Supreme Court yesterday (6) fixed November 13 to consider for nominating a fuller Bench to hear petitions challenging the signing of agreements on MCC, SOFA and ACSA.
The Bench comprised Justices Buwaneka Aluvihara and S.Thurairaja. The Petitions impugn the intended signing of the Agreement with Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC) to obtain a US$480 Million Grant.
One petition was filed by Dr. P.S.M Anuruddha Bandara Padeniya, Dr. Haritha Punu Aluthge, Dr. A. K.A Samantha Kumarasiri Ananda, Dr. H.N. Deshika Soysa of Government Medical Officers’ Association.
Other petition was filed by Ven. Angulugalle Siri Jinananda Thera, Ven. Bengamuwe Nalaka Anunayake and Ven. Prof. Madegoda Abhayathissa Thera. Sanjeeva Jayawardena PC with Ravindranath Dabare, Lakmini Warushawitharana, Rukshan Senadheera, Charitha Rupasinghe, Milhan Mohamed Ranmalee Meepagala and Niranjan Arulpragasam instructed by Miwunhella appeared for the petitioner.
Additional Solicitor General Farzana Jameel appreared for Attorney General. Petitioners impugn the contents of the said purported agreements are shrouded in secrecy and there is no transparency at all. They sought the court to call for the purported MCC and SOFA Agreements and/or the final drafts thereof that are intended to be signed, as well as the ACSA Agreement that had been purportedly executed. They stated the matters impugned in their Application erodes on the territorial integrity of the country and thus, impinges on the Sovereignty vested in the people. They stated that the purported agreements vest an overwhelmingly inordinate degree of benefits to the United States of America and its military personnel, which is seriously prejudicial to the national interest as well as the interest of the entire citizenry, including the rights of the future generations.
Given the historical advent of the US experience in third world countries, through their expansive and highly penetrative investment campaigns, there is a serious threat to the denial of Sri Lankan interests and of the interests of her people, in order to secure what would in effect be the paramount interests of United States of America, they said. They state that the US juggernaut will obviously hold powers in order to secure its own interests, at the expense of the interests of a third world nation like Sri Lanka and there is a danger without over dramatizing the issue, of Sri Lanka becoming subsumed and consumed in the onslaught of this process and being lobotomized and drawn into a dynamic in which it will find itself, very much the weaker party. Third Petition has also been filed by an Attorney-at-law Dharshana Weraduwage citing Attorney General, Defence Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister of Foreign Affairs Thilak Marapana. Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera as respondents.