CEPA – Is it a disaster ?
Posted on June 4th, 2010

Ben Silva

I wish to thank Dilrook for bringing this new threat to the public domain. India is the land of our ancestors. It is the land where we got our culture, language and belief systems from and I have respect and affection to India like most Sri Lankans. However India is a large and powerful country with a growing population, expected  to exceed one billion. Indians do not appear to have a one child policy like the Chinese  do and over population in India would soon cause massive problems to all its neighbors including Sri Lanka. There will be tremendous pressure for Indians to expand and Sri Lanka may be an easy pick. India is now a secular Country, just like China and is rapidly developing in new Technology and Science. In contrast Sri Lanka is still hanging on to old belief systems, just like Tibet and Bhutan.

India spends more on Education than Sri Lanka and has more graduates. It is unlikely Sri Lankans can compete on equal terms, as the advantages are  heavily in favour of Indians. In short, the playing field is not level. Any agreement need to look into these factors and should take into account the uneven playing field. We should not replace British imperialism with Indian imperialism, which will be even harder to eject.

Indians quite wisely protected Indian industry, jobs and resources from foreign domination and exploitation. Sri Lanka in a similar manner has every right to protect its jobs, industry and resources from Indian exploitation. Ignoring protection would be a disaster for Sri Lanka. India is a menace to us  due to  misguided Tamil influence on Indian leaders. Only Mr Singh has been clever enough to see through the smoke screen put by influential Tamils. Two past Indian Prime Ministers  have been misguided by Tamils.  We must not forget that India funded, nurtured and supported Tamil racist terrorism that destroyed a generation of Sri Lankans. India  should not give  special privileges to Tamils as we do not want our citizens to be manipulated by  foreign countries.

 There should of course be cooperation between countries in  the region to improve the quality of life for all people irrespective of the ethnicity or religion.

 It may be useful to read some comments made by Stephen Hawkings regarding aliens, as there may be lessons to be learnt. Don’t talk to aliens, warns Stephen Hawking – instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all it that can to avoid any contact. Few life forms could be intelligent and pose a threat. Hawking believes that contact with such a species could be devastating for humanity. He suggests that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.” “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”  Ref: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/science/space/article7107207.ece

 The potential danger for Sri Lanka is that Indians may raid Sri Lanka for resources due to its closeness to India. Chola invaders have done it several times  in the past and is credited with the destruction of our civilization and also  the destruction of  our irrigation system. Clearly to prevent invasions by foreigners,  we need to develop survival skills and also to have a strong defense capability. We simply need to move to the 21st century than live in the past. If we are trapped in a time capsule, then we would be ripe for invasion and take over by foreigners, as has happened to Tibet.

In Sri Lanka, there is a slow pace of life which is a contrast to the Capitalist economic forces, driving Indians. There are many in Sri Lanka, who preach “compassion and Buddhist way of life “. It is certainly very good but how does it fit into the modern competitive, “ƒ”¹…”dog eat dog world’ ? driven by the economic forces of greed, desires and customer satisfaction etc? , perhaps practiced by Indians ?. Buddhism has been wiped out from countries that practiced Buddhism, such as countries in the Silk route, Malaysia, Indonesia and so on. A further example, as confirmed by Hawkings, is that of native American Indians, who had shown  compassion to the invading Europeans and showed them how to survive the harsh winter in America, got wiped out by invading Europeans.

In the real world, the law that operates is “ƒ”¹…”survival of the fittest’ Are we fit enough to compete with the Indians ?

Where is our competitive spirit, essential to survive in a competitive world, if we allowed Tami Tigers to control 66% of our coast line and a good part of our country?

We should not rush into agreements until open discussions have taken place within the country and a risk analysis carried out. The indications are that many are against CEPA. My view is that cooperation between nations should be encouraged but domination by Indians should not be allowed and preventative measures should be  taken to eliminate  threats from India. As for devolution, race based devolution should  not be allowed, as it will only legitimize racism and will be the start of the end of the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka. The 13th A is a nasty product from  India, forced down our throat and it should be vomited out, and should  not be implemented. We have experience of how India forced agreements on us and we should not fall into that trap again. As for Tamils, they should be encouraged to discard the Vadukodai mentality and encouraged to treat all Sri Lankans as members of the same Sri Lankan family.

To be competitive we  need to develop creativity skills, design skills  problem solving skills and business skills rather than hang on to old dogmas.

All Sri Lankans and politicians need to work hard and ensure that   Sri Lanka’s sovereignty is not ridiculed. The proposed  Indian consulates  in Jaffna and Hambanthota  are potential threats for our sovereignty and should not be allowed. India should not be allowed to interfere with our sovereignty. The responsibility for protecting our  sovereignty should rest with all citizens and should not  just be in the hands of the President.

4 Responses to “CEPA – Is it a disaster ?”

  1. M.S.MUdali Says:

    It is better to do a research on the Canada-USA-MEXICO “free trade agreement. I hope the same kind of “protection” issues are errupting time to time from Canada and USA.

    13th Amendment has nothing to do with the TRADE but with politics. Sri Lankans must avoid petty RACIST issues. Those who oppose Indian Trade relations always welcome British Imperialism. “Colomba Sanniya” is felt in that issue. But majority Sri lankans (except few politicians) like to have trade with India because it is the oldest TRADE and POLITICAL partner of Sri lanka.

    Vaddukoddai is not an issue here for the trade between the two nations. Maintaining standards is the KEY issue. Sri lanka must abolish corruption in order to safeguard TRADE.

  2. cassandra Says:

    Free Trade Agreements are common these days and Sri Lanka should not look on CEPA straightaway with suspicion. CEPA may hold many benefits that may not otherwise be available. Some of the benefits may only accrue in the long term, and in agreements of this nature, there has to be give and take; you cannot have it all your own way. The terms should be studied thoroughly, as you would the terms of any agreement you want to enter into, and negotiated so as to ensure the best advantage for the country.

    AS MSMUdali says, the 13th Amendment is a political issue as is “Vaddukkodai” but I have difficulty in accepting that “those who oppose Indian Trade relations always welcome British Imperialism”.

  3. PRIYAN WIJEYERATNE Says:

    President must listen to all those who have to say good and bad about CEPA. Then take it up with his team and further discuss before making a final decision. It may be a good idea to have clear exit strategies mapped-out in a special clause of the agreement for Sri Lanka to exit if it is found necessary. Also, it is wise to sign it for 3 to 5 years to start. If it goes well then we can extend it by another 5 years and so on.

  4. cassandra Says:

    Priyan Wijeratne,
    You make some excellent points. By the way, I remember when SWRD Bandaranaike became PM he proposed a sort of regional Free Trade Agreement, and guess who had no enthusiasm for it? – Nehru, because he feared China would be the major winner, to the detriment of the others. How things change!

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