Sri Lanka not to sign proposed economic agreement with India

Colombo, Dec 9 (IANS) The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday insisted that it will not sign an economic partnership agreement with India as proposed by the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa administration.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament that the country will not sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which was discussed between the former government and India, Xinhua reported.

He said the present government was negotiating a new economic and technology agreement with India.

Ranil said the government hopes to sign a similar agreement with China.

Ranil denied claims made by a medical trade union with regard to the proposed agreement with India.

He said the trade union had attempted to give the impression that Indians will get employment in Sri Lanka leading to the country’s own work force losing job opportunities.

He said that under the new proposed agreement with India, youth will get more job opportunities in Sri Lanka.

Opposition member Dinesh Gunawardena urged the prime minister to have a discussion before the new agreement is finalised with India.

The prime minister agreed to the request and said he will have a meeting with the opposition before December 19 to discuss the new deal.

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