Mahinda applied for MCC grant in 2014 – Marikkar | Daily News


 

‘Gota must reveal real stance’ :

Mahinda applied for MCC grant in 2014 – Marikkar

United National Party (UNP) MP S.M. Marikkar challenged SLPP candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa to reveal whether he would sign the Millennium Challenge Co-operation (MCC) agreement if becomes President since during the last regime of Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka had applied for the MCC in 2014.

Addressing media yesterday at the New Democratic Front (NDF) election operating centre in Colombo, Marikkar said the MCC agreement is a boon to the country as it can be utilised for the development of several sectors including transportation, land utilisation, road network and several other sectors.

Marikkar stressed that the Government would never sign the MCC secretly and therefore the agreement will be presented in Parliament to obtain its approval prior to signing.

When questioned whether there is any condition about land ownership he stressed that a single inch of land will not be given to America or any country and no American military units would be permitted to operate in the country by the agreement. He again challenged people who level allegations against the MCC to point out the clause, which harm the sovereignty of the country.

Addressing media Marikkar challenged Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) presidential candidate Rajapaksa to reveal at a public rally whether he would not sign the MCC if he becomes the President.

Marikkar further said that SLPP candidate Rajapaksa has stated in his election manifesto that a similar workout of MCC accord will be carried out once he comes to power.

“In the 56th page of the election manifesto, Rajapaksa has clearly stated that he would follow almost similar conditions of MCC such as open a corridor once in power. This in none other than the MCC in other words” he said.

Asked what the benefits of the MCC were, he said under the transport sector development moves, 138 road junctions, which have severe traffic congestion will be improved through the process called “Junction improvement”. Besides, the road from Avissawella to Pelmadulla will be widened and developed. Under land sector development move, the details of lands will be computerised after surveying by the Survey Department. There are a few other sectors to be developed, he added.

He said many Asian, African and even European countries had applied for the MCC grants other than Sri Lanka. During the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime, Sri Lanka had applied for the MCC in 2014. But the country was not selected.

He said that the allegations levelled against the MCC by MP Wimal Werawansa cannot be considered seriously as he doesn’t know English.


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