Journal : Xinhua (English) Date : Author : NA Page No. : NA

COLOMBO, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) — The Sri Lankan government on Wednesday insisted that it will not sign an economic partnership agreement with India.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told Parliament that Sri Lanka will not sign the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which was discussed between the former Sri Lankan government and India.

He said that the Sri Lankan government is negotiating a new economic and technology agreement with India.

The prime minister said that the government hopes to sign a similar agreement with the Chinese government as well.

However he said that before the agreements are reached, the government will have talks with local trade unions on the proposals.

The prime minister denied claims made by a local medical trade union with regards to the proposed agreement with India.

He said the trade union had attempted to give the impression that Indians will get employment in Sri Lanka leading to Sri Lankans losing job opportunities.

The prime minister said that under the new proposed agreement with India, local youth will get more job opportunities in Sri Lanka.

Opposition member Dinesh Gunawardena urged the prime minister to have a discussion with the opposition before the new agreement is finalized with India.

The prime minister agreed to the request and said he will have a meeting with the opposition before December 19 to discuss the new deal.

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