection point. Social stability needs to be achieved to ensure that Sri Lanka can rise from our current challenges. It is in this respect that we note with concern the recent violence and regret the tragic demise of one of our fellow citizens.

“We empathise with the hardships and tribulations faced by the people and stand with our fellow citizens in the calls for improved governance, accountability and transparency.

We call upon the leadership of the country to take decisive action and be conscious of the possibility of continued social unrest if the calls for change and good governance by the people, which we are supportive of, are not facilitated in a manner that ensures a sustainable solution. We urge all key parties to reach consensus, within the construct of the Constitution of the country and due process being followed, in respecting the will of the people.

The John Keells Group, as stated in our communique on 4 April 2022, respects the right to participate in peaceful social movements and continues to support the freedom of expression and the right to protest. The shining light through the dire circumstances we collectively face, is the prominence of democratic expressions, and calls for the representatives of the people to act with highest standards of governance and integrity which has united Sri Lanka in a manner which makes us all hopeful and positive that we can, together, overcome these challenges.

As a responsible corporate with a heritage of operating in Sri Lanka for over 150 years, we will continue to play our role towards enabling the recovery of our economy and supporting our future generations to build a stronger and better governed Sri Lanka. We are firmly of the belief that the resilience of the people of our country will shine through yet again and we ask that our people remain united as we all look to building a better future for our country. We fervently request that all political leaders act in a decisive and expeditious manner which respects the voice of the people to ensure we have the stability required to achieve the economic outcomes needed at this crucial juncture.”