Ad Widget

Sri Lanka’s Economy Without Development Resembles Kenya’s Current Situation

Ad Widget
  • Debt cancellation for economically vulnerable African countries confronting climate change is a necessity.
  • Sri Lanka’s Self-Reliance and Debt Management Expertise.
  • Sri Lanka’s Readiness for Regional Leadership in Climate Change Initiatives.

Addressing the gathering, President Wickremesinghe elaborated on Sri Lanka’s foreign policy stance to advocate globally for the complete cancellation of debts owed by African countries lacking economic resilience to confront climate change. He emphasized that while Sri Lanka does not anticipate such debt relief for itself, the country is capable of managing its debts effectively and progressing forward.

Additionally, the President expressed Sri Lanka’s readiness to assume regional leadership in addressing climate change and highlighted the nation’s significant role within the international community.

The Presidential Environment Awards, organized annually by the Central Environment Authority, honours industries, business institutions, and individuals for their outstanding contributions to environmental conservation. This year, 124 recipients received gold, silver, bronze medals and special awards across various sectors including industries, businesses, project organizations, media organizations, and society.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe participated in presenting the gold awards, accompanied by the Chairman of Central Environment Authority (CEA) Venura Fernando and Director General Hemantha Jayasinghe, who presented a special souvenir to the President. Following the award ceremony, President Wickremesinghe also posed for a group photo with the awardees.

The President further elaborated,

I commend the Central Environment Authority for organizing another successful ceremony for Presidential Environment Awards this year. Today, we celebrate individuals who have made significant contributions to environmental conservation over the past year.

Established in 1981 under the leadership of Mr. Wijedasa, then Secretary to Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa, the Central Environment Authority originally focused solely on environmental concerns. Prior to its establishment, environmental issues had been largely neglected in the previous decade. It was Prime Minister Premadasa’s initiative that garnered cabinet support for the creation of this authority, which initially concentrated on addressing environmental threats.

Today, the environmental discourse has evolved beyond traditional concerns to encompass climate change, which has now become a pressing global issue with significant economic implications. This broader scope means that environmental and climate issues now impact every facet of society.

Given these developments, it is imperative to revisit the 1981 environmental law. I have instructed the secretary to propose amendments to align with global standards, as environmental authorities worldwide have updated their laws accordingly. Sri Lanka is also advancing towards enacting a dedicated climate change law, alongside the establishment of a Climate Change Centre and the appointment of a consultant to spearhead these efforts.

Additionally, we have undertaken significant international efforts to combat climate change. This includes initiating the International University on Climate Change and preparing related legislation. Our activities are not confined to these actions; we have advanced further. Achieving net zero carbon emissions has been integrated into the national economic policy.

We are dedicated to fostering a digital and green economy. In line with this, we have launched an agricultural modernization program, aiming to reach our objectives by 2048. While the global community has generally set 2050 as the target year for these goals, we are determined to achieve them earlier.

To support this initiative, green financing and green bonds have been incorporated into our economic program. We are committed to meeting these objectives, and our efforts are focused on addressing the global climate challenges.

Addressing climate changes requires a collaborative effort from all countries; no single nation can tackle it alone. However, despite initiating this program, some Western countries have distanced themselves from it. For example, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr. Boris Johnson, announced the Glasgow Declaration, but now the British government is attempting to withdraw from it. The United States’ stance on this issue will become clearer after the November elections.

Our focus should be on advancing towards this goal, which demands substantial funding. Many countries in Africa and Asia are heavily indebted and have requested debt relief. While I did not support the call for debt relief in Asia, emphasizing that Sri Lanka’s debt issues can be managed independently, there has been a call for the complete abolition of debt relief for low-income countries in Africa.

Sri Lanka has taken the first step toward debt restructuring, moving us out of bankruptcy. Our next step is to implement the Economic Transformation Law to continue this progress. However, this process is challenging for countries like those in Africa, which require relief. At the Climate Change Conference, Sri Lanka proposed the complete cancellation of debts for African countries.

Adequate funding is crucial to address climate change, but necessary funds have yet to be secured. Meanwhile, Western countries have spent approximately USD100 billion on the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, with additional unknown expenditures from Russia. If this money had been allocated to African and other countries, it could have significantly transformed their situations.

War is futile. We call for an end to the conflict in Ukraine and the fighting in Gaza. Establish a Palestinian state within five years and ensure Israel’s security.

Sri Lanka’s foreign policy emphasizes advocating for the Global South. We urge an end to this war and assistance for African countries. Recent riots in Kenya, where around 20 people have been shot dead, highlight the consequences of economic instability. If we do not establish economic stability in Sri Lanka, we could face similar unrest.

Therefore, funds should be allocated to these countries, and Sri Lanka fully supports this initiative. However, Sri Lanka does not seek such aid for itself; we are managing our debt independently, utilizing our energy and knowledge. We must continue this path, transforming into a competitive, digital, and green economy. Let us advance on this journey with our own strength.

Related Posts

Ad Widget

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *