Ranil should work together - poll
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A majority of
Sri Lanka's business community disagree with the decision by President
Chandrika Kumaratunga to sack three key ministers, declare a state
of emergency which was reversed and prorogue parliament, according
to a telephone poll by The Sunday Times FT desk.
But an overwhelming
majority of the respondents said both parties must work together.
We spoke to 150 respondents including chairmen, managing directors,
CEOs and junior managers representing various sectors in business
and industry and asked them to respond to four questions with a
"yes", "no" or "undecided" answer.
The questions were:
* Do you
agree with President Chandrika Kumaratunga's action?
* Is there a need for President Kumaratunga and Prime Minister
Ranil Wickremesinghe to work together?
* Will the crisis seriously set back economic growth?
* Would this jeopardize the peace process?
In the poll,
67 percent disagreed with the president's moves, 21 percent agreed
while close to 12 percent were undecided. On the second question,
82 percent said both leaders should work together while 12 percent
disagreed and about 6 percent were undecided.
the crisis would affect the economy, 81 percent of the respondents
said yes, 14 percent said no and about 5 percent were not sure.
On the final question, 55 percent agreed the peace process would
be affected, 22 percent said no while some 23 percent were undecided.
they were assured their identifies would not be revealed, some company
CEOs were initially reluctant to express their views worried about
business repercussions if they were critical of either party.
One top garment
manufacturer said orders had been cancelled till the situation eases
while travel agents said bookings were cancelled and blamed the
president for that.
understand why the President couldn't have waited till the Prime
Minister returned to resort to these moves. It wasn't right to take
these steps while he was away," said one of the respondents.
Other comments from respondents:
* Bad timing
hotels spokespersons refuse to comment.
* It's obvious
they should work together but at the same time it could trigger
* JR, Premadasa
and (D.B.) Wijetunga all held the defence portfolio while being
president. So what is wrong in Kumaratunga doing the same, even
though it's late?
* What the
two leaders fail to realize is that when they clash, it creates
fresh opportunities for the LTTE.
were conducted by Nelum Fernando, Quintus Perera, Shanika Dias and