Apr 02, Colombo: Former Speaker Karu Jayasuriya assured at the all-party conference that the government will have the full support of all parties represented in Parliament to overcome the coronavirus challenge.
Addressing the political party leaders’ meeting held at Temple Trees today (02) chaired by PM Mahinda Rajapaksa, former Speaker of the House Karu Jayasuriya on behalf of all parties honored the healthcare professionals, the three armed forces and police engaged in a massive operation amidst many difficulties to free the country and the people from the catastrophe as well as the public and private institutions dedicated to providing the essential services to the public.
At the meeting Jayasuriya highlighted the need for short and medium term plans to face off the present COVID-19 pandemic and the looming global economic and food crises. War-time-like preparation is what is now required, he said.
The Former Speaker made the following points for the special attention of the All Party leaders meeting;
1. Getting the full support of the Disaster Management Mechanism which was established and implemented successfully to further strengthen the process of distributing essential food and medicines, which is a fundamental issue affecting the lives of the people;
2. Paying close attention to the relief of persons who are maintaining their families with the daily income which is severely affected by the prevailing situation ;
3. Obtaining the information relevant to the quarantine process and obtaining assistance from the civil defense committees of the Community Police Service to strengthen the quarantine process;
4. Establishing a mechanism with the participation of public and private sectors with expertise and practical knowledge to face the economic situation since countries such as Sri Lanka face immense difficulties in comparison to the G20 in the face of the global economic downturn;
5. Focusing on an import substitution program to locally produce imported products including foodstuffs such as sugar, milk powder and wheat flour and medicines;
6. Formulating a job security scheme with the assistance of the private sector, focusing on the employment opportunities of Sri Lankans working abroad as well as the possibility of job loss in the export and tourism sectors during the global recession;
7. Discussion with all parties as to what alternative measures should be taken as the Election Commission has stated that the general election cannot be held as scheduled.
The former Speaker expressed his gratitude to the Government for seeking the views of all parties through an All Party Forum to face the national disaster and to all the parties participating with national responsibilities in this regard.