A FIRM ‘NO’ TO MCC AGREEMENT | Daily News


 

A FIRM ‘NO’ TO MCC AGREEMENT

The final report of the four member Committee appointed to review the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact (MCC) Agreement was handed over to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. Chairperson of the Committee Prof. Lalithasiri Gunaruwan handing over a copy of the report in the presence of the other members of the committee. (President’s Media)
The final report of the four member Committee appointed to review the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact (MCC) Agreement was handed over to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday. Chairperson of the Committee

Co-cabinet Spokesman, Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana yesterday categorically stated that the Government would not sign the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agreement.

In response to a question raised at the weekly Cabinet media briefing held yesterday at the Government Information Department, Co-Cabinet Spokesperson Technology, Higher Education and Innovation and Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena said a committee headed by Colombo University Senior Lecturer Dr.Lalithasiri Gunaruwan was appointed by the President to comprehensively review this agreement. It comprised former Secretary to the Ministry of Transport D.S. Jayaweera, President’s Counsel Nihal Jayawardena and Architect Nalaka Jayaweera as members.

The Interim Report of that Committee has clearly stated that the MCC agreement prepared by the UNP led-Government contained articles completely contrary with certain clauses of the Constitution and the legal system of the country. The Interim Report further stated that the approval of main Government bodies had not been obtained while preparing this Agreement. The Committee reviewed the proposed MCC Agreement over a six-month period, taking into consideration the views and proposals of various sectors and prepared the report after a lengthy study.

“Considering this situation, the Government has taken a firm decision not to sign any agreement which is in violation of the existing laws of the country and the Constitution,” Dr. Gunawardena said.

He said the Final Report of the Committee was handed over to the Prime Minister on Wednesday (24) and to the President yesterday. The Government, he said, will never take any decision in an arbitrary manner without informing the public.

The previous Government was poised to sign the MCC Agreement just before the last Presidential Election through a Cabinet decision taken on October 27, 2019, but did not go ahead due to a public outcry over lack of transparency and clarity over the terms of the Agreement.


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