The Asia-Pacific Greens Federation (APGF) welcomes the recent people-led developments in Sri Lanka which have necessitated the country to move towards more democracy.
The APGF, which is an umbrella body of Green parties in the Asia-Pacific region, hopes that the new moves in the country will create a congenial atmosphere for a change which has been long aspired by the people of the country, and cherished by the youth in particular.
The APGF feels that, as the beleaguered President Gotabaya Rajpaksha has already resigned, the country looks towards a change that will harness democracy, nonviolence, human rights, and social justice with a sense of respect for ethnic diversity.
The APGF believes that the new leadership in the country will adopt a new approach to the economy, which was extremely stressed during the Gotabaya Rajpaksha regime.
The APGF hopes that the change taking place in the country will address the issues exacerbated by bad economics, and address the demands of the youth. The people as well as the government will be able to make a new programme, and push the country forward without getting entangled in internal problems.
The new President of the country, Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his victory speech, rightly thanked Parliament for upholding democratic practices and sought support from both presidential rivals as well as former Presidents Mahinda Rajapaksa and Maithripala Sirisena. He also asked Tamil leaders to join him.
However, there is much concern among people on the ground that President Ranil Wickremesinghe is quite close to the Rajapaksa family. As a result, the Sri Lankans want to see him step down as well. This is especially so due to the fact that he was installed by Rajapaksa.
It is sad that Sri Lanka has seen so much in the recent past. The APGF appreciates that the situation in the country remains by and large non-violent. This is a clear indication that the people of Sri Lanka want a change, not bloodshed.
The APGF also recognises that most young people know this change will not occur unless there is a constitutional change.
The APGF also feels that India has a positive role to play, being Sri Lanka’s immediate neighbour. The APGF appreciates that the Government of India has already said that fiscal prudence and responsible governance are the lessons Sri Lanka has to learn from the crisis.
Sri Lanka is a semi-presidential representative democratic republic, where the President is both head of state and head of government, and it relies on a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet of Ministers.
Authorised by Ayah Abdouny, co-Convenor, Asia-Pacific Greens Federation