Professionals urge President’s intervention to halt ETCA


By Dasun Edirisinghe

Secretary of the Society of IT Professionals Lasantha Wickremesinghe addressing the media at National Library yesterday. President of the Society Kapila Perera, Vice President Anjana Brahmana, Executive Committee member Lahiru Karunasiri are also present.

Information Technology professionals yesterday called for President Maithripala Sirisena’s intervention to stop Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India as the UNP was planning to sign it.

Addressing the media at the National Library, Secretary of the Society of IT Professionals Lasantha Wickremesinghe said a group of powerful UNP economic consultants, including a minister had held a secret discussion with some Indian officials in Colombo to finalise the ETCA.

"The made several attempts to ink the agreement last year, but it failed due to our protests," he said, noting that the government was making clandestine arrangements to finalise it.

He said they had formed an association to bring all professionals under one umbrella in their fight against ETCA. It had been named ‘Professionals’ National Front’ and led by President of the Government Medical Officers’ Association Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya, he said

The officials of the new front would meet shortly to decide on a future course of action against the ETCA, Wickremesinghe said.

He said many Sri Lankans were still not aware of the true implications of ETCA. There would be no jobs for Sri Lankan youth if the agreement was signed.

Wickremesinghe said university students’ unions should join the protests against ETCA.

"President Sirisena has recently announced at a public ceremony that he will not do anything to betray the motherland," Wickremesinghe said, adding that, therefore, they were seeking President Sirisena’s intervention to neutralise the ETCA threat.

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