The ETCA, ambulance service and diplomatic etiquette
Posted on March 25th, 2016

Elmo De Silva Mount Lavinia Courtesy The Island

A recent protest against ETCA

It is said that a diplomat is one who lies for the benefit of the country he represents. In the case of the present Indian High Commissioner, he should be declared Persona Non Grata, based on his recent utterances. It is quite obvious that Indian High Commissioners cannot get over the fantasy that Sri Lanka is a colony of India.


Is there any such ETCA in operation in any other part of the world, and if so who are the contracting parties? If anyone is aware of such an agreement, could this be made available to those concerned so that that the merits and demerits of such an agreement could be studied?

Make public the ETCA and Ambulance agreements

What is the law which permits the implementation of such agreements? In my view, such agreements or international conventions should have a legal basis to be made operative. When I served in the World Customs Organization in Brussels, Belgium, I came to know that different countries have different legal processes, whereby provisions of an International Convention or Agreement become the Law of the Country. According to my understanding, in Sri Lanka, even if we accede to such a convention or agreement, we should have domestic Legislation to implement the provisions of these Instruments. I was told that in India, acceding to such Instruments; automatically make the provisions of such Instruments, domestic law. I remember that a Tamil Nadu High Court gave this ruling when the question of the Medium of Instruction in State schools was referred to the Court. This is not the case as regards Sri Lanka.

When I served In the World Customs Organization, I learnt that in the U.S.A such Agreements etc, are Gazetted for Public Comment.

I would be thankful if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could enlighten us on the above.

Ranil Wickremesinghe, architect of these agreements

I do not know who has been advising the Hon Prime Minster on this subject, but not making the draft agreement available to all stake holders is inadvisable. I state this with responsibility, as a senior retired Public Servant, who has severed in several ministries and departments, was the first Sri Lankan to serve in the World Customs Organization, and has worked in a large manufacturing organization in Sri Lanka for nearly ten years. I was the Management Representative, implementing the I.S.O 9001/ 2000 Quality Management System in this Organization. I may add that in periods of labour unrest, I joined the other Executive Staff in operating the large machines. I was able to gain valuable experience in trading practices, manufacturing etc

If a copy of the ETCA has been sent to India it is bound to be discussed by all concerned in India. Why then is the Draft Agreement not made available to Parliament, and the other stakeholders? In my view, no advantage or disadvantage could be imposed on its citizens, or a section of its citizens, unless by legislation approved by Parliament.

India, after having actively supported terrorism in Sri Lanka and with consistent interference in Sri Lankan affairs, Sri Lankans view any agreement with India with great concern.

Elmo De Silva

Mount Lavinia

One Response to “The ETCA, ambulance service and diplomatic etiquette”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Our thanks to Mr Elmo de Silva for telling us more about the odd and illegal manner in which RW & the Indian Envoy are trying to sneak in the ETCA and other items, without following the law of the land.

    We have to add on other items :

    (1). The island wide Ambulance Services to be brought in by India and supposedly to be manned by Lanka personnel (!!) …. do we trust India after all that has already been done against Lanka by India (i.e. training of the LTTE cadre in Tamil Nadu, 13-A mposed under Dudress, dud radar parts given to Lanka by India during the conflict with the LTTE, etc).

    (2). 5,000 acre lots on 99 yr leases to foreigners. Who are these foreigners and what are the areas to be lease under consideration ?

    (3). The sea tunnel connecting Lanka to Tamil Nadu.

    Another point, away from the Indian Envoy :

    (4). The New Constitution : If gay rights etc are given in the New Constitution, will RW back off harming Lanka ?

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