Impossible to revamp country’s economy if terrorism not eradicated, states CIOB

Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Ceylon Institute of Builders (CIOB), issuing a press statement states that the Sri Lankan economy will be irrecoverably damaged if the terrorism prevailing in the country is not eradicated at its inception. The statement goes on to state that the Institute deeply condemns the recent cowardly terrorist attacks and expresses its condolences to the family members of Sri Lankans and foreigners who perished in the attacks.

CIOB Chairman Dr. Rohan Karunaratne

The press notice issued by Ceylon Institute of Builders Chairman Dr. Rohan Karunarathne, a foremost engineer and an academic who is also a leading businessman in several spheres such as construction, banking and finance and tourism. 

He further states: 

Sri Lanka was prey to terrorism for 30 years. The economy of the country was paralysed due to the three-decade war, costing Sri Lanka the opportunity to stand tall as a newly-developed country in Asia. The war ended a few years back, making the country enter the path of development. The speed of development was hindered by the recent struggle for political power. These terrorist attacks occurred when the country was re-entering the path of development after getting the political problems ironed out. The economy of the country is paralysed at present due to cowardly terrorist attacks. 

The power struggle that took place in the final quarter of last year very unfavourably worked on the country’s tourist industry. These terrorist attacks occurred at the time the tourist industry was just recovering from those unfavourable influences, dealing a death blow to the tourist industry.

The 30-year war also acted unfavourably on Sri Lanka’s construction industry. There was a huge boom in the construction industry after the war ended. But, there was a reversal in the construction industry caused by the power struggle in the country in the final quarter of last year. Especially the delays in payments of billons of rupees the Government has to make to contractors caused them a huge problem. The Government started paying these arrears a few weeks back, after our Institution and media repeatedly brought this to the Government’s notice. Our Institution is beseeching the Government not to interrupt paying these arrears on behalf of the general betterment of the construction industry.

The intelligence sectors of the country should be strengthened to eradicate terrorism at its inception. New laws have to be codified to eradicate terrorism and they have to be severely enforced and culprits punished regardless of their positions. Suitable personnel have to be appointed to organisations working to eradicate terrorism such as the Tri-Forces, the Police and the Special Task Force, Intelligence Sectors and the CID and the background prepared for them to operate independently.

Other than the above, the Ceylon Institute of Builders is making some proposals to defeat the present state of terrorism on a long term basis. One proposal is the computerisation and maintenance of information about permanent and temporary (on rent) residents of each and every Grama Sewa Division. There, permission should not be given to anybody to reside in a given Grama Sewa Division without being registered with the Grama Sewa Niladhari. This method is being followed in Singapore based on police divisions.

Committees consisting of educated and recognised religious intellectuals should be appointed to prevent extremist organisations connected with Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Those committees have to decide on what is to be taught in religious schools. Then, every religious leader will get to know what is being taught in every religion. Other than the above measures, business spheres that have suffered the most damage in terrorist attacks have to be identified and a committee consisting of veteran professionals in relevant fields has to be established to bring them back to their former levels quickly. That committee should work very efficiently with the Government to uplift the relevant fields. 

In addition Government and private sector banks and financial institutions should give some sort of concessions to businessmen and entrepreneurs who have obtained loans for business spheres that suffered losses due to terrorist attacks.