Cabinet spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardana said the government would take a final decision of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact next week after Ministers submitted their personal views on the MCC to the cabinet next Wednesday.
Minister Gunawardana reiterated that the government would never sign any agreement with a country or organization that contravenes the Constitution, and confronts the sovereignty.
The cabinet discussed the report of the four-member committee led by Professor Lalithasiri Gunaruwan that reviewed the proposed MCC agreement in detail on Wednesday, Minister Gunawardana told the media at the weekly cabinet news briefing today.
“Ministers were given a copy of the Gunaruwan report at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested Ministers to submit their individual views next week to the cabinet on the MCC agreement after going through the report. The government would take a final decision accordingly,” Minister Gunawardana said.
Asked by the Daily Mirror as to why the government pursues with the MCC by putting the agreement into the public domain and obtain views of Ministers after the Gunaruwan report highlighted the negative impacts of the agreement, Minister Gunawardana responded by saying that an agreement signed between to states cannot be abrogated by one party or other single handedly.
“We must handle the MCC issue in a responsible manner because the subject is extremely delicate and affects the two countries. Whether signed or not, the proposed MCC agreement must not affect the close links and the friendship between Sri Lanka and the US. Besides, an agreement of nature cannot be torn on the whims and fancies of individuals. There is an accepted procedure and protocol to be followed before the final decision is taken” Minister Gunawardana stressed.
Minister Gunawardana pointed out the situation has been further aggravated as the US has paid US$ 9.2 million for preparatory work of the MCC compact to Sri Lanka during the Yahapalana Government and as such Sri Lanka could not withdraw from the MCC arbitrarily.
However, the government would launch a forensic audit to find out what happened to this grant as there was no trace of what happened to it.
“There is no receipt of US$ 9.2 million, where it was deposited or who did what with the money in the books of the Central Bank or Treasury. I wonder whether this was another scandal similar to that of the bond scam though the money involved was small,” Minister Gunawardana added. (Sandun A Jayasekera)
You all have already given us the decision about MCC during the last presidential election, hence we voted for you all. Pls do not disappoint us now. Your decision was somewhat written on the wall. Wimal also told us about it.
Dilshan Friday, 03 July 2020 09:12 PM
Time to start a petition to stop the MCC!
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