Call for Urgent Action by the Sri Lanka Women’s NGO Forum (SLWNGOF) to alleviate the suffering of the people of Sri Lanka

Call for urgent action:       

  • Nominate women and men who have no allegations of corruption, and hold a vision and a love for their country, to seats of authority. Appoint a minister of finance who has the relevant expertise in the field. Call for the immediate resignation of all political figures who have failed our country.
  • As an urgent measure, expedite the establishment of the National Commission of Women as proposed in the Sri Lanka Women’s Charter.
  • Strengthen the Samurdhi and Cooperative systems and increase budget allocations to these institutions to enable non-discriminatory distribution of essential ration items to all households.
  • Ensure immediate food security through:
    • imposing strict price controls on goods especially essential food items, kerosene, and gas.
    • providing urgent support and subsidies to the farmer and fisher communities.
    • providing nutrition packages for pregnant and lactating mothers as per budget 2022, ensuring school midday meals programme and household level relief for children.
  • Take immediate State action to restore the smooth functioning of the health sector with adequate supply of medicines, essential medical equipment, health products, and reproductive health services throughout the country.
  • Set up urgent support schemes with efficient officers who are not corrupt and who would offer their services without prejudice and discrimination, and address issues of starvation, homelessness, destitution, and all forms of violence against women. Ensure timely responses and a people centred approach at all times.
  • Utilise public revenue to set in motion social security programmes that would ease the present crisis.
  • Ensure equal representation of capable women who are themselves affected, in advisory boards, committees, and in all planning measures that address the current crisis.
  • Above all – refrain from using State violence, threats, and manipulation on peaceful protests and people’s spaces, and urge all politicians to desist from inciting communal violence.

We urge all citizens’ collectives – women’s collectives, trade unions, student movements, religious institutions, cooperatives, farmer & fisher collectives, NGOs, all professional bodies, and progressive political movements to join us in our call for urgent action in addressing this nationwide humanitarian emergency that, if left unattended, will destroy our country and our future generations. 

Statement issued by the Sri Lanka Women’s NGO Forum (SLWNGOF) on 19 April 2022 regarding Sri Lanka’s ongoing crises.

Image: Women activists protesting at Gotagogama on 29 April 2022. Image credit: Chulani Kodikara

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