ETCA Will Destroy Lankan Economy Along With Businesses of UNP, TNA and SLMC Supporters
Posted on July 5th, 2016

Dilrook Kannangara

Already the nation is in financial, balance of payment and debt crisis. There is not enough foreign currency to pay for imports and repay loans and interest. It is unwise to enter into a trade agreement with India under these conditions as it will worsen these crises. Since signing the FTA with India in 2000, trade deficit with India has widened badly to over $5 billion. With ETCA, it will further worsen ruining local industry and bankrupting local investors.

All investors take away many times more than they invest. Otherwise, their venture makes no sense. Indian investors will invest a little in Lanka and take back many times more. Sri Lankan rupees are worthless in India and they will convert rupees into US dollars. That will further destroy the scant forex reserves. Sri Lankans of South Indian ethnicities have been appointed to top positions in judicial and fiscal sectors of Lanka already. ETCA is set to pass.

However, what the UNP government seems to have either missed or tries to push under the carpet is the severe impact of ETCA on UNP, TNA and SLMC businessmen. They will end up bankrupt and in ruin with Indian businesses coming to Lanka in a big way. Most Sri Lankan businesses are owned by UNP, TNA and SLMC supporters. Indian businesses will simply wipe them out. Import industries in particular are vulnerable to the Indian invasion. This will in turn destroy the UNP within. TNA and SLMC on the other hand can continue to attract minority voters using their racist exclusive policies.

By the next election, even traditional and hard-core UNP supporters will be cross with the UNP government. It will try its best to pin the blame on Sirisena and his pro-Indian SLFP. Their businesses in ruin with economic calamity engulfing the nation, they too will turn against the UNP. However, cheaper Indian goods and services will benefit the people, which will amass some support for the UNP. It is the impact of rupee depreciation and the consequent rise in prices overall that will arouse their anger against the UNP.

However, this doesn’t mean Mahinda’s party will automatically succeed. In fact, Mahinda’s party will have to be bold to win the votes lost by the SLFP and the UNP. Otherwise voters will dump it in the same rubbish bin. Any coward can talk against ETCA and weep for the plight of the people due to ETCA but it takes a hero to stand up and vow to abrogate ETCA. Mahinda’s party must promise to abrogate ETCA to win votes. Merely lamenting the ills of ETCA and blaming the UNP and Sirisena for ETCA will not bring it any votes. Past conduct of Mahinda and his brothers after 2009 doesn’t favour them well. They failed to take any bold stand on any issue after 2009.

Given the very strong anti-Indian sentiment by then, many new small parties will cash-in from the situation by taking a strong anti-India stand. That will ruin chances of winning the election for Mahinda’s party unless it also follows a bold stand against ETCA. At the moment the JVP is heavily canvassing against ETCA and JVP MP numbers will increase in parliament at the expense of the Joint Opposition. People will want bold and clear leaders to abrogate ETCA, not cowards unable to take a bold stand to do so. Very strong anti-Indian sentiments will also popularise the abrogation of 13A and the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord. A party that cannot stand up to these challenges will lose the election. Parties that will emerge with the sole purpose of abrogating ETCA will amass votes and unlike the Rajapaksas will have minority support as well. Rajapaksas will never have minority support and it is futile going after their votes.

The Joint Opposition and the JVP cannot prevent ETCA from happening but they can abrogate it with the change of government. If they take a bold stand to abrogate ETCA, even aggrieved UNPers in their millions will support them. If they only lament the ills of ETCA without vowing to abrogate it, they will lose the election, again.

3 Responses to “ETCA Will Destroy Lankan Economy Along With Businesses of UNP, TNA and SLMC Supporters”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    The way out of the dilemma of high labor costs IS through high productivity, that can enable higher profits for the investors, and higher wages for the current working citizens of our country.

    Higher productivity can be achieved by training our workers more to become more skilled, and surrounding them with the high technology and the capital equipment necessary to put those skills to work and produce high value goods at low cost per unit. In that way, we will create a workforce that is able to earn a higher wage relative to the cost of living, and improve their standard of living.

    The goal should be to enable our workers to enjoy a better, more fulfilling life, in the land of their ancestors, among their loved ones, contributing to the growth and prosperity of their Motherland and not to EXPORT them to other countries as cheap skilled or unskilled workers, or to IMPORT cheap or skilled labor from abroad

    Furthermore, from a national perspective, our goal should be to produce a very good life for ALL of our people, and NOT TO PRODUCE UNLIMITED PROFITS for investors, Sri Lankan or foreign. We should have a CLEAR VISION and UNDERSTANDING of our goals and when what we have is ENOUGH! Wit hour such an understanding of what is good enough for us, we could in time transform our beautiful island into an unlivable highly industrialization place like Hong Kong!

    Furthermore, the solution IS NOT to import cheapest foreign workers to replace our high cost citizen workers of our country, nor is it to OUTSOURCE the work to a foreign country with cheaper labor costs.

    The USA also had an insurmountable problem of coping with high labor costs, but manufacturing is being resurrected in the USA now by increasing labor productivity through the use of technology, training andinvestment in the necessary capital equipment.

    If we import cheap foreigners just because either our labor costs are high, or we do not have workers with the necessary skills, we will convert our country into a land populated by foreigners, who will inevitably become citizens, swamp the local population, and will inherit the country replacing us.

    Furthermore, as we displace current citizens by importing cheap workers, our people will be forced to flee abroad to earn a better living. That accelerates the replacement of the current population with foreigners and Sri Lanka eill cease to be the land inhabited by the descendants of our Sinhala ancestors.

    Again I ask, WHAT IS, OR SHOULD BE, OUR NATIONAL GOAL?? Is it to replace ourselves in this land, or to devise the solutions to enable our people and our descendants to live in this blessed land of the Sinhala People in perpetuity??

    Judging from its current activities, the Yamapalana GOSL seems to be hellbent on replacing the Sinhala Buddhist people of Sri Lanka with imported foreigners and converts to minority religions.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Meanwhile, the Yamapalana Government, DEAF & BLIND to the STRONG OPPOSITION of Sri Lankan People to the ETCA agreement with India, which initiated and supported 30 years of separatist terrorism in Sri Lanka, is FORGING AHEAD to deliver our sovereign nation bound hand and foot to India so that INdia can gradually ANNEX our Motherland!

    The 13Amendment, the ETCA and the India-Sri Lanka Tunnel must be put to a referundum for ALL of the people of Sri Lanka to decide upon!

    Let the PEOPLE OF Sri Lanka speak with ONE Voice on these matters in a SRI-LANKAN-EXIT referundum!

    Sri Lanka, India to start negotiations on ETCA on a fast track for early conclusion

    Tue, Jul 5, 2016, 07:05 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    July 05, New Delhi: Sri Lanka and India have agreed to start negotiations on an expedited track for an early conclusion of the proposed Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement (ETCA).

    Sri Lanka’s Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama during his two day visit to India on 4-5 July 2016, met with India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for bilateral discussions on Monday in New Delhi.

    During the meeting, both the leaders emphasized upon the excellent and warm relations between India and Sri Lanka and expressed satisfaction on the level of engagement between the two countries, encompassing the spheres of trade and investment.

    The leaders noted that India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, made operational in March 2000, has been beneficial to both countries. Both leaders discussed several issues related to bilateral trade and investment.

    The two ministers reviewed the progress of the proposed Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement (ETCA) between India and Sri Lanka and agreed to start negotiations soon to finalize the agreement before the end of the year.

    An Indian delegation will be visiting Sri Lanka shortly in this regard, the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry said.

    The ministers agreed that early harvest measures may be negotiated but these would come into effect on the date the Agreement comes into force.

    Minister Samarawickrama appreciated the workshop organized by India in Colombo on 4th March 2016 to increase awareness about Indian Standards and Regulations and resolve the perception about application of Non-Tariff Measures by India against Sri Lankan exports.

    Both leaders also agreed to hold a meeting of the reconstituted India-Sri Lanka CEO’s Forum at an early date.

    Despite the opposition from political parties and trade unions Sri Lankan government has decided to fast track ETCA in order to mitigate the effect of UK’s move to leave the European Union, as UK’s exit from the EU will impact Sri Lanka’s exports to the 28-nation bloc.

  3. aloy Says:

    ECTA will destroy not only SL’s business community but Sinhela Buddhists as well.
    In 1815 Sinhala chieftains from Kandy wanted to get rid of one Tamil king and handed over the sovereignty of the country to the British. That led to influx of over a million Tamils. However our leaders could have repatriated them just like some other countries did. But for temporary economic gains they decided to keep them ignoring the injustice meted out to to the Kandian peasants. It was up to Mrs. B to at least send half of them by signing and agreement with India and traded with Kachchatiwu. RW’s uncle thinking that these people would eternally vote for UNP decided to keep all of them and gave citizenship and voting rights ( these people now not only want to own Kandian lands but do away with the tea estate jobs and started doing various businesses in Colombo hence low output from tea). In fact it is these people who were instrumental in bringing MS as prez and in turn made RW the de facto ruler. The man who lost 26 times ultimately grabbed power. He now want to perpetuate his rule and is devising ways to stay in power. He has made people like Patali and SF traitors to Sinhala cause by giving them ministerial perks( and to be used at crucial moments). Perhaps he is thinking by bringing in Indians in large numbers ( through ECTA ) and giving them citizenship over a period of time he can replace the Sinhala swing voters who voted MS to power. He must be thinking of a way to keep UNP, the unpatriotic party, in power with help of Christians, minorities and some die hard UNPers. This treachery has to be defeated if not SL will be lost to Sinhalas for ever. The British decided to part with EU as they found that they were losing control of their country and was slowly being taken over by the immigrants. They were 65 million strong in a pool of 550 million in the EU. We are only 15 million going to be swamped by more than 1.3 billion.
    MS being a weakling will most certainly give in to stay in the seat. If that happens I see the only opposition is from JO. The GMOA, uni students et al are embroiled on other issues like SAITAM and cannot be depended upon.

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