May 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka's premium business chamber, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce urged the business leaders to use their influence to build peace among themselves and provide the leadership to revive the economy hit by the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks.
In a statement, the Chamber appealed to its membership to act as catalysts to establish unity in the communities. "The educated people have greater potential to inspire all persons to work for the greater good of our country. To remain silent, is to let others destroy our country," it said.
"We ask that you use the space you have as corporate leaders to influence peace building, and thereby provide positive and meaningful leadership from the private sector," the Chamber said.
Following is the full statement released by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce:
In the aftermath of the terrorist attack on April 21st, the absolute need is to now work together as citizens of one country with a renewed vision to forge a true Sri Lankan identity.
The security forces have demonstrated their capability and we thank them for the action taken. We can be confident that they will, in time, make our country safe.
Let us then play our role to revive the economy and maintain peace among ourselves. It seems that right now, destructive forces are creating havoc. We cannot let this trend of violence spread to other parts of the country. If we do, we're merely subscribing to the agenda of the terrorists - to destabilize this country by making the different ethnic communities fight each other. We need to be smarter than this.
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce appeals to its membership to act as catalysts to establish unity in our communities. The educated people have greater potential to inspire all persons to work for the greater good of our country. To remain silent, is to let others destroy our country.
We're aware that many of our corporate leaders have addressed employees, and impressed upon them the futility of alienating persons of other races and religions. We ask that you continue to be strong proponents of that message and help rid our misguided and perhaps exploited people of a mindset that will corrode our society.
It makes no sense that those who did not support the terrorists are being attacked. We need to stay united with those that defied them. When we draw the police and security forces out to contain conflicts created by the community (not by terrorists), we're detracting from the focus they need, to tackle terrorism.
To create dissension among us will only impact adversely on us. If the country fails to come together, we will only inflict further damage on ourselves economically and socially, and consequentially on all of our people. We cannot progress as a country unless we live together in harmony as a multi religious and multi ethnic society. If we're to work towards restoring the livelihoods of those in industries that were affected by the April 21st attacks, we need to demonstrate that Sri Lanka is a safe country. It's therefore vital to be united and not succumb to the wishes of divisive forces that want to see us fail as a nation.
We ask that you use the space you have as corporate leaders to influence peace building, and thereby provide positive and meaningful leadership from the private sector.