Criticising the agreement, NFF Leader MP Wimal Weerawansa charged that if the Government signs the agreement it would affect the country’s economic stability.
“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,” claimed Weerawansa.
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 opined.
Weerawansa warned that the NFF would take to the streets against CEPA 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 added.
Attacking the Government’s economic policies, Weerawansa alleged that it is still unable to offer a guaranteed higher price for paddy.
“The 100-day Government allocated Rs. 6,000 million to buy paddy through the interim budget. However, that amount wasn’t enough to buy at least 2.5% from the harvest. Therefore they have failed to buy local paddy leading to higher imports,” he claimed.