Describing the current situation in the country as unprecedented in Sri Lanka’s history, top business leader Dhammika Perera yesterday said it could be resolved quicker if President Gotabaya Rajapaksa invites credible and practical proposals from all political parties.
“The multiple crises in the country caused by global and domestic issues have damaged Sri Lanka’s nation brand and the reputation. This has far-reaching repercussions in terms of attracting much-needed Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and debt and equity capital and tourists as well as buyers for our exports,” Perera said.
In that context, Perera, who was among the 16 business leaders and economists appointed by President Rajapaksa to advise the National Economic Commission, said the immediate need is to restore confidence among international investors, lenders, buyers, tourists as well as global and multilateral organisations.
“To achieve positive nation branding, it is essential to have practical short-term solutions and strategies for one year by all political parties,” emphasised Perera adding that in effect such a course will effectively tell the world that Sri Lanka is pursuing a national solution to a national crisis.
“All political parties urgently need a bipartisan mindset and approach to quickly restore confidence and resolve the crises,” he added.
Perera said suggestions to be sought by the President, must include the economic impact on each proposed item. Necessarily each proposal must be accompanied by its direct impact on the dollar-savings or earnings, or both computed on an annual basis.
“Irrespective of party politics, given the serious nature of the crisis this strategy of making all political parties stakeholders of the solution is more credible and fosters democracy and unity.
It will ensure public support at an unprecedented crisis time like today thereby eliminating any chances for social unrest in the national interest,” Perera pointed out.
“This approach will showcase a united nation branding strategy, sending a strong message globally that in Sri Lanka a crisis solution transcends political ideologies,” he added.
Perera was insistent that only through such an intensified and genuine all party and national effort in the next one year along with a support program from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as expressed by President Rajapaksa can pull Sri Lanka out of the current serious situation.