Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says Sri Lanka cannot fully turn the page on authoritarian rule, restore the full range of democratic freedoms and rebuild the economy in an inclusive way on its own.Ranil
Writing for the Japan Times newspaper, the Prime Minister said that too much of Sri Lanka’s wealth has been damaged by war, taken flight abroad or been siphoned off through corruption.
“We simply lack the resources to undertake the great task of reconstruction without assistance. So we need the world’s democracies to stand with us and support us, lest our people become discouraged and be tempted by the autocratic forces waiting in the wings to return to power in the coming parliamentary election. We need to demonstrate to our people that reconciliation, democracy, tolerance and the rule of law constitute the only route to long-term peace and shared prosperity. Sadly, the help that we have received so far is too little to enable my government to be as effective as it can and should be in rebuilding our country and resetting our strategic position in the world,” he said.
The Prime Minister says today, a half-decade after the end of its 36-year civil war, Sri Lanka is at a crucial moment in its own efforts to consolidate peace and secure its long-term benefits.
“Newly elected President Maithripala Sirisena and I, as prime minister, are determined to win that peace, and to help our country become what it always should have been: a prosperous Asian island of democracy, civility and open society,” he said.
He said that in the months since President Maithripala Sirisena’s triumph, Sri Lankan democracy has been revived, and the hard work of building a durable domestic peace has begun.
“We plan to quickly call a parliamentary election, which will take place one year ahead of schedule, in order to replace Rajapaksa’s echo chamber with a fully functioning assembly, one that holds the government to account,” he added.