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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Sri Lanka: Top corporates speak up; empower peaceful protests

  • JKH, MAS, Brandix, Expolanka, Hemas, Hirdaramani and Jetwing extend support to protect right to freedom of expression
  • Despite challenges express confidence that SL will emerge stronger from crises, more united
  • Call on all leaders; political, social, and business to urgently address current crisis and rebuild economy

In a major breakthrough, top corporates have extended support for peaceful protests and the right to freedom of expression, whilst expressing confidence that Sri Lanka will emerge from the crisis stronger and more united than ever before.

Premier blue chip John Keells Holdings (JKH) PLC strongly urged all parties to work collectively in the national interest to arrive at sustainable solutions for all the people of Sri Lanka.

“The John Keells Group understands and acknowledges the hardships and pressures the current environment is placing on our citizens and our team members. It is imperative that we put aside our differences and work in a united manner for the betterment of our motherland, where John Keells is prepared to engage and play our role as a private-sector organisation,” it said in a tweet.

While the company respects the right to participate in social movements in the forms of gatherings and demonstrations, the conglomerate requests to do so in a peaceful manner and responsibly, keeping their own safety, and that of others around them as a priority at all times.

“Sri Lanka has faced numerous challenges in our history. Whilst the situation is dynamic and uncertain, the Group is confident of the resilience of the people of our country and urges that we remain strong and united in overcoming this crisis,” it added.

Leader in apparel exports and largest private-sector employer, MAS Holdings said it is the collective responsibility of all leaders, political, social, and business to urgently address the current crisis, prevent confusion, and chaos and rebuild Sri Lanka’s economic stability.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, MAS Holdings is deeply concerned by the recent events unfolding in Sri Lanka. We stand by and respect our citizens and our team’s right to participate in peaceful protests and to express themselves freely,” it said.

“The apparel industry has always been a pillar of strength to Sri Lanka’s economy through many difficult periods of its history and we will continue to support a long-term, equitable and sustainable recovery plan. We are confident that as a nation we will emerge stronger through this challenging time and prove our resilience once again,” MAS Holdings said.

Top apparel exporter, Brandix Lanka said it stands in solidarity with the people of Sri Lanka in these challenging times.

“We have always believed in the voice of our empowered team, and similarly respect the rights of all citizens to be heard, as they gather through peaceful and respectful social movements. As a local company that has served the nation for over 50 years, we commit to be a part of the solution that revives Sri Lanka,” Brandix shared on their official twitter handle on Tuesday.

“We pledge to work towards economic stability and provide much needed relief to our employees, the communities we serve and the people of the country. May the resilience and courage we have always shown as a nation, guide us once more,” it added.

Logistics giant and biggest listed company Expolanka Holdings PLC also said it will stand together as one for a better tomorrow for the country.

“As a Sri Lankan founded corporate, Expolanka Holdings PLC has always stood and continues to stand by its citizens throughout adversity. We believe in the rights of our citizens to peacefully express their discontent and insist on transformative decision making for the betterment of our entire society,” it added.

Top apparel exporter, Hirdaramani Group said it is the responsibility of all leaders: political, social, and corporate, to work in the best interests of the country and resolve the crises that the country faces at present.

“At Hirdaramani, we are committed to the simple principle of doing what is best for our people. We are the people of Sri Lanka, and we will always support what is best for all of us. We have been through tough times before, and together as a nation, united in one goal we will rebuild and emerge stronger,” it said.

Conglomerate Hemas Holdings PLC also said they stand with fellow citizens, whilst urging authorities to put forward a sustainable solution that can end the suffering of Sri Lankans and secure the future of the country.

“We at Hemas, an organisation that serves the communities of our nation, have been deeply concerned at the unimaginable hardship brought about to our people. As Sri Lankans, we have in the past overcome many challenges as we believe: together we are stronger. At this time, Hemas stands shoulder to shoulder with our teams as the people of Sri Lanka as they express themselves freely,” Hemas shared on their official Twitter handle yesterday.

“We echo their need for systemic change and stand committed to make the necessary contributions to make this a reality,” it added.

Jetwing yesterday expressed confidence that Sri Lanka will emerge from the crisis stronger and more united than before, whilst extending support for peaceful protests and the right to freedom of expression.

“As a home-grown hospitality company, Jetwing has shared in the triumphs, disappointments, frustrations, and joys of the Sri Lankan people for nearly 50 years. We express our concern at the events which are unfolding in Sri Lanka and the effects it has had on the economy, communities, and individuals due to poor governance and near-sighted decisions.

“The people of Sri Lanka have long stood behind us and we stand with everyone who wishes to engage in peaceful protest and support the right to freedom of expression,” Jetwing Hotels said.

It further said that Jetwing’s goal as a company has always been to strive for what is best for Sri Lanka and the people who call this paradise island home.

“Tourism has been one of the cornerstones of Sri Lanka. Directly employing thousands and supporting the livelihoods of countless more. Despite the challenges and setbacks we have suffered, we are confident that Sri Lanka will emerge from this crisis stronger and more united than ever before,” it added.

FT

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