Written by Staff Writer
01 Sep, 2019 | 8:42 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st):- Convening a media briefing today (September 1), the Foundation for People’s Rights Protection commented about the Millenium Challenge Corporation and its impact on Sri Lanka.
Chamara Nakandala, a member of this foundation said that it is an issue related to independence, sovereignty, and the country’s freedom and an agreement through which the military could establish its base in Sri Lanka while also paving ways to capture lands in Sri Lanka. Also speaking on Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s candidacy, he said that although he was named as a Presidential candidate to contest for the elections, with his announcement of renouncing his US citizenship, that everyone is well aware he is still liable to the US for at least another 10 years. He questions how the country could get rid of an agreement when an individual cannot free himself from America. Nakandala also said that even in J.R. Jayawardena’s tenure that the Indian military established their bases here in the past and that Ranil Wickremesinghe was called the modern-day Don Juan Dharmapala because he so well betrays the country. He urged the Prime Minister to prepare for an honourable farewell in the last few months of his tenure.
Meanwhile, the Country Director of Millenium Challenge Corporation Jenner Edelman recently said MCC board is set to review the agreement at its next meeting on September 18th. On the 29th of last month, she had said that their board is due to meet on the 18th of this month since they meet every quarter, where they will talk about Sri Lanka and try to understand why there are certain challenges and obtain approval from the cabinet for this program in a timely manner. She had further mentioned that although they hope to request for their board for additional time due to the current pre-election environment in politics, that they do not know how they will respond.
Meanwhile the former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, Palitha Kohonne said that this will result in Sri Lanka being given a grant and not a loan, which is the only good thing for Sri Lanka since this compact has major implications on the country. He further had mentioned that the compact requires that Sri Lanka take certain measures in terms of land while also mentioning that historically gifts and grants of this nature have not been to the country’s advantage. He specifically claimed that although the MCC is to assist countries to develop and eliminate poverty that it more or less looks as if it is being used as a political tool by the US government. He said that since no gift comes to the country with no strings attached, that even this particular compact is no exception in that context.
Sri Lanka has been following a foreign policy of being non-aligned. It is in this context we say that Sri Lanka does not need any special agreements with any foreign power. Instead, the available laws of Sri Lanka including those governing foreign direct investment is well established and is available within the existing laws of the country.
Therefore, it would be in the best interests of the sovereign state of Sri Lanka, to welcome all investors, from whichever superpower to our country to make necessary investments and to take advantage of the available commercial and economic opportunities. In this context, there can be no ambiguity in Sri Lanka following and insisting on being a truly non-aligned state. There can be no mitigating circumstance which demands the government of Sri Lanka to sign partial agreements with foreign powers which threaten the sovereignty and the dignity of the people of Sri Lanka.
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