Statement from National Christian Council of Sri Lanka
13/03/2012 4:53:28 PM
Act for Peace’s project partner, the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka, has issued a statement regarding recent demonstrations over cost of living issues in Sri Lanka.
Full text of the statement:
The National Christian Council of Sri Lanka expresses its deep concern on the escalation of the cost of living in the recent times which has a serious impact on the lives of the people of our country.
The recent increase in the fuel price has a ripple effect that will automatically have a greater impact on the prices of all essential commodities. There is also no doubt that this would seriously affect the quality of life of the poor and very specially of the farmers, fishermen, plantation workers and the daily paid labourers and workers of our country, who are the back bone of our sustenance and survival.
They are not only in need of immediate relief and assistance but immediate steps should be taken to ensure a fair sustained guaranteed price for their products or ensure an adequate and enhanced daily wage. The impact of the increase in the price of kerosene which has a negative impact on the education of the students and the care of the elders who live in areas where there is no electricity is also a matter of serious concern.
It is also important that adequate steps be taken to immediately put an end to corruption and malpractices that has a direct impact on the national economy, so that the burdens put on the ordinary people of our country can be reduced. We also appeal to the Government to ensure that undemocratic and violent means are not adopted to crush the spontaneous outburst of the agony and sufferings of the people arising from the ever escalating cost of living. The recent events of police brutality and violence on demonstrators resulting even in death cannot be condoned. While we appeal to those involved in demonstrations not to indulge in acts of violence, we stress that the need of the hour is to stabilize the democratic space and to take steps genuinely to address the economic issues that are affecting the ordinary people of this country.
Signed by the Rev. Charles N. Janes, Chairperson of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka/Christian Reformed Church; the Rt. Rev. Dr Daniel S. Thiagarajah, Bishop of Jaffna Diocese, Church of South India; the Rev. Dr A.W. Jebanesan, President, Methodist Church in Sri Lanka; the Rt. Rev. D.R. Canagasabey, Bishop of Colombo, Church of Ceylon Diocese of Colombo; the Rt. Rev. Shantha Francis, Bishop of Kurunegala, Church of Ceylon Diocese of Kurunegala; the Rev. Samara Peres, Moderator, Presbyterian Church; the Rev. Priyantha Wijegoonawardene, president, Sri Lanka Baptist Sangamaya and Commissioner Malcolm Induruwage of the Salvation Army.
Act for Peace supports the work of the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka in disaster relief and rehabilitation, peace building and reconciliation and upholding community and asylum seekers’ rights. For more information, please click here.