26 May, 2019

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Bilateral Agreements In Galore After ETCA

In the face of opposition by certain groups against the proposed Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA), the government is hoping to sign several bilateral economic and trade agreements with Asian countries from next year.

Malik Samarawickrama

Malik Samarawickrama – Minister of International Trade

According to sources, apart from the discussions already underway with China and Singapore to sign economic and trade agreements, the government is now setting its sights on Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to explore the possibility of Free Trade Agreements with these countries.

“Discussions will kick off next year,” the source said.

“We are also looking at an economic cooperation programme with Japan, because the government’s ultimate aim is to make Sri Lanka the hub in the region,” he said.

The source noted that the agreements will also pave way for increased employment opportunity in the country, in its pledge to provide one million new jobs for Sri Lankans.

The government’s initiative also comes in the backdrop of China taking the lead to promote Colombo as South Asia’s hub through the Colombo International Financial City which was formerly known as the Colombo Port City.

The new bilateral agreements however come at a juncture when the government has still not educated the public on the contents of ETCA, which has been facing stiff resistance from professional groups including doctors and IT professionals.

In August, Minister of International Trade Malik Samarawickrama told a news conference that the ETCA will be signed before the end of 2016. The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) however claimed that the ETCA will pave way for Indian professionals to come to Sri Lanka for jobs, which will jeopardize job opportunities for Sri Lankans. However, Samarawickrama assured that the government will not allow any foreigners to infiltrate the local job market, unless under special cases.

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  • 8
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    Although USA is pushing hard to sign Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement with EU, France and Germany has raised reservations with the conditions in that agreement and probably will not sign the agreement. With ECTA, very few people know what is in it. The danger with these agreements is that once signed, the country is tied up for the rest of the life. I am sorry to say this but the truth is Indian bureaucrats are smarter than our guys. They do the home work very well and design everything to their advantage. At the end what Sri Lanka will get is bread crumbs falling from the table. Politicians come and go after sucking the money of the people but people have to go on with the sins they commit.

    • 5
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      Kautilya

      “The danger with these agreements is that once signed, the country is tied up for the rest of the life.”

      It’s called tying each other’s b***s together strategy. If any one of them pulls back it would hurt both.

      “I am sorry to say this but the truth is Indian bureaucrats are smarter than our guys.”

      No.

      I am sorry to say they are a bunch of unsophisticated and arrogant smart asses just like our faceless little people behind the desk.

      • 3
        3

        Please dont further delay the signing of these trade agreements with our neighbors.

        We have no future if we don’t trade with our neighbors and at present trade is below 10%.

        Selfish groups such as doctors, accountants and engineers etc will oppose such agreements in order to protect them selves. Also industrialists such as footwear, steel, cement, etc etc who have been protected with tariff barriers for decades will protest since they cannot compete even with regional players.

        Competition is the name of the game and we will never move forward as a country without competition.

        • 2
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          Jagath,

          Please tell me what Sri Lanka can export to India. Even if the tariffs are removed Indians are very good in using non-tariff barriers to discourage exports from Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has been successful in exporting human resources. India does not need human resources from Sri Lanka. They have plenty and millions are unemployed. Where ever possible Hindians will export unemployed Dalits to Sri Lanka.

          • 3
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            Kautilya

            “Please tell me what Sri Lanka can export to India.”

            Its a good question from pessimist Brahman.

            Please ask yourself a simple question, how did Japan a resources starved country managed to pull out of all the years of destruction.

            Let me you an example. In the early fifties and sixties Japan successfully produced quality goods at prices ordinary people could afford amid long established industrial giants.

            If you take Sony Walkman, there was no such thing before 1980s. Ideas, innovation, hard work, pursuit of excellence, …… made Japan a country beyond recognition, created a new market.

            For pessimists and “Naysayers” every little thing is imagined to be Himalayan task.

            Does this country (proud of its ancient past, being a hydraulic civilisation, which now imports experts from outside to build even small tanks) have Industrial, Human resources, Trade, Science and Technology, ….. ?

            Forget the wider question of vision.

            Don’t you think we need something similar to The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI 1949) a powerful institution of Japan until 2001, which played a key role in Japanese proactively promoting industrial policy, funding research and directing investment?

            Now hang on and watch, I know there are a few smart ass patriots ever ready to shoot the messenger, out of their own ignorance.

            • 1
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              Native,

              “Does this country (proud of its ancient past, being a hydraulic civilisation, which now imports experts from outside to build even small tanks) have Industrial, Human resources, Trade, Science and Technology, ….. ? “

              Our experts are never given a chance to get involved in any worthwhile project. The worlds tallest structure (Jethawanaramaya) was first built in SL. Right now I am designing and building flood control systems and sewerage systems overseas. When I applied to be pre-qualified to tender for a certain project in Colombo (which was using our own money on a world bank loan) for flood control pump stations, I could not get even that. Our politicos prefer foreigners as it is easy to do deals with them. At the moment even the smallest project is on loans. So we Sri Lankans have no chance.
              This ETCA is not about products; it is about bringing in Indians to SL. to replace the locals so that these idiots can remain in power. All sorts of goods are coming to SL from India even without these agreements. At the beginning of this year I bought a diary from Arpico only to find later that it is printed in TN. Do you think our people cannot print diaries?. If you go there you will find all sorts of little lttle things made in India denying that opportunity to our Industrialist. Our country needs a policy on these imports and services from foreigners. If not we will have no hope for the future.

              • 0
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                Dear all,

                The 31st meeting of the study group is scheduled on 25th September (Sunday) at 10.00am at Council Room of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1st Floor, Mahaweli Centre, Colombo 7.

                Last discussions were dedicated to the material and processing, during which we could only discuss the metals and related processing. Material processing for the ‘writing’ is an important aspect of early technologies and also the skills and practice of writing among the various groups of society. This time, the discussion would be continued on this subject theme with focus on the writing skills and abilities and the processing of related materials as depicted in the Pali commentaries..

                Kindly confirm your participation.

                • 0
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                  Professional,
                  Looks like a Freudian slip! Don’t tell me you are Susantha Goonetilleka the well-known racist and xenophobe.

          • 0
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            Jagath,
            To know what to export to India, do go there and see. Ask Damro how they have showrooms all over South India. Ask Amante why they have factories there.Ask the sausage exporters . These people don’t make noise, unlike Samantha Kumarasingha. They just do their jobs.
            Do you know that PAKISTAN exports fruits to India? Why the devil can’t we stop complaining and do the same?
            Another thing, my friends in India always want me to bring bread and buns from here, because Indian bread is horrible. There are no “choon-paan ” vans in India either. So there’s an opening for anyone interested!

            • 0
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              I fully agree.

              Quite a few have opened ventures in India. We are a small nation of 20 million and there is no way to move forward without trading with our three big neighbors India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

              All big apparel players have factories in India. The apparel park run by Brandix has 20,000 staff. MAS has large factories as well.

              Our uncompetitive, subsidy based and tariff protected businessmen should go and learn from Damro as to how it is done !!!

            • 1
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              My Dear Old Codger,

              Full Definition of codger found in Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary
              : an often mildly eccentric and usually elderly fellow

              The definition befits you perfectly and your comment is self-explanatory that you learn things from News Papers while comfortably seated in an Armchair. Pl stop talking about things you do not know.

              Sri Lankan Entrepreneurs, who thought the under Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, they could start manufacturing operations, wholesale trade of their products through their own branches and export to other countries from Branches in India. Soem results after 6-months are given below.
              1. A family owned biscuit manufacturing business in Sri Lanka opened a plant but had to close it down due to Federal States enforcing non-tariff barriers like excessive federal Taxes and also due to some federal States changing regulatory requirements of packaging frequently for those products;
              2. A family owned shoe making business had to close down their showroom due to the federal State, wherein the showroom was located, stopped them from wholesale trading;
              3. An exporter of strawberry had to stop exports because the designated laboratory for quality testing was nearly 1,500-km away from the designated port for unloading their products and when the QT Report arrived at the Port, the shelf life of Strawberry was over.

              What are we exporting now under ISLFTA?
              a) Karunka Puwak collected from Malaysia, Indonesia and brought to Sri Lanka by some Indian Businessmen and exported to India in new bags with Karunka Puwak collected from Sri Lanka, as value added products by the same businessmen;
              b) Rotten rice and cereals collected from South-East Asian countries and brought to Sri Lanka by some Indian Businessmen and exported to India in new bags with rotten rice and cereals collected from Sri Lanka, as value added “Animal Feed” (Punnakku) by same Businessmen;
              c) Scrap metal collected from South-East Asian countries and brought to Sri Lanka by some Indian Businessmen are exported to India as cargo from Sri Lanka with scrap metal collected from Sri Lanka.

              The two products, which you have mentioned, are not exported under ISLFTA but outside the lists agreed by two countries. India has not opened its retail market to businessmen from Sri Lanka but due to a serious mistake Sri Lankan bureaucrats made in 1994 when making commitments to WTO, has resulted in our entire economy being opened to any country that enter into FTA with Sri Lanka. I am told by the professionals, who participate in discussions with Minister Malik Samarawickrema that they requested the Minister to instruct his officials to withdraw the commitments made in 1994 and make fresh commitments after strengthening the Domestic Regulatory Mechanism governing Trade & Services through a National Trade Policy, which we do not have now.

              According to those Professionals, India delayed making commitments to WTO until they strengthened their Domestic Regulatory Mechanism and now their overarching policy is aimed at “Products made in India”. No foreign Doctor, Engineer, Architect or Lawyer can practice in India and nor such persons can enter into partnership with Indian professionals to conduct business in India.

              I got a copy of the 44-page document containing the Laws, Regulations and Standards, which need to be either amended or introduced anew before negotiating FTAs with any country in the world. This documents had been prepared by the group of professionals, who are participating in the discussions with Minister MS. I am told that it was unanimously endorsed by the Presidents of Member Associations of the OPA.

              The professional group says that the Members of the Committee appointed by Minister MS to discuss ETCA and related issues with the Professionals and Trade Chambers, had unanimously agreed with the content of the document. The professionals are also said to have submitted documents pertaining to Domestic regulatory Mechanism of Malaysia, which contains minimum investments and standards to be maintained by foreign investors who come to invest in the “Services Sector”, including Education, of Malaysia. The Professional Group says that results can be seen in world’s best universities establishing campuses in Malaysia.

              Unfortunately Old Codger, due to the government not showing any interest in implementing it the Professional Group is said to have withdrawn from discussions with the government.

              Therefore I kindly request you to study a little bit on issues of national importance before making comments on same in the comfort of your arm chair.

              If you are an Old Professional Codger, you should collect a copy of the 44-page document mentioned above from your professional association. I am told that all Member Associations of the OPA have it.

              • 0
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                My dear Professional,
                You have posted a rather long harangue in support of your position, with some “facts” attached.
                Well here are a few observations:
                “A family owned biscuit manufacturing business in”
                ” A family owned shoe making business had to close down their showroom”
                Both these establishments are used to government handouts and protection. They simply are not used to real competition.
                How is it several garment manufacturers are operating successfully in India?
                “I got a copy of the 44-page document containing the Laws, Regulations and Standards, which need to be either amended or introduced anew before negotiating FTAs with any country in the world. This documents had been prepared by the group of professionals,”
                Why not say outright that this group consisted largely of the GMOA and IT crowd? They definitely have an interest in preserving their earnings.
                I had a good laugh recently when an IT association called for the qualifications of Indian professionals to be validated. As an ex- programmer myself, I can assure you that pieces of paper count for nothing in IT. When you interview an IT person, it is not his tie, degrees, or shiny shoes that matter. You look at the flash drive/CD he has brought along with his completed projects.
                Neither Bill Gates or Steve Jobs would have made it in Sri Lanka, because neither had acceptable “qualifications”!
                ” No foreign Doctor, Engineer, Architect or Lawyer can practice in India and nor such persons can enter into partnership with Indian professionals to conduct business in India.”
                This is an absolute lie, I am sad to say, considering that you call yourself a professional. You might read the following news item:

                67
                SHARES
                Share to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to Google+Google+Share to EmailEmail
                By: PTI | Ahmedabad | Updated: September 16, 2016 9:32 pm

                Following the arrest of a Pakistani doctor for allegedly raping a patient inside the ICU of Apollo Hospital, at least a dozen other Pakistani doctors, holding long term visas and work permits, have resigned.

                Reports in local media suggested that they were asked to put in the papers following the rape complaint last week against Dr Rajesh Chauhan, a Pak national.

                “All doctors of Pakistani nationality have resigned. I can not comment further, as other matters are sub-judice,” said the spokesperson of Apollo Hospital, Sandip Joshi.

                I don’t think even you would have the gall to deny the above. Obviously PAKISTANI doctors are allowed to work in India. I know personally some Sri Lankan software engineers working in India.
                Our doctors could work in India, IF they are as good as they claim to be. THAT is the root of the problem. They are afraid that Indian doctors will do a better job for less money, aren’t they? Please , Mr. Professional, please tell me who would benefit from such a situation?
                “The two products, which you have mentioned, are not exported under ISLFTA but outside the lists agreed by two countries. India has not opened its retail market to businessmen from Sri Lanka b”
                Garments are in fact covered in the ISLFTA. Damro IS engaged in retail business in India. If you don’t believe it, go and see. I have.
                If in fact these two can do well outside the FTA, why can’t the others? It boils down to an inability to compete in a real market, doesn’t it?
                If there are insurmountable barriers to imports in India, how come Happy Cow cheese (from Austria) and Pakistani fruits are cheaper in India than in Colombo? No, I did not learn this reading a newspaper in my armchair, Mr. Professional. I have seen them myself.
                As for rotten rice, Karunka puwak, scrap metal, etc. Why the devil cannot our own businessmen get these bright ideas?

                I am not saying that there are no obstacles.They can be surmounted with a little street wisdom from local partners, as I believe Damro has done.

                “Therefore I kindly request you to study a little bit on issues of national importance before making comments on same in the comfort of your arm chair.”
                I don’t believe that a reduction in doctors’ rapacious earnings is a matter of national importance. If the country is to educate and maintain such a privileged class , we will have to sell off not only Galle Face but the whole country.

      • 0
        1

        Dear Native,

        I can agree with you for once ..Unsophisticated .. my word..”

        Arrogant? What is there to be arrogant about, when you live in a dirty, dusty, over populated , un kept , polluted and noisy place.where 500 Million have no running water or a loo..

        Chinese at least make kick ass noodles and BBQ Prok.And give a good bang for the buck unlike the Hindian Curry Singhs …

        • 3
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          KASmaalam KA Sumanasekera

          “Arrogant?”

          I wrote, “I am sorry to say they are a bunch of unsophisticated and arrogant smart asses just like our faceless little people behind the desk.”

          “Chinese at least make kick ass noodles and BBQ Prok.And give a good bang for the buck unlike the Hindian Curry Singhs …”

          I see your world revolves around MR’s b***s, imported booze, curry houses, noodles joints, …. Now media reports Chinese prostitutes are prowling the streets of Colombo and suburbs.

  • 4
    5

    He Malik

    You have stated;

    “We are also looking at an economic cooperation programme with Japan, because the government’s ultimate aim is to make Sri Lanka the hub in the region,”

    Knowing you and your capacity, I wonder what kind of Hub are you talking about. The former strongman Mahinda delegated Basil to mess-up Sri Lankan economy and aid the corrupt few to ransack our national wealth. The present Strongman Ranil has delegated the childhood friend to do the same. It is really intriguing the similarities between Basil Rajapaksa and Malik Samarawickrama.

    Basil also turned Sri Lanka into A HUB of corruption and other unsavory activities, Malik is appointed to continue the same traditions. Given his capabilities, he will surpass the achievements of Basil. What a travesty.

    • 10
      1

      Your comments on Malik is a sad reflection of some sickness in segments of our society.If you do also you are damned and if you dont also you are damned.Even before Malik sets the ball rolling armchair critics like you spit out venom and you also claim that you know Malik to strenghten your mud slinging.In the process you drag Ranil into your quagmire and also rub the PM’s face too with the mud you blacken Malik with.
      Ranil has picked Malik knowing his capabilities and because he has faith in him and because Malik has a good track record of being a successful businessman which is known to all and sundry.

      Please, please for once give the man a chance and after a period of performance and if he has been unsuccessful then throw brickbats at him but for heaven’s sake dont start your defacing even before he even gets to full gear.Malik has been doing a very good job like mending fences with China and clinching several Trade deals with many nations, so lets encourage him further without shouting “foul” even before the game has properly started.This is of course if you have the country at heart

      • 2
        2

        Hey Colin;

        I have known Malik from school days, A nice friendly guy, good sportsman and a crafty businessman. End of the story, not a person to be entrusted with national affairs.
        We need capable, qualified and intelligent guys in the parliament to represent us. Unfortunately there is NONE. It is not a personal attack but we have given many chances since the dirty rats eliminated Senanayakes from real democratic politics in Sri Lanka and took over the control of the UNP.

        If we are to survive as a nation, we need to reform the method of electing MPs first. Ranil and Maliks are so blinded by power, therefore they will fight “Tooth and Nail” to thwart any effort to bring MPs on the basis of “FIRST PAST The POST” voting system.

        • 4
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          You seem to be a “senanayake” fan and you go hell bent against Malik and Ranil.In other words you believe that family rule should have continued when it started with Dudley taking over the reins from his father.The real “heir to the throne” should have been SWRD Bandaranaike who was in the UNP then and next in line for the leadership of the UNP. But DS groomed Dudley to become the PM a clear case of family bandyism and SWRD was sidelined. Then SWRD broke off and started the MEP and what took place following this is history.Even JR was also kept waiting in the wing but he was a man with lots of patience knowing that there was light at the end of the tunnel and in 1977 his patience was rewarded.
          Ranil holding on to the theory he learnt from his unc JR “patience will be rewarded” went through a series of defeats but never threw in the towel and finally he has got his chance and he is now in the process of delivering the goods even though its an arduous task.Malik is a success story in the garment trade from a scrawny scrum half playing for Royal and then CR he turned out to be a giant in the garment trade.Ranil is the last and best hope for Sri Lanka he has the capacity to be the “Mahathir Mohamed” of Sri Lanka.He is welcomed in the International stage and could sit with say John Kerry and talk on equal levels.He has been doing hectic rounds in recent times going to Indonesia,then almost immediately going to China and then Jets off to Singapore. Now he has gone on an official visit to New Zealand and all this he is trying hard to do for the Nation. He doesnt take a retinue and give them a “holiday” jaunt on these trips but takes people who could be able to do something for SL Commercial wise.
          Malik too has been zooming to China and was along with Ranil got the Port City matter sorted out and China the Economic giant has mended fences with SL.Malik too is shopping around the world trying to clinch trade agreements for the benefit of SL.
          So instead of bickering and digging up the past let us also give these genuine guys a chance to uplift our Island from the quagmire we have been in.

          • 1
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            Colin;

            “The real “heir to the throne” should have been SWRD Bandaranaike who was in the UNP then and next in line for the leadership of the UNP. But DS groomed Dudley to become the PM a clear case of family bandyism and SWRD was sidelined. Then SWRD broke off and started the MEP and what took place following this is history.”

            Are you so naïve to assume that, I am a Senanayake fan. I am no body’s fan. But note it down, I am a Sinhala-Buddhist. I favor Senanaykes because they were Sinhala-Buddhists and lived accordingly. On the other-hand Jayawardenes, Bandaranaikes and Ranils are converts, Born non-Buddhists and Part-Time Buddhists for political gains and to hoodwink the innocent Sinhala Buddhists.

            SWRDB and Jayawardene were the catalysts for the ethnic division in the country, they were the reason why we fought a useless WAR with our Tamil brothers and sisters. Our recent history has been twisted and laced with lot of niceties about these two families and the associates. By the way SWRDB or JRJ were never groomed or promoted to be our leaders, how can we do that both were Malayali Christians. That was the reason why SWRDB and JRJ undermined every democratic initiative launched by Senayakes. It was the opposite of what you have said; Senanyakes and the Sinhala Buddhists were not Pukka Sahibs for the Malayali Centric, Cinnamon Garden Elites.
            I will reserve my comments about Ranil but stop saying he is no different from JRJ or SWRDB or Mahinda.

            “If you don’t know your history, you’re like a leaf that doesn’t know it’s part of a tree”.

            • 2
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              .Dankotuwa Maama this is what you say “t is not a personal attack but we have given many chances since the dirty rats eliminated Senanayakes from real democratic politics in Sri Lanka and took over the control of the UNP” By referring to the UNP’ers against them when you spit venom as “dirty rats that eliminated Senanayakes” doesnt that make you a fan of the Senanayakes?
              If DS had played fair by promoting SWRD as the Prime Minister in waiting instead of putting forward his son Dudley then maybe we would have never seen the birth of the MEP and subsequently the SLFP.You are critical of SWRD purely on his Christian connection but although I was not in favour of SWRD and his policies there is one thing no one can deny that he uplifted the status of the Sinhala Buddhists. He also donned the National dress while DS and Dudley always wore Western attire. Even the statues of DS shows him in Western attire while
              SWRD wears the National dress.It was the Sangha led by Buddharakita Thero who led the campaign to put SWRD into power.This is a fact of history which no one could deny even though Buddharakita was instrumental in assassinating SWRD/
              You say that DS wdid not belong to the “cinamon gardens: elite but I beg to differ he and his son Dudley went to St.Thomas College Mt.Lavinia and Dudley followed up at Cambridge in the UK.Like SWRD entering Oxford DS sent his son to Cambridge.The Premier Buddhist Institution Ananda and Nalanda were not sought out by the Senanayakes and Dudley’s nephew Rukman went to St.Thomas too.

              • 1
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                Hey Collin;

                “You are critical of SWRD purely on his Christian connection but although I was not in favour of SWRD and his policies there is one thing no one can deny that he uplifted the status of the Sinhala Buddhists. He also donned the National dress while DS and Dudley always wore Western attire. Even the statues of DS shows him in Western attire while SWRD wears the National dress.It was the Sangha led by Buddharakita Thero who led the campaign to put SWRD into power.This is a fact of history which no one could deny even though Buddharakita was instrumental in assassinating SWRD/ You say that DS wdid not belong to the “cinamon gardens: elite but I beg to differ he and his son Dudley went to St.Thomas College..”

                It seems we are not debating about ill conceived idea of ETCA and mindset of incapable politicians. However, I cannot let you escape easily with the above statement;

                SWRDB’s father SDAJSRKB was the head-man or the aide-decamp of then governor, Sir Arthur Havelock.
                He thought with the imminent departure of his master, he and his associates will be able to fill the power vacuum as he was privy to the colonial administrative matters and directives. He groomed his son SWRDB to be the ruler of Sri Lanka after the independence.
                This Christian Malayali man despised and loathed the Sinhala people, specifically, the Sinhala Buddhists he is the one responsible about the “VENOM” you are trying to attribute to my analysis of what Bandaranaikes did to Sri Lanka, the country of Sinhala Buddhists.

                There was a strong move within British Colonial Civil Service in Ceylon to grant citizenships to all Indian Nationals living in Ceylon between 1920-1948. The recommendations made by these civil servants were one of the reasons why much needed Citizenship act sponsored by Hon. D.S.Senanayake was delayed. If it is not for this citizenship act the numbers of Malayalis (From Kerala) and Tamils (From Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andra Pradesh) would have skyrocketed. It would have been very favorable demographic composition for Christian Malayalis to install one of their children as the ruler; obviously the son of the most powerful Christian Malayali Civil Servant SDAJSRKB knighted by the British King. Malayalis and Tamils hate Hon. D.S.Senanyake even today for bringing the Citizenship Act.

                Hey; Colin did you ever even wonder why these dubious politicians identify themselves as “BANDARANAIKE” and not as “BANDARANAYAKE”.
                -Nayake Vs Naike-

                SWRDB was a con master; that is why he claimed to have embraced Buddhism; no one becomes a Buddhist either by birth or by announcing to the media. At best he was an uncharismatic introvert person, wearing the national dress was a meaningless symbolism designed to dupe the Sinhala Buddhists. Do you wear the national dress? It is alleged that Buddharakkita masterminded the assassination of SWRDB. The popular adage is “Live by the sword die by the sword”, I would like to add in this case “Live by chicanery die by chicanery”

                Finally, you have attempted to identify all those attending St.Thomas College or Royal College as the children of Cinnamon Garden Elites. What a sad assertion

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                  DS was DON STEPHEN while his son was DUDLEY SHELTON.DS could not have been blamed as his father would have used those Anglicised names but it would have been more appreciative if he had used good Sinhala names like Nissanka,Anagarika,Appuhamy etc.Yes Banda’s father named him Solomon West
                  Ridgewy Dias but Banda named his siblings Sunethra,Chandrika,Anura.

                  As for DS chasing out the Keralites,South Indians,Andra Pradesh Malayalis was a welcome mve but we should be grateful he didnt throw out the Bengalis as then we would all have to go as our ancestor Vijaya came from Bengal and thus only the Veddhas and Nagas the original inhabitants would have remained.

                  All in all we have to give credit to DS along with Ponnambalam Ramanathan,FR Sennayake,TB Jayah and others for gaining independence to Sri Lanka and he deserves to be called the “Father of the Nation”

  • 2
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    Countries sign trade agreements to increase trade, cut down various trade barriers that hamper free trade. Sri lanka has a hugh trade deficit with india. Sri lanka is an importing country and not an exporting country. Sri lanka can not be a manufacturing country. Because Politician import even rice, vegetables etc because that is what IMF and world bank needs. World bank and IMF are run by USA and they need income as transaction fees.

    Sri lankan cannot be an industriliazed country because the salaries are very high and customer base is just 22 million most of whom are poor people with no money to spend.

    If the ETCA is to bring more workers here, politicians are destroying Sri lanka.

    Politicians increase employee salaries to get political advantage. Money comes not from the increased production but from remittances coming from foreign workers. Politicians just spend it and shows another world.

    CEPA’s objective was different. but, it looks it is not going to happen.

    • 2
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      Jimmy,
      “Sri lankan cannot be an industriliazed country because the salaries are very high and customer base is just 22 million most of whom are poor people”
      Singapore is a smaller island than SL, with only 5 million people.
      Switzerland has 8 million people and is smaller than SL.
      Both of these countries are industrialized AND pay high salaries.
      DON’T YOU THINK THE PROBLEM IS IN THE PEOPLE?

      • 3
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        old codger

        jim softy is awaiting delivery of free rice from the moon and a free laptop from MR imported from Mars.

        • 1
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          Native.
          Jimmy types:”Politicians increase employee salaries to get political advantage. Money comes not from the increased production but from remittances coming from foreign workers. Politicians just spend it and shows another world.”
          When he is sober, he types sense, so let us educate him.

    • 0
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      Simply, no country would sign an agreement that would not benefit them. This is why there will be long drawn negotiations. Often there is no win-win situation. One win and one lose. It is a game to play with a lot of intellect and strategies. There is always a risk, but today it is a necessity.
      Decades ago when Singapore is opening up its gates to foreign investment, opinion in Sri Lanka was such foreign investment will exploit our workers. “Nidahas Welada Kalapaye Shrama Soora Kema”. Today what is happening in large scale Chinese industrial estates seems not very different. In the mean time people in US is frustrated that they have no place to expend their “Shramaya”. They are screaming out loud now inviting multinational to come back and exploit them, instead of Chinese. “Ane mawa Soora Kanna”!! Hilarious!

  • 8
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    The powerful GMOA is once again flexing their muscles over the ECTA . They are worried Doctors from India would be brought in if they were in a future strike thereby weakening their monopolistic , parasitic grip over the patients in this country.
    For too long The doctors union have had its own way , manipulating the system to suit its own selfish agenda , holding every government to ransom and at the expense of the poor patients of this country.
    Enough is enough it’s time to break the vicious stranglehold this privileged group has held in society over the years.

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    Siribiris:

    For too long The doctors union have had its own way , manipulating the system to suit its own selfish agenda , holding every government to ransom and at the expense of the poor patients of this country.

    why it is wrong when uneducated thieves rob the country as families. Every politician is in the parliament as a family. If the son or brother is not a politician, he/she is a ministry secretary , if not in a powerul position.

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    Now comes news from Pakistan. Read news in Daily Times (Pakistan)

    http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/17-Sep-16/islamabad-chamber-wants-trade-agreements-revised

    And also from NY Times

    Protectionists and scaremongers are winning in Germany
    Sep 17th 2016 | BERLIN | From the print edition
    A MOVEMENT is sweeping across Germany. Its followers say delightedly that it reminds them of the peace protests in the 1980s. At stake today, they claim, is nothing less than democracy itself: multinational companies—especially American ones—are trying to foist their wares on helpless European consumers. These behemoths, the protesters warn, could feed Europeans food that is genetically modified or even toxic, and sue into submission democratic European governments that pass laws the corporate honchos dislike……

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    One time, the poor India was selling of workers to foreign countries for money. These crowd were mainly Tamils. This what happened in Ceylon too. The pathetic, poor workers were abused by all ways by the racist Lankawe and at last deported as much they could. The same is returned back to the poor women of Lankaweyan working at the Middle East Countries.

    ETCA is way of revenging the Lankawe for that, by the developing India. IIT and other famous Universities are producing real professional, while Lankawe universities preaching how to rioting in Jaffna, Batticaloa and Peradeniya to rhythm of Kandyan Kooththu. Let behind alone with its racism, Lankawe is having problem of managing its economy. The man who took the free Chemical Bombs from Sonia is leading the opposition of ETCA. It is the way Lankawe shows its faith too.

    Old Royal sold part of the Lankawe to China. They are not opposing selling the rest to China. Narayan, Shivshankar Menon and Nirupama Rao exposed their crook behaviors to Sinhalese and they know who the Indian Diplomats are. Specially Old Royals, who oppose the ETCA knows every atoms of these rogues. It is not strange Old Royals opposing it.

    “Nandhavanathil Ore Aandi Avan
    Naalaaru maathamai Kuyavanai Vendi
    Kondu Vandhan Oru Thondi
    Adhai Koothadi Koothadi Pottudaithaandi”

    http://www.narayanmurti.com/4_38_nanndhavanathil.php
    This is what Lankawe’s Sinhala Intellectuals achieved after the freedom.

    Many times the Assistant Secretary Nisha Desai Biswal has expressed America’s willingness to help Lankawe to sort out its racial problems. Only country in the world now allow Lanka to have GSP+ is America. Yahapalanaya gave up on America who seated them on the power. They are not going to mind India. But the Free Trade with others is not a guarantee to Lankawe to come out of its Asian Miracle nightmare. I do not see one single country in Asia whose trade may benefit Lankawe. Even Japan is not a groom for Lankawe, though it is willing to use the unemployed youths and abundant Chemicals present in the eastern soil. Lankawe had a favored status with West from the time it got freedom. Starting with the rubber trade and moving to tea trade now Lankawe has lost even the most of Garments trade. West is a place for Lankawe to produce cheap and dump it there. There is a synergy exist to exploit it. Anything so far Lankawe did with China is loaned import of prison labour. None of the Asian countries has market for Lankawe’s goods other than culturally connected India.

    So, in Lankawe, for those who sincerely thinking of economy, West and India are the partners. But for political opportunists, there are some half baked Buddhist counties to throw a large amount of commission. (India also known for its commission operations, unfortunately, for Lankaweyans, it is not on giving, but on taking – So it does not match for them.) After Britain left, under Tamils’ administration, trading with West, their balance of payment grew in the Trading Account. With the new kind of Asian miracle trading, the loan account balance is growing.

    Soon the Lankawe will become baron land like Middle East. So you can build long runways more than even needed to land Airbus 380. That will allow Buddha to Land from air comfortably. Probably that is what Buddha asked from Sinhala Buddhist.

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    GMOA is worried that Indian medical professionals will come to Sri lanka after the ETCA . If that is the case ETCA is good because the GMOA is taking the government hostage now! The patients are treated like dirt by them. If you go and ask about your patient in a hospital they do not answer and look at you as if who the hell are you to ask me a question. I lived in the west half my life and the doctors there are easily approachable and treat you like they are there to serve us! Here in Sri lanka , forget it! They take all they can from the tax payer and want to be treated as gods!

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    We shouldn’t allow anti- national forces to destroy our country built by our forefathers and by patriotic leaders like DS and SWRD. At the moment we have an educated set of people in the country because of them. If anyone wants to export things like “pan choon” to India let them do it. But we need a national policy on trade with other countries first if we are to lay a foundation for development. People like Malik who are businessmen should not be allowed to handle national affairs. To my mind it is he who has destroyed UNP by keeping RW in control despite losing elections. Every one in that party is mortally scared of their current leader including Patali and Fony. They seem to have got hold of JVP too, thanks to Malik.

    GMOA may be full of arrogant doctors. It is a trade union fighting on behalf of their members. However I have full faith on them to do the right thing as far as their patients are concerned. They have understood how our people behave and have adopted method to handle them.Just last week there was the case of our house maid’s sister who suffered for some time due to an infection in a leg. Two of my children who are medical consultanrts in western countries discussed among themselves what has been done so far and advised them to admit the patient to Colombo general hospital though we were ready to send her to a private hospital at our expense. The doctors there diagnosed the problem correctly and withing two days she recovered. Her problem has got aggravated as they did not listen to the previous medical advise given by another government hospital.

    GOSL should listen to GMOA on ETCA.

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    The Samarawickrama of Minister has to study important of ETCA agreement that before going to sing soon with Indian.
    I have reasonable doubt why UNP govt. is going so hurry to sing this ETCA between two countries that without the WTO transparency system and domestic deliberation and transparency rules?

    Even after 16 years of FTA between Sri lanka and Indian has not been review by any govt. was in failure of power of their merits and demerits of FTA between the both countries.

    Current The Minister in charge has accountability to public on review of FTA two countries is responsibility of Samarawickarama as Member of Parliament by elected or national -list of present ruling party.

    By member of WTO having every access by Trade policy Review Mechanism by Govt. of Sri lanka has to act on Annex 3 (ii)on FTA is review with India.(“TPRM”)said policy is under herewith;
    “The FTA assessment carried out under the review mechanism take place ,to the extent relevant ,against the background of the wider economic and development needs, policies and objectives of the members concern as well as of external environment. However the functions of the review mechanism is to examine the impact of a member’s trade policies and policies on the multilateral system”

    The Govt. has every power and authority to be review FTA between two countries by WTO guide line. Why is that UNP govt. and Primer-Minister and Minister in charge not follows WTO rules?
    Last 16 years we having imbalance of Trade deficits between two countries. We need urgently address this trade anomaly with India by Minister in-charge without further delay.

    The current Govt.so hurry to sing another new proposed agreement ETCA with Indian -Sri lanka, but that without follow the Trade policy Review Mechanism by WTO rules of Annex 3 by passing or intentionally ignored by UNP-govt. is politically wrong decision.
    Current Minister has address past political errors and back to WTO guide line before sing ETCA is essential part of public interest of all Sri Lankan are concern.

    The proposed ETCA agreement with Indian that has nakedly violated WTO Domestic Transparency policy followed by UNP and “alliances compromised” ruling parties of Govt. in power.
    What is that WTO rules says to its members rights of trade Policy Review Mechanism Annex 3 B……
    ” Members recognize the inherent values of domestic transparency of government decision making on trade policy matters of both member’s economies and the multilateral trading system and agreed to encourage and promote greater transparency within their OWN SYSTEM, acknowledging that the implementation of domestic transparency must be on a voluntary basis and take account of each Member’s legal and political system…..” WTO manual page 821.

    The FTA as well as proposed ETCA both trade agreement with India has poses conflicts the greatest threat in the terms of concern that Sri Lankan trade imbalance.
    The country’s current account surplus has losing to great lower in last 20 months since 2015 January 9th reaching an astounding 20% of GDP on the eve of new financial crisis in 2016/17.

    This imbalance increases with India demand for goods produced by India at cost of reducing it elsewhere, greatly complicating the
    Sri Lankan economic recovery far away .

    It has adverse effects on developing national economic sectors everywhere in an Island.
    The bunch of UNP ruling parties and Primer, & Minister of in charge has to think that a major political backlash against Sri Lankan’s trade and development in generally will become a real standstill and economic by controlled if ETCA going sing soon.

    If we stand for ETCA by proposed agreement with India ,that national economy cannot be leveraged for domestic growth and poverty reductions by combining exports the strategy will be totally fail.

    Sri Lankan’s economy sustainability of diversification and institutional innovation will lost all opportunities in near future by mismanagement of Trade with India by lopsided policies of UNP ruling alliances led by Primer.

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