By Archit. Nalaka Jayaweera
It is evident that the negotiators and their disciples have originated social media campaign with false claims on Sri Lanka Singapore FTA(SLSFTA). The SLSFTA which has 1083 pages cannot be red in isolation and it should be read in holistically with provisions provided therein. These are the biggest 10 myths of these traitors who misrepresent the facts.
Negotiator’s MYTH 1 – No labor liberalization
87201 Executive search services
Services consisting in the search for, selection and referral of executive personnel for employment by others. Included in this category are services provided by senior administrators and managers whose functions generally include planning, organizing, directing and controlling activities of private or public sector businesses through subordinate administrators. The services may be supplied to the potential employer or to the prospective employee and may involve the formulation of job descriptions, the screening and testing of applicants, the investigation of references, and other research.
87203 Supply services of office support personnel
Services consisting in supplying on a fee or contract basis to the clients, whether on a temporary or long-term basis, office support personnel hired by the supplier, who pays their emoluments. Included are the provision of personnel such as secretaries, clerks, receptionists, book-keepers, data entry operators, typists and word-processor operators.
87204 Supply services of domestic help personnel
Services consisting in supplying on a fee or contract basis to the clients, whether on a temporary or long-term basis, domestic help personnel hired by the supplier, who pays their emoluments. Included are the provision of maids, nannies, housekeepers, companions, etc.
87205 Supply services of other commercial or industrial workers
Services consisting in supplying on a fee or contract basis to the clients, whether on a temporary or long-term basis, industrial workers hired by the supplier, who pays their emoluments. Included are supply services of construction workers, maintenance workers, drivers, machinists assemblers, metalworking machine operators, labourers, movers, shippers, etc.
The negotiators have included 87201, 87203, 87204 & 87205 to bring the “Donkeys” who are the most intelligent animal for the negotiators. Further inclusion of “Companions” may be due what they enjoy while in Singapore.
Negotiator’s MYTH 2 – Only Singaporean and PR Holders are allowed?
CHAPTER 7 TRADE IN SERVICES – Article 7.1 Definitions
(f) “juridical person” means any legal entity duly constituted or otherwise organised under applicable law, whether for profit or otherwise, and whether privately-owned or governmentally-owned, including any corporation, trust, partnership, joint venture, sole proprietorship, or association;
(g) “juridical person of a Party” means a juridical person which is either:
(i) constituted or otherwise organised under the law of that Party; or
(ii) in the case of the supply of a service through commercial presence, owned or controlled by:
(A) natural persons of that Party; or
(B) juridical persons of that Party identified under sub-paragraph g(i) of this Article;
Does this definition restrict the companies only to Singaporeans or Singaporeans PR holders? The negotiators may have forgotten to insert the specific definition, while enjoying the “companions”.
Negotiator’s MYTH 3 – The Minister has all powers to implement SLSFTA.
SECTION 10-A INVESTMENT PROTECTION
Article 10.2 Scope and Coverage
1. This Chapter shall apply to measures adopted or maintained by a Party relating to:
(a) investors of the other Party; and
(b) all investments made by investors of one Party in the territory of the other Party, whether made before or after the entry into force of this Agreement.
Can a Minister make retrospective laws to a Country? This is 9 star Democracy by Yahapalanaya by equating the “legislature = executive = Minister” as the negotiators would have been in a different world with “companions” to dreamt like this.
Negotiator’s MYTH 4 – High level professional agreement that has been drafted for more than 3 years.
CHAPTER 11 GOVERNMENT PROCUREMENT
4. Each Party shall specify the following information in its Annexes to this Chapter:
(a) in Annex 11-A (Central Entities), the central government entities whose procurement is covered by this Chapter;
(b) in Annex 11-B (This Annex is intentionally left blank)
Article 11.20 Review
In the event that Sri Lanka
(a) commits an entity not listed in Annexes 11-B to 11-G; or (b) provides more favourable treatment in respect of its commitments in Annexes 11-B to 11-G;
to a non-Party in an international agreement that is in force or signed after the date of the entry into force of this Agreement, the Parties shall enter into consultations to review Sri Lanka’s commitments in Annexes 11-B to 11-G.
ANNEX 11-A CENTRAL ENTITIES – PART I– SRI LANKA COMMITMENTS
This Annex is left empty intentionally.
The utmost high standard professionalism is exposed by the Sri Lankan Schedule 11B intentionally left blank and referring the same in the review process. Another world record by negotiators while enjoying the “companions”.
Negotiator’s MYTH 5 – It is only high skill workers are allowed.
512 Construction work for buildings
5121 51210 For one and two dwelling buildings
Construction work (incl. new work, additions, alterations and renovation work) of residential buildings containing one or two dwellings.
As per negotiators Sri Lankans contractors can only do “Pigeon Holes” and thereby 1 house or 2 houses is also a high skill work.
Negotiator’s MYTH 6 – Labor movement is not allowed.
5121 51210 For one and two dwelling buildings
5122 51220 For multi dwelling buildings
5123 51230 For warehouses and industrial buildings
5124 51240 For commercial buildings
5125 51250 For public entertainment buildings
5126 51260 For hotel, restaurant and similar buildings
5127 51270 For educational buildings
5128 51280 For health buildings
5129 51290 For other buildings
These sectors has been liberalized Singaporeans based non Singaporean Companies to come to Sri Lanka and “Fly KITES at Galle Face with negotiators” as no labor involvement or labor movement.
Negotiator’s MYTH 7 – SLSFTA will not affect lower social strata.
6422 64220 Meal serving services in self service facilities
Food preparation and serving services and related beverage serving services furnished by eating facilities that provide a range of pre-cooked foods from which the customer makes individual selections and is billed accordingly. These facilities provide seating but no individual waiter service; they are often known as cafeterias.
The well-known “Petti Kade” has been liberalized to request 50,000 US $ Singaporeans to come and work for 5,000 US $ per annum and to enjoy a “Wade” from a Singaporean “Petti Kade” by the Negotiators at Galle Face.
Negotiator’s MYTH 8 – Areas are selected on Scientific basis
642 Food serving services
6421 64210 Meal serving services with full restaurant service
6422 64220 Meal serving services in self service facilities
6423 64230 Caterer services, providing meals to outside
6429 64290 Other food serving services
The scientific basis so clever while saying one thing doing completely opposite in many places.
Negotiator’s MYTH 9 – SLSFTA is to improve the Trade liberalization
SCHEDULE OF SPECIFIC COMMITMENTS EXPLANATORY NOTES
7. In accordance with Article 7.2 (Scope and Coverage), this Schedule shall not apply to subsidies or grants provided by a Party, including government-supported loans, guarantees and insurance; or to any conditions attached to the receipt or continued receipt of such subsidies or grants, whether or not such subsidies are offered exclusively to domestic services, service consumers or service suppliers.
While admitting the Grants, Loans, Subsidies, etc. Sri Lankan negotiators have invented the 18th century trade theories in 21st century and indeed the negotiators have bring the justice to the Sri Lankan by not having any such condition to Sri Lankan schedule apart from not having such schemes to Sri Lankans.
Negotiator’s MYTH 10 – SLSFTA will allow Sri Lankan to seek the opportunities in Singapore
5. This Schedule does not include measures relating to qualification requirements and procedures, technical standards and licensing requirements when they do not constitute a market access or a national treatment limitation within the meaning of Article 7.3 (Market Access) and Article 7.4 (National Treatment). Those measures (e.g. need to obtain a license, universal service obligations, need to obtain recognition of qualifications in regulated sectors, and need to pass specific examinations, including language examinations and need to have a legal domicile in the territory where the economic activity is performed), even if not listed, apply in any case to services and service suppliers of Sri Lanka.
While negotiators not evaluating the Singaporean domestic laws and regulations apart from it is being a saturated market; submitting false claims on Sri Lankan public where and when Sri Lanka does not have any such domestic regulations for the sectors liberalized.
Negotiator’s MYTH 11 – SLSFTA will make the competition
Article 10.11 Transfers
1. Each Party shall permit all transfers relating to an investment to be made freely and without delay into and out of its territory. Such transfers include: (a) the initial capital and additional amounts to maintain or increase an investment;
(b) profits, dividends, capital gains, and proceeds from the sale of all or any part of the investment or from the partial or complete liquidation of the investment;
(c) interest, royalty payments, management fees, and technical assistance and other fees;
(d) payments made under a contract entered into by the investor, or its investment, including payments made pursuant to a loan agreement;
(e) payments made pursuant to Article 10.6 (Compensation for Losses) and Article 10.10 (Expropriation); and
(f) payments arising under Section 10-B (Investor-State Dispute Settlement).
2. Each Party shall permit such transfers to be made in a freely convertible currency at the market rate of exchange prevailing at the time of transfer.
3. Each Party shall permit returns in kind relating to an investment to be made as authorised or specified in an investment authorisation or other written agreement between the Party and an investment or an investor of the other Party.
4. Notwithstanding paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of this Article, a Party may delay or prevent a transfer through the equitable, non-discriminatory, and good faith application of its laws relating to:
(a) bankruptcy, insolvency, or the protection of the rights of creditors;
(b) issuing, trading, or dealing in securities, futures, options, or derivatives;
(c) financial reporting or record keeping of transfers when necessary to assist law enforcement or financial regulatory authorities;
(d) criminal or penal offences; (e) ensuring compliance with orders or judgments in judicial or administrative proceedings;
(f) social security, public retirement or compulsory savings schemes; or
(g) labour and severance entitlements of employees.
While Sri Lankan business having taxes and all issues allowing Singapore based companies to transfer all the revenue, it will kill all the Sri Lankan Industries. But negotiators may be thinking that all Sri Lankans will come to Sri Lanka through Singapore to attract the opportunities.