Business community affirming their pledge for a united Sri Lanka at the Atrium Lobby of Cinnamon Grand Colombo, one of the three hotels that came under the terror attack on April 21
Pic by Kithsiri de Mel
By Shabiya Ali Ahlam
Colombo yesterday saw a group of private sector business leaders and representatives led by business chambers in the country coming on to one platform to affirm their pledge towards a united Sri Lanka.
The event, put together by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC), was held at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, marking one month since the deadly Easter Sunday terror attacks that shook the country.
According to CCC CEO Dhara Wijayatilake, a group of nine chambers met to discuss the present situation in the country and decided much needed to be done to reunite a “temporarily fragmented Sri Lanka.”
“We decided that we will ask the business community to take a pledge that we will work towards the goal of uniting our people and that we will thereby inspire everyone in this country to do the same,” she said.
The pledge was taken in all three languages, where in Sinhala it was led by Chamber of Construction Industries (CCI) Chairman Ranjith Gunathilake; in Tamil by CCC Chairman RajendraTheagarajah; and in English by Women’s Chamber of Industry and Commerce (WCIC) Chairperson Chaturi Ranasinghe.
Chorused by over 300 corporates assembled at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo, the business community pledged to: ‘…work towards building a united Sri Lanka in which our people can live and work together in unity, in peace and in harmony, irrespective of differences in religion and ethnicity’; …to acknowledge the diversity within us and treat each other with respect at work and in the community; and …’together forge a true Sri Lankan identity and thereby restore Sri Lanka as a peaceful nation.’
The above oath was also taken during the course of the day, at other corporate offices around the country.
National Chamber of Exporters President Ramya Weerakoon said that the business fraternity should be committed to
work together with peace and harmony without harassing the sentiments of anyone.
This she noted is essential to sustain the wellbeing of local enterprises in order to meet the expectations of its customers to resolve their uncertainties following the recent tragic incident.
“We should win the confidence for investors to come back to us as there is a possibility of them finding other destinations for their productions,” said Weerakoon.