3 July, 2022


Fear Of ETCA: Is It Davids Fearing To Fight Goliaths?

By W.A Wijewardena

Dr W.A Wijewardena

Dr W.A Wijewardena

Small fellows can beat big fellows through proper brain power

Malcolm Gladwell’s 2013 book ‘David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants’ is about how small fellows should fight with big fellows for a decisive win at the end. Big fellows are naturally feared by small fellows. Given a chance, a small fellow would avert confronting a big fellow. If there is no alternative, he would fight a big fellow, but with a shaken mind and trembling limbs. But Gladwell has shown that this need not be the case. He has documented in his book many stories from recent history from all over the world how small fellows had been successful in winning against big fellows in battles. All that is needed, according to Gladwell, for a small fellow to succeed is a good strategy. The human mind could do wonders when physical bodies fail. This was amply elaborated by Sinhala writer Munidasa Kumaratunga in his children’s book ‘Heenseraya’ which every adult in Sri Lanka today would have read when they were in school many years ago. In Heenseraya, the giant elephant is brought to its knees by a small chameleon by using not a big force but a strategically designed trivial force.

Professionals and businessmen up in arms against ETCA in India

A recent discussion on TV1’s Face the Nation on the Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement, commonly known as ETCA, showed that the professional and business leaders in Sri Lanka have forgotten the subtle message conveyed in Kumaratunga’s Heenseraya, a book which they may have enjoyed as children.

Two professionals, one representing the medical profession and the other the IT area, and a third, an industrialist, announced their objection to signing ETCA with India. One of the reasons given by them is based on the fear that big India will swallow small Sri Lanka though this agreement.

This writer and an economics professor too participated in the discussion as facilitating panelists.

The possibility of medical quacks coming from India

The medical profession was represented by Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, President of the 18000 member strong Government Medical Officers’ Association or GMOA. Dr. Padeniya, though a firebrand trade union leader to some, presented his case in an unusually calm but an authoritative voice. He said at the outset that he was not anti-Indian. His worry about ETCA was that it would open the gates for Indian medical professionals whose qualifications have not been properly assessed to flood Sri Lanka’s healthcare field. According to him, a nation’s health is too precious to be left in the hands of such quacks. This is a grave situation, according to him, since Sri Lanka has not defined who a medical specialist is.

He said that GMOA is opposed to ETCA because it has been planned and executed by the Government without following proper procedures. Those procedures involved five steps: examining the success or failure of existing trade agreements, having a national policy to protect important sectors before venturing into signing new agreements, introducing a mechanism to assure that no harm is done to the areas which are to be opened for trade under trade agreements, independent assessment of the benefits to be derived from the proposed trade agreements and, finally, making the whole process transparent and assigning the accountability to parties who are involved in designing and implementing trade agreements.

With respect to the existing Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement or ILFTA, he said that it is a failure since Sri Lanka’s trade gap with India has risen phenomenally after the operation of the agreement. To support his claim, he submitted raw import and export data published by the Central Bank.

Dr. Padeniya further said that no medical specialist would choose India for serving his compulsory internship to update knowledge and learn of good medical practices. They would always choose better countries in the West.

The claim that Sri Lanka’s IT specialists are good

It was President of the Society for IT Professionals Kapila Perera who spoke on behalf of the country’s IT professionals. He said that his society opposes ETCA because, as also feared by Dr. Padeniya with regard to medical profession, Indian IT men and women would invade Sri Lanka’s limited IT market if the floodgates are opened through the proposed agreement. In his view, Sri Lanka’s IT professionals are quite good and there is no need for foreign IT men and women to come and challenge them.

Hence, to protect the IT industry from the imminent Indian invasion, ETCA with India should not be signed by the Government. He also said that he had no objection, if a trade agreement that covers the services sector as well is signed with a country that stands superior to India. He did not name any country, but the obvious candidates would be Israel or Ireland which are far superior to India with respect to the provision of IT service.

‘ETCA is the first step of long term objectives of Indians’

Industry was represented by the Patron of Ceylon National Chamber of Industries Samantha Kumarasinghe. In his opinion, ETCA is simply the old Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement or CEPA in a new name.

Kumarasinghe did not say so, but ETCA has a long history. Its predecessor, CEPA, was negotiated during 2002-04 after the governments of India and Sri Lanka had found that the existing Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement or ILFTA had promoted trade between the two countries significantly. ILFTA had elevated India to Sri Lanka’s No.1 source of imports and to No.4 destination of exports. However, due to protests by certain sections of industry and business, CEPA never saw the lights of the day. Hence, a redesigned ETCA is now being promoted by both the Indian government and the Sri Lankan government in place of the shelved CEPA.

Though the Government had announced that certain sectors would be exempted from ETCA, Kumarasinghe maintained that that would not have any effect. That was because Sri Lanka has already consented to WTO conditions and therefore, any restriction to such conditions through a bilateral trade agreement would not have effect in law. What Kumarasinghe meant was that the claim made by government politicians that protection would be afforded to critical sectors by taking them out of ETCA has no meaning. Hence, ETCA is a dangerous animal and that animal should be caged forever, according to Kumarasinghe.

In a booklet he had published in Sinhala under the title ‘The Future of Sri Lanka in the face of Indian Economic Invasion’ earlier, he has summarised the reasons for his objection to ETCA. He has declared in the booklet that “It is my conviction and firm belief that we should, as true Sri Lankans who love their motherland, preserve the heritage of Sri Lanka dating back to 5000 years for posterity”. He has further opined that when one observes critically the processes which India has been conducting in Sri Lanka, one could clearly see that India’s long term objective has been to paralyse Sri Lanka’s economy and through that strategy, to run the country by establishing a puppet government subservient to Indian interests. In this wider Indian strategy, according to him, ETCA is the first step of doing so.

Fear of Indians is the common bondage of professionals

There is one common link that has bound these and other professionals and industrialists who are opposed to ETCA together. That is, though the majority of them openly maintain that they are not anti-India, the action of all of them amply demonstrates that they fear Indians. Accordingly, they fear Indian physicians, Indian IT men and women, Indian engineers, Indian architects, Indian artistes and so on.

That fear is understandable and they are not the only people who have the fear of others. One has to just listen to the Republican Presidential hopeful in USA, Donald Trump, to understand this. He has simply echoed the common fear of the majority of Americans of everything and everyone foreign: Mexicans, Indians, Chinese, Europeans, etc.

Or else, one should try to understand the sentiments expressed by British voters in the recently held referendum in the UK about whether or not Britain should exit EU, tag-lined Brexit. At this referendum, a little more than a half of the British voters had expressed their fear of Europe by voting for Brexit. That has happened despite the British academia, mainstream media, leading politicians and intellectuals trying to alleviate their fear by putting sound judgmental power into their heads.

Even Indians who are being accused by Sri Lankans of being invaders have shown their fear of other nationals in the neighbouring countries – Nepalese, Bhutanese, Bangladeshis and Pakistanis.

Thus, it appears that the brains of Homo sapiens have been hardwired to fear the unknown and it is not easy for governments or national leaders to erase such fears from their minds.

The real cause of fear comes from virtual professional services

The real fear will come to Sri Lanka’s professionals not from the Indian professionals crossing the border and competing with them in the job market in person. In today’s advanced information and communication technological world, except the low level floor workers, skilled professionals need not be present in person in a country to provide their services to an employer in that country.

Accordingly, an IT man or woman in India can make available his services to an employer in Sri Lanka and vice versa without leaving his home. They need to make physical presence at their employer occasionally only when periodical review of their work is being done or receiving instructions when a major project is started. Similarly, other professionals too, including those in the medical profession, can provide their services to those in the rest of the world without crossing borders and being domiciled in a foreign country.

They are known as ‘virtual professionals’ who have been pretty much popular among large corporate employers, multi-national corporations and small start-up businesses. A virtual professional could provide his services in his individual capacity or as a firm of supplying such services. All that is necessary is to enter into a proper contractual arrangement and meeting the quality standards that are imposed on the virtual professional by such contracts. Even today, unknown to Sri Lanka’s Society for IT Professionals or other IT organisations, Indian IT men and women provide their services to Sri Lankan customers for web development, maintenance of web sites and writing software programs. This is happening without ETCA.

Every professional field is being captured by virtual professional services

In almost all the professional work, this has become a global industry today. This writer recalls when a stock-broking company was set up in Sri Lanka in 2010, macroeconomic research was outsourced to a team of virtual economists domiciled in New Zealand. The reason? There were no good macroeconomists who could do the job on time within the country.

What matters to an employer who hires a virtual professional is not the nationality of the person. Rather, he is interested in the quality, discipline, wide world outlook and ability to deliver on time. If the domestic professionals are not good at that, nothing can be done to protect their jobs. Even professional jobs as high as the Chief Financial Officer or CFO are now available on the virtual hiring platform.

A virtual assistant is another mode where these virtual professionals offer their services to prospective clients (available at: https://ninjaoutreach.com/the-ultimate-guide-to-virtual-assistants/ ). The virtual assistant guide under reference has identified seven areas where virtual assistants provide their services online to customers. They are: general virtual assistant work that involves the work of a general clerk or an office assistant, web designing, work relating to audio and video development, graphic artistry, script and content writing, search engine optimisation (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) and general project management.

To support and keep the system going, professional employer organisations, known as PEOs, have been set up to assist anyone looking for a professional service from outside his own country.

In the case of healthcare services, telehealth is now gaining ground and those in the medical profession in Sri Lanka would find a formidable competitor in virtual physicians.

Prepare Davids to battle with Goliaths

These are the causes of real fear for Sri Lanka’s professionals and it is taking place irrespective of whether there is ETCA or not. Even the governments cannot stop the spread of such virtual services. All the governments can do is to strengthen the legal framework in the respective countries to compel the virtual service providers to stick to their contractual obligations.

In such a world, the obligation of Sri Lanka’s professional leaders is to prepare their membership to successfully compete with virtual competitors on one side, and train them to gain access to the growing virtual market on the other. That would be the way for them to use their energy and resources in a more productive way. That is how Davids should battle with Goliaths today.

Thus, the professionals’ fight against ETCA on the fear that it would open floodgates for Indian professionals to inundate the country’s job markets appears to be futile and irrelevant.

*W.A. Wijewardena, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, could be reached at waw1949@gmail.com

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Dr. wijewardane:

    Only new news for me from your article is that there is a trade agreement, CEPA, already in place in Sri lanka. Other than that, everything you have discussed about ETCA is positives about it.

    There are Indian professionals already working in Sri lanka.

    But, you di dnot talk about how flooding of indian professionlas wipe out jobs in Sri lanka. Even right now, unskilled labour comes on visitor visa and earn in Sri lanka. On the other hand, CGR announced in order to compete for 10 employment positions 13,000 had applied.

    Trade gap with India is very high. You did not talk about that. How Sri lanka is going to troubleshoot that ?

    I think, Sri lankan It jobs always will be of the service type. Because in the west, they are advancing very fast. UNless, Sri lanka get R & D contracts, it won’t be advancing that much.

    Sri lanka is an importing country for the last 60 years or so. So, why do we need a trade agreement. countries always like export things to Sri lanka. Probabl is when we sell our products. At present the major product from Sri lanka is labourers for low paying service industry.

    Otherwise, because of politics, they increase salaries for the Tea estate sector. So, at one Tea estate labourers have to move out and outside labourers have to work there in order to keep the cost of production down. If not, as they do with cocnut estate, they will start building housing complexes in Tea estates making upcountry vulnerable to hugh land slides.

  • 2

    This writer says;

    “In such a world, the obligation of Sri Lanka’s professional leaders is to prepare their membership to successfully compete with virtual competitors on one side, and train them to gain access to the growing virtual market on the other. That would be the way for them to use their energy and resources in a more productive way. That is how Davids should battle with Goliaths today”

    Hello Wijewardene,

    What a bunch of baloney statements you have made without really understanding what will happen to the professionals in Sri Lanka. According to you.
    and train them to gain access to the growing virtual market on the other…”

    My dear fellow there is nothing available in the virtual market of the other side. Nothing, Nada, Nil, Insignificant. That is the reason for millions of Indian professionals seek work outside or provide virtual services for other greedy corporate moguls in other countries.
    By the way, I (Not in Sri Lanka) have hired them from India and I know the true story. They are available “Dime a Dozen”.

    The main if not the only reason for the US Economy/financial market to collapse (2007-2009)was this hiring of virtual professionals from India. The US economy did not survive because of this false dream created by economists like you and the greedy corporate executives like Carly Fiorina ; why do you think that Sri Lankan economy will survive catastrophic outcome if ETCA is approved. Only Voodoo Economists believe in projects like ETCA.

    It is not economics that drives ETCA, it is regional politics. You or the present cabinet ministers do not have any idea of what will happen to Sri Lankan Economy.

    ETCA will be worst than the thirty year (30)war with the terrorists. Objectives of both projects are the same.

  • 5

    It seems that Sri Lankan professionals suffer from an inferiority complex due to reasons best known to themselves. They are unable to compete on equal terms exposing their lack of self confidence. Hence protest against Privatization, ECTA, SAITM etc. Time to call the bluff.

  • 8

    Excellent article as usual.

    Our professionals whether they may be doctors, IT guys, lawyers, accountants, bankers etc etc have never faced competition in their lives and hence will oppose competition. Anything which challenges their comfortable status quo will be opposed and simple as that.

    One of the industries that face true competition is our apparel industry and look where they are today. They compete with Eurpoean manufacturing hubs, Bangladesh, Vietnam etc and able to compete on an equal footing. All professionals should learn from such experience.

    Take the doctors for an example :

    1They get 13 years free education
    2Free medical education for another 5 years.
    3Mahapola scholarship during campus education
    4 Govt job when passing out as a doctor
    5Free housing when posted outside Colombo
    6Free specialized training overseas to become a specialist
    7Opportunity to enter kids to popular schools in Colombo
    8Right to do private practice whilst being a govt employee
    9Non contributory pension
    10Duty free car permit

    Do you think that doctors will ever support ECTA or private medical education in this country????.

    • 2

      Instead of supporting doctors, you can invite Indian doctos who will come in thousands because they have 1.3 billion people so many universities accomodate that many students. So doctors are cheap.

  • 3

    I watched this show. While the medical doctor made a great case for why ETCA would be harmful to Sri Lankans in the health arena, the IT professional was not as persuasive. He needs to do more research and have statistics, and frankly be more articulate.

    The medical doctor said that the laws governing consultants is so archaic in Sri Lanka, that bogus Indian doctors were passing off as consultants in Sri Lanka, because there’s no contemporary regulation of specialists in Sri Lanka. So his main fear was, given the lack of clear guidelines, all and sundry could provide sub-par services in specializations they are not trained in.

    So before we go down the ETCA path in areas such as health and education, we need to spruce up our regulatory and credentialing systems.

    Liberalizing an economy willy-nilly is not the answer to a debt-burdened economy.

  • 6

    I do not think those doctors who say that they are not against India but worry about the quality of the services of Indians are not expressing their true feelings. Their true feeling is that ECTA will have some effect on their earning. In the name of nation and mother Lanka they are against any programme that would give affordable service to the public. They are against nurses given degrees.

  • 4

    Well said Dr. Wijewardena. We have to drive the fear out of our professionals. Their stance could be partly due to fear of their earnings will dwindle. At this rate they will agitate against our patients from going to India or Singapore for treatment. After all going to Madras or Bombay will add only about Rs. 15000 to 25000 to your hospital bill. Considering the large medical bills we experience here it could be cheaper and better in India. We know that a large no of Indian Doctors practice in Srilanka.
    Re. the fear of our industrialists that local industries will collapse in the face of Indian products is without any basis. Protection is harmful to the consumer. I have been beaten on several occasions by patronizing the local products during the past 50 years. I was let down on quality. To counter this argument there is a classic example in Jinasena water pumps. They very successfully faced the competition from imports after the imports were liberalized in 1977 and the locals prefer this product price and quality wise. We don’t see many imported water pumps in Srilanka.
    The fear expressed about the trade gap with India being unfavorable to us is frivolous as if we don’t import our requirements from India we have go else where. It is the overall trade gap we have to be concerned about. We have to get out of our shelves. We need the learned like Dr. Wijewardena to come out boldly and drive out archaic thinking and get set on fast track.

  • 0

    Following is the Sri Lanka’s trade deficit.

    Why do we need more trade agreements.

    With the trade deficit reaching US$ 4.2 billion in the first half of the year, this year’s trade deficit is likely to reach a massive US$ 8.5 billion. Despite this large trade deficit, a current account surplus in the balance of payments of around US $2 billion is likely this year. Workers’ remittances, tourist earnings and income from other services are expected to bring in about US$10-11 billion to result in this surplus.

    Trade deficit
    The trade deficit increased by 2.2 per cent to US$4.2 billion in the first half of the year. It was higher than in the first half of last year as exports decreased by 5.8 per cent in the first half of the year and was much higher than the decline in imports of only 2.4 per cent. While imports amounted to US$ 9.3 billion, export earnings were only US$5.1 billion.

  • 2

    Violence and Seduction are the weapons of choice that some nations will use to prevent neighbors in the region becoming economically or militarily superior. If violence fails they will use seduction, if seduction fails they will use violence. Both weapons are equally poisonous and triggered by evil intentions. The wise rulers know how to defeat both weapons.

    • 4


      “Violence and Seduction are the weapons of choice that some nations will use to prevent neighbors in the region becoming economically or militarily superior.”

      Are we discussing Indo-Pak relation or Indo-China Hindi-Chini Bye Bye?

      Chanakkia’s (Kautilya) four Upayas (approaches), Sama, Dana, Behda and Danda.

      You missed two Sama and Behda.

      Update your typing, try to build these two pathways into your simple observation, however, the actual conduct of foreign affair is much more complicated than you imagine.

      • 3

        Vanakkam Native Vedda;

        Kautilya of 4 BCE , Of course certainly gave four Upayas Sama ,Dana, Behda and Danda. It was to explain the finer details of diplomacy.

        But in this 21st century the approaches can be folded into two broader categories

        Firstly, Sama and Dana fall into Seduction Category, it may include many other similar approaches with similar characteristics such as unending bogus peace initiatives.

        Secondly, Behda and Danda fall into Violence category, it may include other destructive and sinister approaches such as aiding and abetting terrorism.

        Nevertheless, it appears you have failed to link Seduction and Violence approaches to the subject under discussion or debate. It is understandable, no harm done.

        Miga Nandri

        Kautilya (2016)

  • 3

    Indian professionals are CEO’s of many leading companies in USA. Their command of English and the high standards maintained in Indian Technology Institutes have contributed to the rise of Indian professionals to the top positions all over the world.

    The poor communication skills of Sri Lankan professionals because of their Sinhala & Tamil medium education and the step motherly treatment given to the teaching of English in government schools, severely limits the ability of most Sri Lankan professionals to match the Indian professionals. This fear and the one way free trade agreement, makes the ETCA a non-starter.

    • 3

      I do not think that Dr. Padeniya was honest in his presentation.The specialist Doctors are exploiting the patients and they fear that that the freedom they enjoy will be curtailed.Viz

      1.If you visit the channeling centre of a popular Hospital in Colombo you will find notices by the socalled specialists.(i) They say that if the patient is unable meet the specialist at the pre-arranged time, the patient should seek a second consultation after paying the full consultation charges.On the face value this is a reasonable order but what the Specialist fails to mention is that if the specialist is unable to keep to the scheduled time, he should reimburse the patient.That does not happen.About ten years ago, I had to wait with my daughter for over three hours after the scheduled time to consult the specialist.He came at about 9.30p.m. as we getting ready to get back home.

      2.Some specialists insists on the payment in full of consultation charges to read the reports he had called for.After being educated at the expense of the public, what canons and ethics do these people exhibit.The canine community show similar traits.

      3.Technically the patient should be channeled to the specialist by a general physician called in common parlance -The family physician.The specialist want to grab all the boodle and allow the patient to by pass the family physician.

      4.I took an elderly lady to see a gynacologist. This lady had a serious problem.The passage through the specialist’s consultation room was similar to an express train passing a point on the way.

      5.There is a specialist who wanted a party known to me to submit some medical reports.It was mentioned that the reports should be submitted within seven days otherwise a new set of reports were to be obtained.When the party went with the reports on the seventh day, the specialist was absent. On the eight day when my friend with the reports, the specialist refused to look at them.
      the guiding rules seems to be greed for money.

      I think that all fields should be open to the Indians.A party known to me said that he had to pay Rs 5100.00 to a mason to replace a roof tile. That was exploitation in a monopolist situation.

      6.The electrical engineers threatened to refuse assistance to the GOSL, if the GOSL proceed with the Sampur plant without using coal.When coal is said to release heavy metals, that can cause health problems to the public, by the 1000s of tons, this threat is unjustifiable.

      There is no solution, the Indians must come.

      • 0

        I agree totally with Upali W:
        .” There is no solution, the Indians must come.”
        Upali has exposed the dishonesty of the GMOA. What qualifications are they talking about when some of their own allegedly qualified members cannot tell a patient’s right knee from his left? And another is accused of aiding Duminda Silva?

        I wish to comment on the local IT industry, since I was in it a while ago, and am still in touch with young IT professionals. The representative of the IT industry was totally incoherent. He could hardly speak complete sentences. He is a good argument for getting down competent Indian teachers.
        According to him, Sri Lankan experts “support” large projects such as E-Bay, 3 gorges dam, the LSE, etc. Therefore, he says, we don’t need Indians to teach us anything. Well, we still don’t have a programming language in Sinhala , whereas there are in Hindi.
        What he conveniently missed was that Indians make up about 20% of the workforce in Silicon Valley. Only Chamath Palihapitiya (ex-Facebook)from SL is a dollar millionaire, whereas many IT companies have Indian CEO’s. In India itself, Tata IT has 330,000 employees.
        Can anyone claim that Tata employees are under-qualified?
        Mr. Samantha Kumarasingha is another matter. He seems to think, in this day and age, that anything foreign-owned is bad.He runs a business claiming to manufacture “all-natural” beauty products (open to question), and cannot get a foothold in India.He has over the years got the government to heavily tax Indian cosmetic imports for his own protection. But on the other hand, his competitor Spa Ceylon is operating successfully in India.
        On the whole, I think the program was not balanced, since no representative from outfits like Damro and Amante were invited. They are both very successful in India.
        Negative and fearful attitudes won’t do. Our professionals must admit that there are many things that the Indians do better, like railways (take a rail trip beyond Vavuniya), private hospitals, Automobiles, education (English teachers) and IT.
        Why not think positive? There are hundreds of Sri Lankans presently on work visas in India, paid better than here. Our doctors probably wouldn’t want to go there because they wouldn’t be able to rip off the patients!
        In India, the large universities do have campuses, but they also have affiliated (private) colleges which award the same degree. We too could set up such institutes, with Indian staff, to take in the overflow from the state universities. Or would the GMOA and the IUSF object to that too?

        • 2

          old codger

          All these crooks who wouldn’t want to open up this country to competition have benefited from the captive market since 1970s and are well-off as long as few could protect their “Rent Seeking” income or vested interest.

          They can’t change and won’t change.

          What Ranil could do is pick 1000 Sri Lankan IT “Experts” send them to India on work permit. Find them jobs at such companies as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra, ……….. Let’s see how long these homegrown experts last in the internationally competitive environment.

  • 1

    Mr. W.A Wijewardena it is not David Fearing To Fight Goliaths, it is more of protecting the lives,rights, values, riches, freedom, security, sovereingnity etc. of SL and Sri Lankans. Don’t you know the damages done by India for the 3 decades by taining and arming LTTE and the 13th agreement? With one thing India will force 100 or 1000 things on SL.

    • 0

      Dear Manu,
      Dr. Wijewardena is absolutely correct.
      Did you not know that Vietnam was bombed into the stone age by the US, but still signed a TPP agreement? Historical animosities ,LTTE, whatever, are not good bases for economics.

      • 0

        Violence(LTTE) sponsored at the outset did not succeed. So why not use ETCA to destroy Sinhala nation. The cohorts of yamapalakayas and voodoo economists do not clearly understand the long term ramifications on Sri Lanka. India has not pursued similar Technical cooperation or trade agreements with other regional neighbors. Why Sri Lanka?

        Malik or Ranil do not have the capacity to understand the negative ramifications on our nation as they are blinded by hatred developed towards GMOA and other professional bodies in Sri Lanka.

        They are the graduates of JRJ School of Corruptions and they tend to follow or imitate JRJ’s policies. JRJ’s hatred developed and publicly displayed feelings of repulsion toward Mrs. Gandhi and family triggered the sustenance of LTTE. Malik and Ranil follow a similar policy and they don’t know “Cutting off the nose to spite the face” policy is self-destructive.

        ETCA will end-up as a dead weight around the neck of Sri Lanka. We must compete with Indians but not go to bed with them. Irony is party of “symbol of Elephant” does not understand what will happen when you opt to sleep with an Elephant.

        • 0

          ” We must compete with Indians but not go to bed with them. “

          How can we compete with anybody when our biggest foreign exchange earner is female slaves?
          Our biggest export industries are garments and tea, both produced largely by poor women.
          Sri Lankan men only want to be three-wheeler drivers, a cushy job where they can rip off people while sitting on their backsides 12 hours a day.
          If you go to India you will see that there are fewer three-wheelers than here, because the men work in factories. Don’t you think we need more of that?

          • 1

            Old Codger, chosen pseudo name fits you very well, What a coincidence.

            This is Dankotuwe Maama,

            you have stated;

            “How can we compete with anybody when our biggest foreign exchange earner is female slaves?”

            At least are you aware , it was JRJayawardene, who introduced the above disgusting SLAVE TRADE. His nephew, Ranil is following similar projects. For these fellows of JR-UNP, our national interests are secondary. Old codger don’t B…S…
            400 Million in India go to bed without food, it is not a Shangri-La fellow. It is an economy built on fraudulent activities and inferior goods. If you have Tomatoes, name A SINGLE quality or superior product produced in India. You must be in love with TATAs and MARUTIS.
            Do you know the amount of foreign exchange remitted by INDIAN slaves, Indian Low Grade professionals(Doctors, Engineers, Accountants, Teachers etc..) in the Middle Eastern Countries alone.
            India is looking for a convenient dumping ground for its inferior products , low grade and questionable professional services.

            • 0

              “You must be in love with TATAs and MARUTIS. Do you know the amount of foreign exchange remitted by INDIAN slaves, Indian Low Grade professionals(Doctors, Engineers, Accountants, Teachers etc..) “

              You yourself are a good argument for getting down Indian teachers. Why are Marutis and Tatas popular? Why don’t you ask the bus owners why they don’t go for Chinese or Japanese buses? Do you know the meaning of “value for money”?
              Whether JR is responsible or not, the fact is that Sri Lanka exports its women for slave labour.
              If Indian teachers and professionals are low grade, how come 25% of IT people in Silicon Valley are Indians? Probably the software you are using to type has Indian input too. Oh, by the way, if not for Indian workers, you would be climbing trees because there would be no tea industry.
              Please be logical. Don’t look up and spit.

              • 0

                Hello Codger;

                Obviously you are a product of Dirty Baduddin Mohammed education reforms- Otherwise you will not justify your beliefs with silly arguments;

                “Why don’t you ask the bus owners why they don’t go for Chinese or Japanese buses? Do you know the meaning of “value for money”?”

                We will end-up assigning the bus drivers to decide our economic future. They are being blinded by favorable economic terms introduced by GOSL on Indian products. Well TATA stole Mercedes Technology to start the TATA Bus industry. Nevertheless they have not been able to compete in the world market. If they are superior, all industrialized countries should be running TATA busses.

                “Value for Money” theory contributes to keep any economy under-developed. If the economy to be developed like in the western democracies, Quality, Efficiency, Productivity, Robustness, sophistication, convenience, dependability, style and comfort must be taken into consideration. Your Marutis and TATAs Leylands are good for animal transportation (Take a ride in those to convince yourself)

                “If Indian teachers and professionals are low grade, how come 25% of IT people in Silicon Valley are Indians? “

                You are right approximately 25% – the truth is; out of those 25% Indians, NINETY NINE 99% percent entered the USA as students to study technology and remained as employees without returning to India, the cradle of economic misery, because there is no hope for them. The other 1% (one percent) is the children born to the Indian green card holders and US citizens of Indian origin. Not a bloody good point for Sri Lanka to invite the Indians. Indians never want to return back to their misery.

                What Indian software are you referring to; Indians are world renown for software piracy and mass-scale reproductions using low paid labor. That does not mean they have invented them. Microsoft is just using low cost advantage in India to improve their margins.

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                  Obviously you need a little updating.
                  “They are being blinded by favorable economic terms introduced by GOSL on Indian products. Well TATA stole Mercedes Technology to start the TATA Bus industry. Nevertheless they have not been able to compete in the world market. If they are superior, all industrialized countries should be running TATA busses.”
                  There is NO tax concession for Indian vehicles in the FTA or ETCA. Therefore your argument is fallacious. As to Indian-made vehicles being unsuitable for the world market, perhaps you do not know that India produces not only TATAs but also Nissan, Toyota, VW, Ford, GM,Renault, Fiat, Daewoo and many others, which are trans-shipped to EUROPE via Hambantota port. Please, it is ok to be ignorant of facts, but do not make it so obvious.

                  “What Indian software are you referring to; Indians are world renown for software piracy and mass-scale reproductions using low paid labor. ” I will give you just one example. Look at the credits wile Photoshop is loading (if you know what that is). Count the Indian names. I suppose they are all low-grade coolies in your opinion?
                  ” Your Marutis and TATAs Leylands are good for animal transportation (Take a ride in those to convince yourself) “
                  Of course,to a superior somebody living it up in the West, a TATA bus is below his dignity, but kindly tell me which Sri Lankan commuter is willing to pay Rs 50 per KM to travel in a Benz? You must be joking!
                  Before you preach about the failings of others, you ought to go look in the mirror. What progress has SL made in 68 years, compared to India? Perhaps we do beat them at exporting women?
                  WE have rubber but cannot make exportable tyres without CEAT.
                  We cannot make even substandard buses without Lanka Ashok Leyland.
                  It is time you stopped wallowing in 2500 years of history . We are in 2016 now!

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        The Vietnamese will realize the brilliance of that move when private and/or foreign interests will be able to restrict and challenge the Vietnamese government about anything they wish.. Environment, Resources, you name it .

        Imagine.. a company like Coca Cola or Bayer will be able to take any TPP signatory government to court for example, limiting the amount of water Coke can extract for soft drinks.. so that the aquifers can be protected for the people.

        How cool is that !

        But I guess short-term-gain is the order of the day

    • 0

      Manu, according to the history books that I read when at school said that Vijaya an Indian brigand who was exiled landed in this island, befriended Kuveni produced two children and then killed all of Kuveni’s people. When the Brigand’s people did not have women for company _read conjugarity- they sought women from India.No respectable family would give their daughters to brigands and this resulted in the Indian prostitutes being brought here.That was the first Tart express.In other words, we are all descendants of those 700 prostitutes.

      So why worry now about our relations from India coming here again?

  • 1

    It is sad Sri Lanka is not bold enough to launch ECTA unlike most other Countries benefitting from India in several fields. How Countries in South East Asia, Mid East all Countries, Europe, GB, USA, all enjoying and poor Sri Lanka the closest neighbor is talking of fear!
    I think it is true they have a fear for all others other than their own race even within Sri Lanka. looking at the recent history Sri Lanka created by getting rid of Tamils with violence first from all provinces and now from the predominantly Tamil North and East. The Country lost severely in several aspects of advancement. Firstly the brain drain, economy, accountability, and friendship of all other Countries. In short the Country lost all edges it had over several other Countries before the start of communal riots.
    The Country looks a born loser with no hope for improvement if they continue with the same superiority mindset. If not for the communal riots and the Country getting rolled down by bad politicians, today Ceylon would have continued keeping the same envious position it started with before and soon after independence. We need to first get the Country come back to the same state of friendliness between different ethnic groups existed before communal violence began in the late forties. Now it is up to the international community to help Sri Lanka get out of the doomed mentality and the bad history to make good for its future generation.
    It is never too late to allow development within as there is a lot of scope if the provinces are allowed to develop independently, there is good chance for fast development in a competitive setup. The leaders in Sri Lanka must put away race and religion factors at the back and go forward to develop internally and be able to understand the benefits through Academies and brain storming by the wise and experienced like the author Dr. Wijewardena. At least learn from the Countries around you. Even England with all its clout in technology and business and in a far more superior position never dared treat the Irish the way Sri Lanka treated the Tamils.

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      “I think it is true they have a fear for all others other than their own race even within Sri Lanka.”

      It can only be paranoia and nothing else. They also fear their own shadow.

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