Written by Staff Writer
01 Jul, 2020 | 10:24 pm
COLOMBO (News1st): A medical officers’ union has raised suspicion on whether a loophole has been created to sign the US Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement for a USD 450 million grant.
A committee appointed to review the agreement, in its final report, had not mentioned that national trade policy must be followed while signing the pact, Dr Haritha Aluthge of the Government Medical Officers Association said.
“(It) also fails to mention that international agreements should be signed according to international trade policies,” he pointed out.
Dr Aluthge, however, said that the report had elaborated on the impact that the economic corridor would bring upon the country and that a referendum is needed before signing the pact.
“Although this report has mentioned many important points, leaving out those two crucial points leads us to believe that they may have created a loophole,” the GMOA Editor remarked.
He urged that the Right to Information Act must also be amended as the government is not bound to reveal information on such international agreements under the Act.
At a time when discourse has emerged around the MCC agreement, this reminder is about the ACSA Agreement.
ACSA, or the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement, was first signed between Sri Lanka and the United States in the year 2007. In 2017, the former Government signed the agreement yet again, renewing the agreement.
An eight-page agreement signed in 2007 became an 83-page document in 2017. What is included in these 83 pages?
Was there a benefit to Sri Lanka with the signing of the ACSA agreement in this manner?
On several occasions, American aircrafts supplied materials to their warships through the Katunayake airport and on a further few occasions, a supplier to the American Defence Department also used the airport.
Apart from this, was there any benefit to the country from signing the ACSA agreement? Why can such an agreement, which brings no benefit to the country, be made null at least now?
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