Minister of Economic Reform Dr. Harsha de Silva has assured all Sri Lankans that with the right strategy, the country’s economy can recover and come back stronger the same way the other nations who were victim to ISIS attacks on their soil have recovered.
In a special statement on the impact of attacks on the tourism sector as well as local economic activity as a whole, he noted that economic loss has been immeasurable.
However, as an economist, he pointed out that all communities in the island nation need to start seeing Easter Sunday attacks for what it is: a terror attack and not an attack by Muslims.
Everyone must lend our full cooperation to law enforcement to do their job. He urged fellow citizens not to fall prey to those who are looking to manipulate the situation to incite hate and violence towards the people.
Dr .de Silva requested from everyone out of great concern for the economic ramifications and generations to come will face if we do not handle this critical moment in Lankan history.
It will hurt all of us, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers equally. Such an unfortunate situation will make economic recovery impossible. Investor confidence and FDI will plummet, our industries will lose demand and be downsized, unemployment will rise, the wealth gap will widen, and more hardworking citizens will be pushed into poverty.
“For generations to come we’ll be a state sunken in debt; Sri Lanka as we know it will cease to be”, he said
He urged authorities to strengthen the state security mechanism to prevent this situation from escalating at all cost and to punish those who manipulate citizens to spread hate.
The challenge ahead of the people is to eradicate all extremist ideologies including but not limited to Islamic extremism from Sri Lanka and to create spaces where moderate Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Burghers can thrive in peace, he pointed out.
The Easter Sunday terror attacks took the lives of many innocent, peace-loving people. It has injured and forever changed the lives of many others.
“They were our family, our friends and our guests; we all grieve with them and share a collective wound that constantly hurts and angers us”, he said.
As a representative of the government, he noted that he shares a sense of immense regret and embarrassment about the government’s inability to prevent this tragedy, even after having received prior warnings.
The recent developments around the country make it clear that there are groups who are taking advantage of people’s anger and pain in this moment of vulnerability to promote hate and incite violence, he added.
“If we give into these manipulations and get caught up in a divisive, racial conflict, the economy which we have been managing and reviving with great difficulty will hit a setback that generations to come will struggle to recover from”, he said.
“If this terror attack on our soil transforms to a racial conflict the only winners that will emerge from it will be the terrorists themselves," he claimed.