The GMOA today said it would launch a countrywide 24-hour work stoppage on May 17 as a protest against the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed with Singapore, proposed Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India and several other issues.
GMOA Secretary Haritha Aluthge told a news conference that the work stoppage would begin at 8.00 am at all government hospitals.
“The work stoppage is certain. However, the authorities still have time to provide us with a resonable solution. They should not enter into or implement such agreements in an arbitrary manner without setting up a national policy on international trade agreements,” he said.
Dr. Aluthge said the FTA recently signed with Singapore was not in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) participles and detrimental to the country. He said this FTA would create an open space for foreign countries to invade Sri Lanka's job market.
Dr. Aluthge said the FTA had not included a termination date and exit clause and such an agreement was disadvantageous to the country and that the authorities concerned had signed this FTA without presenting it to Parliament. He said International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama should be held responsible for it.
“Sri Lanka and India are to hold the next round of official level talks on the proposed ETCA at the end of May. We are against it as well. That is why we have decided to launch this work stoppage on May 17,” he said. (Kalathma Jayawardhane)