Govt. won’t sign MCC agreement – Keheliya | Daily News


 

 Special Presidential Commission on post-war reconciliation after gen. election :

Govt. won’t sign MCC agreement – Keheliya

 ‘Our friends in UN will block any sanctions’ :

The Government has taken a final decision not to sign the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement with the USA, Government Media Spokesman and Investment Promotion State Minister Keheliya Rambukwella announced yesterday. The Minister also disclosed that the concerns raised by the UN Human Rights Council about post-war reconciliation would be addressed by a new Presidential Commission to be appointed after the forthcoming General Election. Addressing a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office yesterday, Rambukwella dismissed speculation about retaliatory sanctions for Sri Lanka’s withdrawal of sponsorship of UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 passed by the UNHRC in 2015.

Pressed by journalists on the matter, the State Minister expressed his confidence that any such move would be vetoed at the UN Security Council by the powers allied with Sri Lanka. “The UNHRC cannot impose sanctions. It must be done by the UN Security Council. We have 2-3 powerful allies in that forum who have faith in our country. The pertinent question here is as to whether we give in to the pressures of the Tamil Diaspora at international fora where they try to press us to the wall with a pistol to the head or whether we fight back with our might by presenting fair facts and reasons,” he said.

He explained that, as proposed, another Presidential Commission would be appointed after the General Elections to design a home grown system to address the concerns mentioned in the UNHRC Resolution. “When we withdraw from the co-sponsorship of the Resolution, we get an opportunity to defend ourselves with stronger arguments. The Resolution would stand, but we can clarify the truth in a more convincing manner. Now nobody can say that we have endorsed the Resolution. Former President Maithripala Sirisena has said that he was in the dark about it, and it was co-sponsored without informing Parliament or Cabinet,” he added.

“Why focus only on the military operation during the last two weeks of the war, while deliberately not speaking about the LTTE atrocities for 30 long years. The end of war was a solace to all people, whether they are Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim,” he pointed out. “This was not a question about a minority group, but an organized terrorist group. The Tamil Diaspora blew it out of proportion in international fora. No country, where there had been a brutal terrorist group in operation like the LTTE, has been able to rectify everything and regain normalcy within a few years. We have to safeguard the security forces who led the military operations and the sovereignty of the country,” he argued.

Asked whether the move to withdraw from the Resolution was aimed at scoring political points with the General Elections at hand, the State Minister said it was a commitment the SLPP had made at the last Presidential Election. “We could deliver it within 100 days as it was fully in our control,” he said.

Commenting on the MCC decision, the State Minister argued that the Government was not of the opinion that any foreign grant had to be blindly accepted without questioning the risks it posed. He said the funds required to develop the country would be found without selling the country’s assets.

 


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