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MCC agreement, Opposition Leader Claims Impact on Presidential Elections

Published Nov 02, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

Sri Lanka’s Finance Ministry today released the draft agreement of the Millennium Challenge Compact between the United States of America acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the Government of Sri Lanka to the public. The Ministry of Finance, however stressed that the released agreement is a draft document and not binding on the parties and subject to change until signed by the government.

The Ministry earlier said the Compact Agreement and the Program Implementation Agreement will be submitted to and enacted by Parliament of Sri Lanka once it is signed and before its entry into force and will be published in the Government Gazette before submitted to Parliament. Earlier, the U.S. Embassy in Colombo in a statement said the Parliamentary review and approval are required by MCC to ensure the grant assistance agreement has the support of the government and the people.

The opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa has come out strongly against the US$ 480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation [MCC] agreement claiming that it harms the country.

The statement is seen to be electorally loaded as Rajapaksa is seen pro China and thus would not want a US led initiative for grant in Sri Lanka to be seen in a favourable light.

The government is openly claiming that Mr Rajapaksa is making these false statements to influence the voters as the Presidential elections are getting closer with the contest increasingly said to be a close one.

The government is also accusing the opposition leader of a fake letter said to be of Cardinal Malcolm Rajith is curently being circulated in social media claiming that the Cardinal opposes the agreement. However, the Archbishop’s House has announced that the letter is a hoax. Clearly the MCC has now become a major election issue and in ways would be a referendum of the people on the key agreement with the US.