Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Thursday warned opponents of his government's plan to forge international trade pacts with several countries, including India, to "stop playing games".
He was responding to a public demonstration by trade unions and professional groups who are opposed to the proposed Economic and Technical Cooperation Agreement (ETCA) with India.
"I urge them to stop playing games with my plan to create one million jobs. We have to sign international trade agreements with India, China and Singapore to create one million jobs during the next five years," Wickremesinghe said.
Sri Lankan worker unions claim the proposed ETCA will endanger jobs of locals in the IT sector as Indian IT professionals would flood the job market. The doctors' trade union has also joined the protests against the ETCA.
Wickremesinghe said he would counter public agitations by these groups opposed to trade pacts with counter demonstrations with the participation of youth.
"Do not try to upset our plans to create employment, you will fail. We have the mandate to create jobs," Wickremesinghe warned....