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CEPA may give Indians opportunity to move to Sri Lanka – Wimal Weerawansa

The leader of the National Freedom Front said the proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between Sri Lanka and India will have an adverse impact on local jobs and the economy, the Daily FT reported on Friday.

“We were informed that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had decided to visit India on 14 September to discuss CEPA. If the agreement takes place Sri Lanka will be opened for foreign service providers such as supermarkets chains. According to the agreement if an investor can invest more than $ 1 million they will get the opportunity to settle in Sri Lanka,” said the leader of the NFF, Wimal Weerawansa.

The former minister, who came second in Colombo during last month’s parliamentary elections, said he feared that Indians would exploit this opportunity to move into Sri Lanka.

“If CEPA is implemented our people will lose their jobs as well as future opportunities. Professionals such as doctors, lawyers and journalists will be pushed out of their fields if Indians migrate to Sri Lanka for these jobs,” he said.

The MP vowed the NFF would take to the streets against the agreement, along with professionals and trade unions.

“We hope to create awareness among the general public about the disadvantages of CEPA and we will conduct a protest to express our objection to the government,” he said.

See our feature on Sri Lanka and the CEPA agreement: Sri Lanka’s Indophobia (07 August 2015)

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