Sri Lanka to review MCC deal, no decision yet: ministers

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will review a planned deal with the America’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, but no decision has yet been made to sign it, cabinet spokesman Minister Ramesh Pathirana said.

” We have not taken a decision as such (to sign it). We will ensure that we will look into these matters, erview the whole scenario and see whether we can consider this,” Cabinet spokesman Minister Ramesh Pathirna told reporters.

“We have not taken a decision in the cabinet pertaining to this.”

Activists of Sri Lanka Podujana Party of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, including Wimal Weerawansa and Udaya Gammanpila severely criticized the planned deal with Millennium Challenge Corporation saying America was planning to take-over land with it.

However current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in a statement said at the time the deal should be signed after elections if at all, following a debate in parliament as there were concerns.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera made the deal public and charged that a straw man (billa) had been made with the agreement for political purposes, dragging religious dignitaries also in to the mele.

Similar charges had been made regarding Kandalama Hotel and a VOA relay station in the years past, though none of the claims made had become true, he had said.

The MCC was giving funds to digitize land records to minimize fraud and also demarcate state land so that they could not be mis-appropriated in one project.

In another several link roads that will speed up time to market for farmers in several rural areas and a hi-tech traffic management project as the third.

Education Minister Dulles Alahapperuma said there were big problems (barapathala gatalu) with the agreement.

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“Our first responsibility is to educate the public about this agreement,” Minister Alahapperuma said. “Is there any harmful ones, is there a need to sign it, or not. This discussion has to be done.” (Colombo/Dec13/2019)

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