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