Consequent to the discussion had at the meeting of the Chamber Committee on April 25th, 2019, appointments were sought from the President and the Prime Minister to discuss matters relating to national security and overall revival consequent to the April 21st terrorist attacks. 

The Prime Minister granted an appointment on May 1st, 2019 and a nine (9) member delegation from the Chamber met with the PM with a written document that was addressed jointly to both the President and PM. 

Consequently, pending an appointment with the President, the letter was forwarded to the Secretary to the President requesting that same be handed over to His Excellency.

The letter was then released to the Media and is available on the Chamber website.

On our invitation, Admiral Ravi Wijegunaratne Chief of Defence Staff, addressed the Chamber Committee on Friday May 3rd, 2019 commencing 10.30 a.m. on current security matters.

His Excellency the President gave us an appointment for Monday May 6th, 2019 and an eleven (11) member delegation met with His Excellency.

At both the meetings with His Excellency the President and the Hon. Prime Minister the following action was requested-

·         President, PM and Government should speak with one voice and communicate the same message to the people. In the absence of such a unified approach people are left confused and unsure about the real situation since various reports are being circulated;

·         There should be a credible source from which all news regarding security should be communicated. This should ideally be a military source. This will avoid confusion and will provide the certainty that people are looking for;

·         Immediate action should be taken to communicate effectively to citizens as well as to the international community that Sri Lanka is in control of the situation and normalcy will be restored;

·         The Security Council and other governmental mechanisms that handle national security should be revived and made effective;

·         The subject of Law & Order should be placed in the hands of a separate Minister and one who is competent to handle the subject, given the seriousness of the current challenges;

·         Extremism of any kind should not be tolerated and should be dealt with. There’s adequate legal provision in the ICCPR Act to deal with hate speech;

·         Our people should be inspired to work towards a “Sri Lankan identity” and there should be zero tolerance of divisive elements and urgent action should be taken to prevent racial and religious violence.

We observe with satisfaction that the Army Commander and the Acting IGP have, today (May 7th) made public statements providing updates on the security position. We trust this will be continued so that the public will have information from authoritative governmental sources. We also look forward to action being taken on all other proposals and will monitor same and keep the membership apprised of progress.

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