An open letter to the leaders of the political parties represented in Parliament.
By Chandra Jayaratne
It is duly recognized that there exists a Special Parliamentary Committee for consideration of Public Petitions. It is further noted that there exists a specified procedure to be followed in forwarding such a petition to the Committee on Public Petitions in accordance with Standing Orders and further that the Standing Orders 25 A dealing with it requires the presentation of same to be by a member of parliament submitting a statement in a specified form.
I wish to draw the kind attention of the Leaders of Parliamentary Groups, to the “Banking Industry Country Risk Assessment” issued by Standard & Poor 's and published on 19th June 2012, titled “Sri Lanka Banking System Assigned Group ‘8’ “.
My fellow citizens and I, in the context of our relationships as customers and depositors of Banks and Financial Services institutions in Sri Lanka, (some of whom have very bitter experiences following the 2008 financial crisis and even as a consequence previous financial crises and financial scams) express our deep concern owing to the ‘amber signals’ of emerging risks highlighted in the aforesaid report.
My fellow citizens and I, in continuing to engage with Banks and Financial Services institutions in Sri Lanka in regard to our relationships as customers and depositors, appeal to any member of Parliament represented by your respective Groups in Parliament,
to agree to present in the required form and conforming to Standing Order 25A, a Public Petition addressed to the Speaker of Parliament, requesting that the “Public Petitions Committee of the Sri Lanka
Parliament to take immediate steps to examine the veracity or otherwise of the aforesaid Standard & Poor's Report and the contradictory Report of the Central Bank, “and “advise me and my fellow citizens of the actual risks attaching to the regulated Banks and Financial Services entities operating in Sri Lanka” and further “advise on the strategies and steps we as citizens must take in mitigating our risks in dealing with the said Banks and Financial Institutions as customers and depositors as well as investors in the shares of such companies”. For this purpose we appeal that the member concerned also initiate the Petitions Committee to summon before it, all relevant officials, business owners, business managers, professional associations representing the business sectors concerned, chambers of commerce, academics, specialist professionals, representatives of the Standard & Poor and the Central Bank as well as International Monetary Authorities and international Monetary Specialists, as deemed appropriate.
I trust that you will realize the urgency and priority importance of the appeal herein set out, specifically made on behalf of the voting public of Sri Lanka and the society at large all of whom are represented in the Legislature by you and your fellow members of Parliament.
I stand ready to link up with the member representing your group nominated by you in taking this initiative forward.