Sri Lanka President calls for National Focus on Economic Reform ahead of Elections

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe

Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe emphasized that the upcoming presidential election isn’t about his personal victory or defeat but about the success or failure of the entire country.

President Wickremesinghe made these remarks during a Dialogue on Policy Reforms held at the Water’s Edge Hotel in Battaramulla yesterday (June 11), with Youth Representatives of the Parliamentary Sectoral Oversight Committees.

The President noted that if the people are satisfied with the government’s program, they can support it. Otherwise, they will face the consequences of living in a country with a collapsed economy, struggling to supply essential items like medicines and fertilizer, and experiencing long queues for fuel and gas.

The President criticized politicians who make promises without concrete economic programs, urging all parties to support the government’s Economic Transformation Bill.

He stressed the need to move away from past mistakes of focusing on individuals during elections and instead concentrate on policies driving economic growth.

Reflecting on the challenges faced by the country’s economy, President Wickremesinghe acknowledged the intertwined issues of economic and political instability.

He outlined the historical reliance on imports and the burden of war expenditure, which led to unsustainable debt levels.

Despite efforts for economic reform, challenges persist, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of note, the President discussed the decline in revenue following tax reductions initiated by the current administration, coupled with the lack of attention to critical economic issues during parliamentary elections.

In response to politicians’ unrealistic promises and lack of concrete economic agendas, President Wickremesinghe called for constructive engagement and alternative proposals to drive economic growth.

He emphasized the importance of empowering the youth and fostering dialogue between officials and the private sector to collectively propel the nation forward.