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Strike not for cash but against climate change - EDITORIAL

21 September 2019 12:08 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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With Sri Lanka’s presidential election to be held on November 16, the main party candidates need to give a pledge that they will give priority to climate change issues and we are happy to reveal that worldwide it is the young people who are taking bold initiatives.   
Yesterday, Friday September 20 was historic because in more than 150 countries, people came forward to support young climate strikers and demand an end to the age of fossil fuels. The youth leaders say, “the climate crisis won’t wait, so neither will we”. According to campaign websites young people have woken up much of the world with their powerful ‘Fridays For the Future’ school strikes for the climate. As we deal with devastating climate breakdown and hurtle towards dangerous tipping points, young people have called millions across the planet to disrupt business as usual by joining the global climate strikes on September 20, just ahead of a UN emergency climate summit and again on September 27. Together, we will sound the alarm and show our politicians that business as usual is no longer an option.

   
The urgency of the climate crisis requires a new approach and a just response centred on human rights, equity and justice. Follow the actions and join the movement. Millions of school climate strikers have been leaving their classrooms every Friday. Now they hope that others will join them in action. Going on climate strike means people everywhere walking out of their homes, their offices, their farms, and their factories. Everyone is needed to disrupt business as usual; from sports stars, actors and teachers to food industry workers, psychologists, delivery drivers and everything in between. We can all take part, whatever our circumstances, by refusing to accept the status quo. All over the world people have come forward to join the global climate strikes this month. Some will spend the day in protest against new pipelines and mines or the banks that fund them; some will highlight the oil companies fuelling this crisis and the politicians that enable them. Others will spend the day in action raising awareness in their communities and pushing for solutions to the climate crisis that has justice and equity at its heart. On a grossly unequal planet, not everyone will be able to take a day off or take part in the same way. But we can all take a stand and make our voices heard, the organisers say.   


‘Fridays for the Future’ is a people’s movement following the call from Swedish teenage heroine Greta Thunberg for a school strike. The teenage leader requests that people strike in front of their closest town hall every Friday.   
Greta says many children do not think they can strike because they are worried about their school grades. According to the world television channel Aljazeera, there is no planet B or plan B for climate change and hundreds of thousands of people have joined a global climate strike. Across the Asia Pacific region protesters demand governments take urgent steps to prevent the climate change catastrophe.   
Hundreds of thousands of protesters, many of them school students, have gathered in towns and cities across Asia, kicking off a day of worldwide protests calling for action against climate change.   


From the Pacific Islands to Australia and India, protesters took to the streets yesterday, demanding their governments take urgent steps to tackle the climate crisis and prevent an environmental catastrophe.   
Organisers estimated 300,000 people turned up for the “global climate strike” in Australia, the world’s largest exporter of coal and liquid natural gas. Protests were staged in 110 Australian towns and cities, with crowds calling on the government to commit to a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.   
In Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena especially requested that he be given the environment ministry also when the new government took office in January 2015. Much work has been done but there is much more to do. We hope the new government gives top priority to it, especially encouraging young people to take the initiative because it is their world which will be worst affected. Yesterday in Colombo and Kandy there were marches and other events for effective action to curb climate change and we hope that it will be made part of the school syllabus from next year. Instead of strikes for pay hikes or other perks, adults should become responsible eco-friendly citizens and strike as part of the battle against climate change.     

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