What is CEPA ?

The other day I was walking close to the Liberty Plaza round-about when I saw protesters carrying placards against signing of the CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) agreement. When I asked a protester what this CEPA was, he said he did not know what it meant and he was engaging in the protest at the directive of his Managing Director (MD). When I asked another protester, he said that it was an anti-Indian protest but he did not know what CEPA was or what it stood for. He was performing for his MD! A similar response came from others to whom I posed the same question. A bit further up I saw some vans parked indicating a name of a company that frequently carries advertisements in the electronic media. I did not see any doctors, engineers or lawyers at the place as reported in the newspapers the following day.

I feel that the whole protest was organised by a particular company with some well wishers and was not a protest by professionals as mentioned in the news reports. People may have various views on the CEPA agreement and the proper thing to do is to study it and debate it in public before accepting or rejecting it.

Stage-managed protest by a particular company or an individual and then indicating it as the voice of the Sri Lankan professionals or the voice of the Sri Lankan entrepreneurs are improper.

K. L. De Silva,
Etul Kotte

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