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Sri Lanka’s principal trade negotiator passes away

Dr Saman Kelegama, the head of the government supported economics think tank Institute of Policy Studies, has suddenly passed away while on official business in Thailand. He was at the helm of IPS for 22 years under different administrations which is quite an achievement and one that many will talk about.

I worked with him on the India Sri Lanka Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement joint study group back in 2003. We were both attacked by the petty opponents of any trade agreement with India. He was appointed to head trade negotiations by the new government. Handling three parallel and complex negotiations would have been a major challenge. His absence will be felt. Our sympathies to his family, friends and professional colleagues.

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