- says agreement must be subjected to social dialogue, tabled in P’ment, approved after debate
By Sandun A. Jayasekera
One must thoroughly study the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement approved for Sri Lanka by the US before commenting anything positive or negative about it, MP Mahinda Samarasinghe told the SLFP–SLPP weekly news briefing held yesterday at Rajagiriya.
In response to a question raised by Daily Mirror as to why certain SLPP members made unfounded and malicious comments on MCC, the former minister who is also a Deputy Chairman of SLFP said, “You must ask them.”
“The agreement has been hastily approved by the Cabinet a fortnight ago without giving sufficient time for further discussions. The MCC must be subjected to a social dialogue, tabled in Parliament and approved after a debate thereby enabling the opposition to propose amendments. It will also make way for the new President to ink the agreement with the US,” he said.
When asked whether the MCC pact was detrimental to security, independence and interests of Sri Lanka, he remained oblivious but added that it was why the opposition demanded to publish the agreement and table it in Parliament before signing it.
Disturbed by the behaviour of the ‘Organisation to protect the SLFP (Sri Lanka Nidahas Pakshaya Surakeeme Sanvidanaya) led by former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, he said its objective was to covertly divert SLFP voters to New Democratic Front (NDF) candidate Sajith Premadasa from SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
“The SLFP unanimously decided to support Gotabaya Rajapaksa after several rounds of talks and assessing the economic, cultural, social and security concerns of the country,” he said.
- Says pact hastily approved without giving sufficient time for further discussions
Pic by Nisal Baduge