ASIA/SRI LANKA - Economic and social crisis: civil society calls for UN intervention

Monday, 4 April 2022 human rights   economy   civil society   un  

Colombo (Agenzia Fides) - "In Sri Lanka there is an extremely critical situation, which if unaddressed, could lead to a serious collapse of the State and also the development of anarchy within the society at large": this is what the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), an organization based in Hong Kong that has been monitoring and promoting respect for human rights on the Asian continent for 40 years, says in a note sent to the UN.
The AHRC stresses: "Sri Lanka is now faced with the payment of debt related crisis may be the worst that it has ever experienced in its entire history. Many economists, bankers and people involved in businesses and enterprises as well as social organizations such as trade unions and other organizations associated with farmers and also all civil society organizations have been expressing their deepest fears about the developing situation in the country". "In in Colombo, as well as in all other areas in the country, demanding an early solution to some of the pressing problems such as the problem of ever-increasing prices of essential goods, and the cutting down of the availability of power supplies, gas and almost every other basic essential of life". Meanwhile, the school exams have recently been canceled due to the lack of teaching material. "All the predictions are that this crisis is going to continue unless there is some genuine and credible intervention to get support from the international community, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other agencies, for the rescheduling of the payment of debts and at the same time, working out an extensive plan for bringing back stability to the country". According to the AHRC, "the present crisis comes as a result of a considerable period of neglect of the principles of good governance: the entirety of the State bureaucracy has been brought into an unprecedented crisis over several decades due to the centralization of power in the Presidential system, as the result of which, much of the governance related bureaucracy has been disempowered. Direct deregulation of almost every area of life has made it difficult to conduct any kind of rational management of the society. Among other things, this has also affected the administration of justice, the institutions of policing, prosecutorial institutions as well as the Judiciary itself". In a crisis of this magnitude, the question arises: what is the way out of this terrible debt trap?
The Commission notes "the loss of credibility in the political establishment as a whole has created a distrust. And this too is not just the product of a single act but is the result of a process that has developed over a long period of time. This loss of credibility in the political establishment as a whole has created a distrust on the one hand between the Government and all the Opposition parties, and on the other hand, the political establishment and the people as a whole".
It is at this juncture that an intervention of the United Nations is requested "in a mediating role to help Sri Lanka develop short and long-term plans for the recovery of the country's stability and also to prevent the country from falling into a situation of anarchy". "From the point of view of geopolitics - concludes the note - instability in Sri Lanka is also a matter of concern in international politics which gives further reasons as to justify a proactive role that could be played by the UN under these circumstances". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 4/4/2022)