Written by Zulfick Farzan
21 Jun, 2020 | 6:26 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Sri Lanka will not sign the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Agreement or the MCC, said Joint Cabinet Spokesperson Minister (Dr.) Ramesh Pathirana.
He said the 4-member Committee appointed to review the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact determined the agreement was not in favour of Sri Lanka and is not suitable for the country.
Following a Cabinet decision taken on December 18th, 2019, the Committee was appointed with effect from January 01st, 2020.
Prof. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan of the University of Colombo is the Chairman of the Committee while former Secretary to the Ministry of Transport Dr. D. S. Jayaweera, President’s Counsel Justice Nihal Jayawardena and architect Nalaka Jayaweera are the other members.
Prof. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan said the final report of the committee is yet to be handed over adding the committee is only tasked with providing information to the state and the government can use the report to decide if it does not wish to sign the agreement.
Lakshman Kiriella, a Former Minister in the Wickremesighe Government said the President must state if he will sign the agreement of not.
According to the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, the Millennium Challenge Corporation Sri Lanka Compact is an agreement for a grant of 480 million US dollars to simplify processes and regulations surrounding lands in this country and to develop the transport system.
If Sri Lanka approves the MCC agreement, it is planned to employ the services of an American company known as Trimble Inc., for the program to simplify processes and regulations surrounding lands in Sri Lanka.
Trimble Inc, a US-based geological information and mapping firm and would be given a period of 15 years to complete various tasks under the MCC.
When the Government of Good Governance was in power, Trimble Inc., requested 154 Million US Dollars for a project by the Department of Surveyors.
The project never saw the light of day following protests by the trade unions led by state surveyors.
Former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Dr. Palitha Kohona in a recent interview to a YouTube Channel said MCC first set sights on Sri Lanka in 2007 and held talks with the Sri Lankan Government to provide 500 Million US Dollars.
Dr. Kohona said the talks falling apart was a good thing for Sri Lanka, as no country in the world would simply give money to another nation out of love, adding it is always done based on an agenda.
“That agenda most likely involves the elite of the receiving nation’, said Dr. Kohona adding in 2007 – 2008 MCC said it would give the money on the condition Sri Lanka puts an end to its anti-LTTE agenda.
“We did not agree to that condition, and therefore they withdrew their offer. We are most likely to face a similar situation again”, said Dr. Palitha Kohona.
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