Government decides to review Sri Lanka – Singapore FTA

Government decides to review Sri Lanka – Singapore FTA

Government decides to review Sri Lanka – Singapore FTA

Written by Staff Writer

06 Feb, 2020 | 9:41 pm

Colombo (News 1st): The Attorney General’s Department informed the Supreme Court this morning, that the government has decided to review the Sri Lanka – Singapore Free Trade Agreement signed during the previous administration.

The stance was officially communicated to the Supreme Court by Senior State Counsel Nirmalan Wigneswaran, appearing for the Attorney General.

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka, the Government Medical Officers Association and 06 other organizations filed a Fundamental Rights petition at the Supreme Court seeking to declare the agreement signed on the 23rd of January 2018 as void citing it as being detrimental to the government and the people of the country.

Senior State Counsel Nirmalan Wigneswaran told a Supreme Court judge bench of Justices Vijith Malalgoda, LTB Dehideniya, and P. Padman Surasena about the decision to review the agreement. Further hearing of the petition has been fixed for June 13th.

Former Minister of State Enterprises Kabir Hashim also commented on the matter;

“Although there was huge opposition over the trade agreements which we signed, nothing is being spoken about the Free Trade Agreement with Singapore. The agreement states that any country could terminate the agreement if it is unsuitable. If the present government which criticized us for signing the agreement at that time, wants to terminate it, they could do so. But they didn’t do it. They clearly rejected the MCC agreement. They even put forth that stance as a condition to win votes. According to the mandate that they received, I wish to ask the government whether it is okay to appoint a committee to review the agreement. According to the government’s standpoint, the MCC should have been terminated. The Committee appointed to review the agreement says that public opinion should be sought. What is there to inquire from the public? Around 6.9 million people voted to cancel the MCC agreement. Therefore, there is no need to seek public opinion again.”

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