By Yohan Perera
Stating that the COVID-19 crisis could go on for another year, former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday called upon all political parties to keep their political agendas on the back seat and join a common battle to fight the common enemy.
“ While the world will have to go along with the COVID-19 crisis for an year no matter what anyone says, one has to understand this reality. COVID-19 is our common enemy therefore all parties will have to put their political agendas aside and join the common battle,” Mr Wickremesinghe said in a special statement.
Mr. Wickremesinghe urged the government to come to help the working class by depoliticising the programme implemented to support those who depend on daily revenue, support the large and small businesses and to come up with a plan to face domestic and global challenges brought on by COVID-19 crisis. “ It is the government’s responsibility to support large and small businesses and also the self employed. The government should inform its plans in this regard,” Mr Wickremesinghe said.
“It has to be understood that the spread of the disease and the economy is inter connected. Global economic growth rate has become minus as a result of COVID whilst the Sri Lankan government has suffered revenue losses. This will result in poverty and unemployment. A society should comprise healthy people for them to face the economic challenges” he added. While stating that WHO had sent the President a set of guidelines to face the COVID-19 crisis he said the President should publish it and provide needed facilities to the relevant sectors to implement these guidelines.
Finally he said the world has been forced to celebrate May Day at a time where social distancing is being practised because of COVID-19.
Mr. Wickremesinghe urged the government to come to help the working class by depoliticising the programme implemented to support those who depend on daily revenue
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