Sri Lanka’s Joint trade Chambers welcome the announcements made by the President that he will resign on the 13th of July respecting the wishes of the citizens and the Prime Minister’s willingness to resign once an interim Government is in place. The Chambers believe that they should submit their letters of resignation immediately in accordance with constitutional provisions clearing all doubts and paving the way for a smooth transition. The Joint Chambers said: “We also request the Speaker to step forward to fulfill the important role he is expected to play in accordance with the Constitution at this calamitous moment. First, we request him to expeditiously set in motion the process of selecting a President to serve the balance part of the current presidency. Secondly, we call upon him to assume the office of Acting President for a short period of time from 13th July until the Parliament decides on the new President”.
After the new President selected by Parliament has assumed duties, the Joint Chambers expect him/her to invite a person who enjoys the confidence of a majority in Parliament to become the Prime Minister and appoint an Interim Cabinet drawn from all political parties who wish to participate in an All-Party Government. Joint Chambers are also of the view that a clear time frame should be established for this interim administration and a firm commitment should be made with regard to the date of the next General Election.
The importance of implementing the above process in a speedy and smooth manner is absolutely critical in order to focus on addressing the essential needs of the public and businesses such as fuel, electricity and gas while taking forward the much needed economic reform agenda in line with the IMF programme under negotiation and the debt restructuring process. It is also imperative that the rule of law is established as soon as possible in accordance with the Constitution and the Joint Chambers expect all citizens to cooperate in upholding the law.
The Joint Chambers also believe that the Interim Government should consider the enactment of necessary amendments to the Constitution as a top priority to restore governance as desired by the people.