Claims and counter claims bounce off MCC agreement

Claims and counter claims bounce off MCC agreement

Claims and counter claims bounce off MCC agreement

Written by Staff Writer

28 Jun, 2020 | 9:46 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Opposition and ruling faction politicians have traded verbal blows over the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement of the US.

“The government is trying to change the laws act of our country and impose new ones by obtaining two-thirds majority in Parliament,” K.D. Lalkantha, a National People’s Power candidate said.

A committee appointed to review the agreement had recommended that a broad discussion, and a parliamentary approval be sought to ink the pact.

It said that the agreement must be rejected if the MCC does not agree to this process.

“It is the US who wants Gotabaya Rajapaksa to obtain the two-thirds majority in Parliament,” Lalkantha said on Sunday.

Candidates of the ruling faction also raised concerns over the agreement.

“You cannot sign it if it is traitorous to the country,” Sarath Weerasekara, a retired Rear Admiral, and a Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna candidate said.

However, opposition candidates urged the government to stick to its promise of discarding the agreement, that it made during last year’s presidential election campaign.

“We challenge them to stick to what they said and tear the agreement before the election,” Ravi Karunanayake, a United National Party (UNP) candidate said.

He added that if the government cannot stick to its promise, it must admit that the former UNP government had done the right thing by attempting to sign the pact.

“They are merely going to pass time and sign the agreement in August,” Tilvin Silva, the general secretary of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna remarked.

He said that the government would create a smokescreen and sign the agreement after the August 5 parliamentary election.

The committee appointed to review the MCC agreement, in its final report, said the draft must be tabled and approved in Parliament, as per the pact.

If this agreement is approved in parliament, a number of US laws would be applied in Sri Lanka.

The committee also recommended for the provision of a constitution to be introduced requiring for any international agreement to be passed by a majority in parliament before being inked.

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