President to hold special discussion | Daily News
Sri Lanka-Singapore FTA :

President to hold special discussion

GMOA also invited to meeting:
FTA to enhance economic ties between two countries:

President Maithripala Sirisena will hold a special discussion on the freshly-signed Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) next Tuesday (May 22), Secretary to the President Austin Fernando said.

Responding to a question by a journalist at a press conference at the Government Information Department Auditorium yesterday, the Secretary said the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) has also been invited to this meeting scheduled at 12.30 pm at the Presidential Secretariat.

He said the prevailing matters with regard to the FTA would be discussed at length at the meeting, which will be attended by all relevant parties and officials.

“I hope this meeting will pave the way to take the necessary decisions and resolve the existing problems,” he said in response to a journalist whether the FTA was in line with the National Trade Policy of the country. The Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement was signed on January 23 with the intention of enhancing economic ties and trade flows between the two countries.

The GMOA yesterday launched a token strike in protest of the FTA with Singapore.


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It has been the practice in the past for a proposed FTA to be circulated among the Trade Chambers and Professional Bodies for study and comment prior to signing by Government. In view of such agreements being with another Friendly Government it is elementary that the TOR of the agreement be studied in detail and any unfavourable clauses removed or negotiated prior to formal signing..The problem arises when Ministers of state handle such agreements and politics become the deciding factor. It is unfortunate in this country that politicians handle matters and professionalism is overlooked. Our big brother India is a shining example for us to emulate where State Ministers only set Policy but actioning is left to the Civil Service. If Sri Lanka can follow such an example the country will be void of many of the problems that have escalated in recent times purely due to mismanagement by shortsighted and amateur politicians.

What's so special about the discussions don't they talk to each other everyday? I suppose they wait for an auspicious moment.

Unfair criticism of the President or anyone is definitely unacceptable. Nevetheless contructive criticism should be appreciated and used to rectify or amend a untoward situation. The Preident is also another human being as such not perfect Ineed Nobody is perfect and all are prone to error ! It is of course not possible to please everyone in this mismatching political alliance, therefore, compromise and consensus is required to meet the needs of the majority and should be void of insincere political patronage. On the otherhand, if the President can endeavour to emulate some of the great patriots and not bend to the dictates of his opportunistic partners he will be able to harness the cooperation and support of the people.and stem the undue criticism.This may sound philosophical but be a practical way to gain confidence and cooperation of the majority.


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