UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe warned, the current economic crisis will soon result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs.
He also said many people have lost their jobs as a result of the economic crisis and Sri Lanka is currently facing an anarchic situation.
He was speaking at a May Day rally organised by the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS) yesterday at the New Town Hall.
He also claimed the 21st Amendment will not solve the country’s economic problems and he emphasised the importance of giving top priority to resolving the country’s economic problems.
“Our economy has completely imploded. Companies are going bankrupt. There is no agricultural fertiliser. Fishermen do not have access to diesel. Many of our working-class jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of additional jobs could be lost. Several small and medium-sized businesses may fail. Today, not only have the youth of this country lost their future, but so has everyone,” he said.
In addition, he noted that the future of the youth has vanished. He highlighted that the entire country is chanting only two things: one is for the President to go home, and the other is for the Rajapaksas to go home.
“Parliament should use the powers granted to it by the Constitution. I have already proposed forming 20 committees for this purpose. There is also a proposal to repeal the Constitution’s 20th Amendment. I am also opposed to the 20th Amendment. Our priority, however, should not be constitutional reforms. We must find a way out of the economic crisis,” he said.
Meanwhile, warning that the World Bank has warned of a global food crisis that will last until 2024 and will affect Sri Lanka as well, Wickremesinghe noted that the nation’s priority is to re-establish with China, India, the United States, and other nations in order to seek their assistance in overcoming these issues.
“The country is experiencing a fuel and fertiliser crisis. The cost of living has risen dramatically, and the World Bank predicts a food crisis that could last until 2024. Sri Lanka should make resolving these issues a top priority,” he said.
Furthermore, he underlined that countries such as China and Japan have a schism with Sri Lanka. It is critical to re-establish diplomatic relations with them. Furthermore, countries such as Indonesia experienced economic difficulties a few years ago, with their banking sector collapsing. Sri Lanka can engage in dialogue with them and benefit from their experience in resolving issues in the country. It is also critical to communicate with India.
“Dialogues with the World Bank and other institutions such as the Asian Development Bank are also possible. We can decide who to talk to and start dialogues to get help,” Wickremesinghe said.
BY Thameenah Razeek