National Shoora Council issues statement to mark 72nd Independence Day

Wednesday, 5 February 2020 00:18 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • Building the future by learning lessons from the past

The National Shoora Council President J. Tariq Mahmud has issued the following statement to mark Sri Lanka’s 72nd Independence Day. 

We are celebrating our 72nd Independence Day at a challenging time to our independence. We were once a colonised nation that destroyed our national fabric and disconnected us with our past by five centuries. Our forefathers’ struggle to overthrow the yoke of colonialism gave us freedom from direct colonial control but the residual values, ethos and mindset that the colonialists implanted in us, to think as individual groups and communities by way of divide and rule politics, still persist.

Our independence struggle is not over yet, until our divisiveness in thought, society and politics is remoulded to think as one people, embracing diversity and pluralism, forming one nation.

Ever since we gained independence in 1948, we have been bestridden with internal conflicts. Our economy, politics and society has descended to the lowest ebb, making our citizens to leave the country, causing brain drain. Our national leadership has failed to respond appropriately and instead exacerbated the downfall by blaming the previous governments whilst failing to do the right thing.

Today, our independence is challenged by a failing economy, society and politics and spiralling foreign debt compounded by lower per capita productivity. This is capitulating our freedom to regional or global powers that dictate us how we live.

True independence is a by-product of freedom, security, territorial integrity, internal cohesiveness, productivity and peace, which we lack. This is further challenged by the internal threat of social polarisation, racism and mismanagement. We are threatened externally by the challenges of geopolitics, globalisation and climate change. These challenges demand concerted action by all citizens and the State to make us truly independent.

We salute our military and police for protecting our territorial integrity and maintaining internal security and peace. Their hard-earned contribution to protect the country should be complemented by the citizens and the State building more trust and understanding between people and responsible governance.

The National Shoora Council stands shoulder to shoulder with our countrymen and women to continue our struggle to build a peaceful, independent Sri Lanka. We congratulate our countrymen and women, the Armed Forces and Government for standing firm for our independence. On this 72nd Independence Day, we urge citizens and the State to make a resolution to desist from blaming the past and instead build our future embracing each other without discrimination as one people marching together, seeking freedom from what threatens us as a nation.