The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday called upon the government to seek the assistance of independent and non-partisan experts both domestically and internationally and also of multilateral institutions that have a proven record of providing resources financially as well as in the form of technical expertise that will enable sustainable solutions to the looming economic crisis in the country.
The BASL expressed serious concerns of a looming economic crisis in Sri Lanka and its impact on the Rule of Law and Democracy and on the living conditions of the people. The release said that a downturn in the economy can have far reaching adverse consequences to the Rule of Law and Governance of a Country.
“The spiraling inflation, shortages of essential goods including gas, the unavailability of foreign currency, the inability to remit monies overseas, the downgrading of Sri Lanka’s ratings by multiple international rating agencies; the temporary closure of the fuel refinery at Sapugaskanda; reports of the operations of certain foreign airlines being suspended; warnings of a possible power crisis are all indicators which demonstrate the urgency of the need for the Government to address the economic crisis without any further delay,” the statement said.
The statement said that some of the measures taken by the Government have directly impeded the ability of our members to perform their professional duties, particularly the purported regulation that compels the conversion of foreign inflows into rupees within a stipulated time period.
However, none of those measures have brought about the desired results and have failed to build confidence to reverse the flight of foreign capital from the equities and money markets.
Neither have these steps resulted in regaining access to international financial markets to raise debt.
Excerpts from the statement:At its worst, economic decline can result in a complete breakdown of Law and Order, but even prior to that, serious repercussions flow from growing financial hardships that have to be borne by citizens that perpetuates inequality and the ability of citizens to enjoy or vindicate their rights, be they public or private rights. It goes without saying that the worst affected by economic hardship are the most vulnerable in society.