Government says No to MCC

The Cabinet of Ministers has decided not to sign the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement following the recommendations made by the the committee of experts appointed to study the agreement.

The Cabinet Spokesman said the government also considered national security concerns in relation with the MCC agreement and added that the agreement was not in accordance with the Constitution.

However, he said the government is prepared to have discussions with the US to make amendments to the agreement. The special committee was headed by Professor Lalithsiri Gunaruwan of the University of Colombo and comprised former Secretary to the Ministry of Transport DS Jayaweera, President’s Counsel Nihal Jayawardena and Architect Nalaka Jayaweera as members.

The committee has submitted an interim report to the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Committee in its report has pointed out that although the MCC proposal includes the ability to raise the financial resources needed for investment in mitigating basic economic constraints of Sri Lanka burdened with debt and lacking capital resources, some of the projects proposed to be included in the program will have significant adverse impacts on the national, social and economic well-being of Sri Lanka.

The Committee has also pointed out that the Corporate Agreement and Program Implementation Agreement between the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Government of Sri Lanka as well as the draft constitution of the proposed company to be established include clauses and provisions which may be inconsistent with the Constitution of Sri Lanka and the legal system of the country and conditions which could potentially affect national objectives, sovereignty and national security.

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