Good governance activist and former business leader Chandra Jayaratne has welcomed President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to appoint an independent review panel on the PSC report on the Chief Justice but urged the private sector to give their inputs as well.
In a letter to Secretary Generals of the leading Sri Lankan business chambers and the Bankers’ Association and Employers’ Federation, Jayaratne has appealed to the private sector to be engaged in effective risk mitigation with regard to the current crisis in the long-term sustainable interests of Sri Lanka, its people, and the private sector business as a whole, in line with the core values of chambers and associations.
“It is to the credit of the President that in the face of the present controversy and the potential crisis that he has very wisely informed the religious leaders who met him yesterday that he would refer the Parliamentary Select Committee Report to an expert panel to advise him on the constitutionality of the process. The panel is said to comprise of a former Secretary of the Judicial Services Commission who also served on the Constitutional Council, an ex-banker and a civil society leader,” Jayaratne said.
“This is an excellent opportunity to avail of afforded by the President to the business chambers, employers and bankers’ associations and possibly the final and only opportunity for the ‘voice of business’ to make an official submission to the proposed advisory panel on business concerns over the economic repercussions of the panel’s report on the constitutionality of the impeachment process,” he added.
The chamber and business association submissions suggested above could inter alia deal with the following:
• The perceptions created in the minds of key value adding business partners, investors and financial services providers of the private sector, due the process adopted and its potential consequential impact on business, the nation and the people.
• The potential impact on future external trade, services, investments and technology transfers and financial and other contractual processes/agreements if, as a result of the planned process, there arises a doubt as to the effective application of the rule of law and justice in Sri Lanka.
• The potential impact on business linked country risks and its potential consequential impact on business, the nation and the people.
• The risks and challenges associated with the current process being continued and its impact on business, the nation and the people.
• The suggested way forward in minimising the aforesaid risks in proceeding with the impeachment process.