Biz chambers on impeachment of CJ warn…
January 10, 2013, 8:23 pm
Leading business chambers in the country have expressed concern over the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice, being debated in Parliament, saying it may lead to constitutional crisis which would not be in the best interest of the economy and business environment.
The process to impeach Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake was deemed unlawful by the country’s courts.
"The Joint Business Chambers view with serious concern the on-going developments with respect to the impeachment motion brought against the Chief Justice and the possibility that it may lead to a grave constitutional crisis. Such a constitutional crisis will not be in the best interest of the Country’s economic and business environment. It is likely to adversely affect the Country’s development process whilst significantly hindering the benefits from the peace dividend, a statement said.
"We call upon all concerned to act with restraint and to respect and abide by the Constitution of the Country and hope that the Government will take the necessary steps to resolve the current impasse in the best interest of our Nation."
The Joint Business chambers consist of: The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC),the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL), National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (NCCSL), National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) , Chamber Of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs (COYLE), Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF), and the Ceylon National Chamber of Industries (CNCI).
The integrity of the country’s institutions and rule of law have deteriorated in recent times.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), for example was impeded from investigating well connected investors and brokers for market offences resulting in the resignations of two chairpersons under a year. Business chambers had last year expressed concern about this as well.
Politics took precedence of economics and the Central Bank was not allowed to act early enough to prevent a balance of payments crisis in 2011, resulting in a sudden policy u-turn in 2012 with harsher adjustments, which dented its credibility.
Controversial EPF investments in the stock exchange and the expropriation act have also compromised the country’s post conflict business environment.
At the annual sessions of the Sri Lanka Economics Association last year, its President Prof. ADV de S. Indraratne blamed both the government and private sector for the country’s predicament.
"The Government has a lot to do in creating an enabling environment, with good governance without waste and corruption, with law and order and the operation of the rule of law, the guarantee of citizens’ right to information, practice of simple rules and procedure in regard to both local and foreign investment (FDI) and reform of higher education with improvement of its quality and relevance to meet the skill demand of a growing economy with a higher budgetary allocation than now to higher education and R&D," the economics professor said.
Also at the same sessions, former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, W. A. Wijewardena, on the need to revive and boost exports for sustainable development, said improving the rule of law, effective law and order, respecting property rights, and the need for an independent and impartial judiciary to protect the rights of the people and using the peace dividend to the maximum, would be necessary.