The Sri Lankan nation is facing the worst financial, economic, and socio-political crisis in 74 years since independence.
The entire world is aware of the extreme economic, financial, social, and political turmoil that the citizens and working people of Sri Lanka are going through and the extreme difficulties they are facing.
Following the resignation letters from the President and the Prime Minister, it is possible to begin the process of the formation of an interim government. This interim government, in order to actually and truly represent the people of Sri Lanka, needs to bear some truths in mind:
- Sri Lanka is an agricultural country and a vast majority of its people work in agriculture. There is also a sizeable section of its people who are workers in the manufacturing and service sectors. A very large proportion of Sri Lanka’s resources comes from agriculture, tourism, remittances, and other areas, and has been made possible due to the sweat and blood of its workers and farmers, many of whom are women. The main foreign exchange earnings in the dominant feminised sectors of the tea plantations, garment factories, and migrant work have dwindled with serious consequences for international trade and budget.
- In the coming phase, working people will have to bear a huge burden in the form of a great deal of effort and labour in reviving our derailed economy, policy, and society. The most vulnerable amongst us, the plantation workers, domestic workers, factory workers, farmers, and fishermen demand a government which is conscious of workers and farmers, one that will promote and protect workers’-farmers’ rights. While attempting to increase the national income, it is critical that the government is conscious, ensures decent work, protects labour rights, and is free of all kinds of exploitation without jostling for power and party interests.
We demand that the interim government pay attention to the rights of workers, and the toil, efforts, and labour of the workers and farmers of Sri Lanka. We need a government that is worker, farmer, and women friendly; one that safeguards the rights of these crucial sections of the people of Sri Lanka to revive the economy. Only then can we have a stable and a really representative government in our country, Sri Lanka.
14 July 2022
Image: Protest organised by the Ceylon Plantation Workers’ (‘Red Flag’) Union at Gotagogama in Kandy on 14 July 2022. Credit: Aruna Weerasundara.