Sri Lankan exporters denounce extremism in all forms

23 April 2019 - 139   - 0

Sri Lanka's National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) on Tuesday denounced in one voice the “extremist and barbaric acts of a group of terrorists” which has shaken the conscience of all communities.   

“In this hour of grief of the people of our country, the chamber sympathises with those who have lost their loved ones, and offers prayers for the speedy recovery of all those who have suffered injuries, and losses in one form or other,” the NCE said in a media statement. 

The NCE said it was pleased with the efficiency and competency of Sri Lankan exporters who overcame all obstacles for 26 years up to 2009 as a result of a much more cruel civil war based on ‘terrorism’ to achieve objectives shows their resilience.

During this time Sri Lankan exporters proved to their buyers overseas, their capabilities, winning their confidence with uninterrupted supplies of quality goods and services, maintaining sustainability of their businesses. Thereafter with the dawn of peace in 2009 the country was back on track with a very positive outlook based on international trade for economic development.   

While Sunday’s unforeseen tragic incidents has been a setback to their businesses, the NCE said these incidents have not only caused much pain and grief to the people at large, but has created a bad image, and security concerns for the country, with a negative impact on most export-led enterprises. “Our exporters which overcame a much more tragic war over the 26-year period, is ready to take the challenge, but urges the Government, and all those responsible for security related issues to not take things lightly anymore or for granted, under any circumstances, by responding to any type of cautioning by the intelligence arms of the State, by promptly responding with precautionary measures, since there is no purpose in blaming each other, as happens now, after a tragedy has taken place, the statement said. 

“In the above context member exporters of the chamber have also expressed their severe concerns regarding the delayed responses of the responsible government agencies in regard to the incidents that took place, even as late as April 23, to promptly make known to the public the motives behind the terrorist attacks, to obviate the spread of false information by interested groups with ulterior motives, thereby creating further issues for the peace-loving people,” it said.

The chamber said that many buyers of exporters have enquired from them regarding the stability of the country, and the sustainability of their businesses, since they fear that delayed supplies due to disruptions could adversely affect their supply chains, because they could possibly source similar products from other suppliers in neighbouring countries. 

“In the above background the chamber urgently requests the government to engage the private sector to implement an aggressive programme, to speedily rebuild the marred image of the country, and business confidence. In this context the chamber also suggests that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should promptly engage the Sri Lankan missions overseas to organize and implement promotional events to clear any doubts that buyers may have, to maintain their confidence to continue in business with Sri Lankan enterprises,” it said. 

The chamber said it has delayed implementation of a scheduled Business delegation to NORDIC countries temporarily, until the dust settles down.   

The chamber also assured all foreign overseas buyers that Sri Lankan exporters who overcame a much more tragic terrorism based civil war, will continue with their business activities uninterrupted with assured sustainability to face any future challenges.  - ENDS -     

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