19 May 2022
Sri Lanka is now experiencing the worst economic crisis since becoming independent in 1948. The government has insufficient foreign currency to import essentials such as food, petrol, cooking gas and medicines, so there are severe shortages. Waiting in queues has become normal, and the wait to purchase petrol can now be longer than 24 hours. However, rising inflation means that basic items have become too expensive for many people to afford. In the light of the anger and frustration which have led to public protests, the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka has called for action on the part of those in power, and non-violent approaches from both the protesters and the authorities.
The Methodist Church in Britain received this letter from Revd W.P. Ebenezer Joseph, President of Conference, Methodist Church, Sri Lanka in which he commented, “The Methodist Church Sri Lanka is grieved and alarmed at the current political developments that are unfolding before us, at a time when as a nation we are facing an acute economic crisis, causing immense suffering and hardship, leading to frustration and hopelessness among all our people.”
The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference have offered this statement of support and solidarity in response.
Over the past weeks we have seen the reports of the situation in Sri Lanka as the country has experienced economic collapse on top of the social disruption brought about by the Covid crisis. We have noted with concern the sufferings of the Sri Lankan people as soaring inflation has led to unaffordable prices of basic goods and shortages of foods, medicines and fuel.
In response to the Appeal from the Methodist Church, Sri Lanka Pertaining to the Current Situation, and in the face of the growing anger and political unrest in Sri Lanka, we join in calling for calm attempts to reach peaceful solutions, and in affirming the need for all individuals to treat others with care and love.
The Methodist Church in Britain values the partnership of the Methodist Church in Sri Lanka. We stand in solidarity with them at this time of economic and political crisis, and support them in their appeals for solutions according to democratic principles. We join them in their call for non-violent action and dignified treatment of other people, both on the part of protesters, and on the part of the authorities when dealing with peaceful protests.
We continue to hold the leadership and members of the Methodist Church Sri Lanka in our prayers,
The President and Vice-President of the Conference
Revd Sonia Hicks and Barbara Easton