By Yohan Perera
Minister of Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Dr. Harsha de Silva yesterday said terrorists who struck on Easter Sunday would be the ultimate winners if this attack is transformed into a racial conflict.
“If this terror attack on our soil transforms to a racial conflict the only winners that will emerge from it will be the terrorists themselves. It will hurt all of us, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Burghers equally. Such an unfortunate situation will make economic recovery impossible.
Investor confidence and FDI will plummet, our industries will lose demand and be downsized, unemployment will rise, the wealth gap will widen.” Dr De Silva said.
“The impact of these attacks on the tourism sector as well as local economic activity as a whole has been immeasurable. However, as an economist, I can assure you that with the right strategy, the Sri Lankan economy can recover and come back stronger the same way the other nations who were victim to ISIS attacks on their soil have recovered. For this, I see to key things we must do as a society.
First, we need to start seeing Easter Sunday attacks for what it is: a terror attack and not an attack by Muslims. And two, we must lend our fullest cooperation to law enforcement officers to do their job. I urge my fellow citizens not to fall prey to those who are looking to manipulate you to incite hate and violence towards our own people.
I make this request from you out of great concern for the economic ramifications we and generations to come will face if we do not handle this critical moment in our history. As your representative, a citizen, and a father I believe it is my duty to make this request.,” he added.
“As an economist, I’ve spent most of my career exploring ways in which Sri Lanka can be developed and modernized to meet its full potential. I’ve expressed my views on the approaches we must take to get there; some have agreed with those views and others haven’t. That’s the beauty of living in a democracy; we can respectfully agree to disagree and live together in unity despite our differences. However, the democracy we live in has now arrived at a critical juncture where we need to have a national conversation on our ability to accept and respect our differences,” he also said.
“The Easter Sunday terror attacks took the lives of many innocent, peace-loving people. It has injured and forever changed the lives of many others. They were our family, our friends and our guests; we all grieve with them and share a collective wound that constantly hurts and angers us. As a representative of this government, I share a sense of immense regret and embarrassment about the government’s inability to prevent this tragedy, even after having received prior warnings.
The recent developments around the country make it clear that there are groups who are taking advantage of people’s anger and pain this moment of vulnerability to promote hate and incite violence. If we give into these manipulations and get caught up in a divisive, racial conflict, the economy which we have been managing and reviving with great difficulty will hit a setback that generations to come will struggle to recover from it.
If we give into these manipulations and get caught up in a divisive, racial conflict, the economy which we have been managing and reviving with great difficulty will hit a setback