GMOA calls for SLSFTA report to be made public | Daily News

GMOA calls for SLSFTA report to be made public

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) on Tuesday demanded the release of the expert committee report on the Singapore - Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) into the public domain.

The Committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to study the agreement handed over its report to the President on Monday.

The Association also insisted that charges should be framed against those who were involved in drafting this agreement which is detrimental to the country.

The GMOA added that former Minister Malik Samarawickrama took efforts to stifle stiff opposition to the agreement to achieve his personal agenda.

According to GMOA’s Dr Prasad Colombage, those who betrayed the country by drafting this agreement should be brought to light and legal action should be instituted against them without delay.

Speaking at a press conference in Colombo, he said the Singapore - Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement would have been implemented if the GMOA had not intervened to make the authorities aware of its consequences to the country

He added that the GMOA had insisted that this agreement is detrimental to the country long before it was signed. “Only then did political parties raise their eyebrows over the agreement.”

Dr Colombage said that his Association had to resort to trade union action demanding that the government suspend this agreement. “Our organisation foresaw that the service sector in the country would head towards collapse if this agreement came into force.”

He said that the GMOA studied the agreement and then the government agreed that there were many clauses under which an environment had been created for foreigners to exploit national assets for a song.

He said that his Association joined the professional fraternity in the country to raise its voice against this agreement. “The GMOA had a series of discussions with the President over this agreement and the President gave an assurance that an expert committee would be appointed to study and report on the agreement,” he said.

The GMOA saved the country by convincing the authorities of the adverse impacts of the agreement. The GMOA had laid the foundation for this national endeavour, he said.

He said that his organisation pointed out the pitfalls of striking bilateral trade deals without having a proper national trade policy. The previous government allowed waste to be dumped in Sri Lanka. “Even an ordinary citizen would not agree to these types of clauses, if he loved his motherland,” he said.


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