Written by Lahiru Fernando
26 Aug, 2017 | 11:15 pm
The Bali Process Government & Business Leaders Summit ended successfully in Perth, Australia last evening (August 25).
The conference is a first in history, aiming at influencing businesses and governments at ending modern day slavery in its varying forms.
Chevaan Daniel, Group Director of The Capital Maharaja Organization, represented Sri Lanka as a Head of Delegation, in which he spoke out against the modern day slavery in particular abuse of Sri Lankan workers in the Middle East.
“Everybody is looking for an opportunity in life. An opportunity to be happy, to be appreciated, to lead a life of dignity and make someone proud. When people are denied this most basic need, they are being robbed of the very basic essence of what makes us human. We can overcome natural disasters, political turmoil, even poverty, but hopelessness? How can we fight hopelessness? This is why we are all here today. This is not just another forum. It is certainly not why I am here representing the Maharaja Organization. This is a battle cry. Today we step forward and there is no turning back. The work we have all put in is important and meaningful and absolutely must go on. When a Sri Lankan woman is forced to find work under deplorable conditions in the gulf, she is my mother, she is my sister. When a Sri Lankan man is treated worse than an animal at a construction site in the middle east, he is my father, he is my brother. To be quite honest, I am not here for the 45 million modern day slaves, that’s just a number. I am here to fight for one Sri Lankan. And if we can free that one Sri Lankan, then the rest will be free as well. They must know that they are not alone. and just for this possibility, we must fight to be heard, we must fight for legislation, we must fight for policy and we must fight for action. Then ladies and gentlemen, we will win.” – Chevaan Daniel (Group Director The Capital Maharaja Organization Limited)
Others who spoke included co-chair Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister of Australia and the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Turkey & Thailand.
The Bali Process Government & Business Leaders Summit is driven by entrepreneur and philanthropist Andrew Forest alongside the Australian Foreign Minister.
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