MCC review committee says proposal good but conditions must change

A four-member committee appointed to review the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement said today that while the proposal is good the conditions in the agreement are harmful to Sri Lanka.

Addressing the media today, the committee led by Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, Professor of Economics of the University of Colombo, said that the committee has advised President Gotabaya Rajapaksa not to sign the MCC agreement in its current form.

Gunaruwan said that if the harmful conditions in the agreement are removed then Sri Lanka can consider a fresh agreement.

“We concluded the proposed compact agreement if signed by Sri Lanka will be harmful to the country. We propose the agreement be put before Parliament and then sign if required,” he said.

However, he said even a fresh agreement must be transparent and put before the public before it is signed.

The committee appeared before the media today saying they were requested to do so by the President to clarify misconceptions on their findings.

Gunaruwan told the media to study the review report before reaching their own conclusions.

Following a Cabinet decision taken on December 18, 2019, the four-member committee led by Lalithasiri Gunaruwan was appointed with effect from January 01st, 2020 to study the proposed agreement.

Former Secretary to the Ministry of Transport Dr. D. S. Jayaweera, President’s Counsel Justice Nihal Jayawardena and architect Nalaka Jayaweera are the other members.

The committee presented its final report to the Government recently. (Colombo Gazette)

2 COMMENTS

  1. Professor Gunaruwan is usually a man with a social conscience. He has great empathy and compassion for the poor of this country, and is a strong advocate for the equal distribution of wealth within the community.

    Despite my initial questioning of his qualifications, his integrity could never be questioned. Therefore, it would be hard to believe this man would act in a manner that was inimical to Sri Lanka’s best interests.

    Grants to Third World nations usually have safeguards (clauses) to ensure they are used for the purpose intended by the donor nation. The primary intention is to prevent as much as possible, the siphoning of funds by the respective ministers. As a result, the ‘dialogue’ of money guarantees that self interest will usually take precedence over national interest.

    Contracts by nature are instruments for negotiation. The path to negotiation does not require a “theatre production”.

    The sooner President Gota acts decisively to resolve this fiasco the better for the nation.

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