JVP vows to derail pact with India


JVP National Organiser and MP Bimal Ratnayake addressing the media at the party headquarters yesterday.Pic courtesy: JVP Media Unit

by Dasun Edirisinghe

The JVP yesterday fired the first salvo against the proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) between India and Sri Lanka. It said the government had no mandate to enter into such a pact at the expense of the country’s economy.

JVP National Organiser and MP Bimal Ratnayake, addressing the media, at the JVP headquarters in Pelawatte, said his party would do everything in its power to prevent the government from inking the ETCA with India.

"We will rally the people against it besides fighting against the pact in Parliament. Our unions have commenced raising workers’ awareness of the possible dangers of the ETCA. Doctors, engineers and auditors have already realised the danger of the pact. The pact will deal a severe blow to all Sriā€ˆLankan professionals, the JVPer said.

Ratnayake said the government had attempted to present the ETCA as an opportunity for unemployed in the country to go to India to find jobs.

"That is a joke. According to a report in an Indian newspaper recently applications were called for 368 vacant positions for postmen by Uttar Pradesh state government and the basic qualification were the ability to ride a bicycle and primary school education. The number of applications exceeded 2.3 million, of which 150,000 were graduates, 24,969 were with post graduate qualifications and 250 had doctorates. This example would show the magnitude of the level

of unemployment there. Once the ETCA is signed all those unemployed Indians would come here and take all the jobs."

MP Ratnayake said that according to a recent statement made to Parliament by the government the two countries were getting ready to sign the framework agreement of the ETCA at the end of February, 2016 and the final agreement in mid 2016.

"It has been said that Sri Lanka has forwarded its framework agreement to India already. That agreement was not made public or presented to Parliament. Our question is: "Is the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government responsible to Parliament of Sri Lanka or to Indian Prime Minister Modi?"


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