Sri Lanka business chambers call for Bill of Rights

EconomyNext – Sri Lanka’s main business chambers have called for a Bill of Rights as part of the new government’s reforms and to recognise the island’s ethnic and religious diversity as an asset to be celebrated, not feared.

They said in a joint statement they expect many of the challenges the country faced in the past will be overcome by the new government’s commitment to reforms to establish good governance, transparency and law and order.

"We call on the government to introduce a robust Bill of Rights as part of the reform process to further strengthen the constitutional amendments envisaged," it said, referring to personal freedoms such as freedom of speech and information guaranteed in modern democracies like the United States.

"Diversity is one of our greatest strengths, a blessing we must celebrate rather than fear," declared the statement issued by the joint chambers of trade and commerce in view of the 67th Independence Day on Wednesday, February 4.

"As people, we are a wonderful amalgam of diverse cultures, religions and languages," it said.

"Although a small nation, we are blessed with the deep rooted presence of the world’s four great religions and have the privilege of being protector of one of them, Buddhism."

The statement was jointly issued by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber of Commerce, National Chamber of Exporters, International Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs and Joint Apparel Association Forum.

They said the business community accounts for 61 percent of all employment in the formal sector, almost 80 percent of annual investments and helps collect about 90 percent of tax revenue.

 

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