The Pathfinder Foundation (PF), a leading think tank in Sri Lanka, conducted a successful panel discussion with the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a US aid agency operational since 2004, at the BMICH.
The success of the panel discussion was mainly due to the four eminent panellists, who contributed their knowledge on the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and over 30 agreements MCC had signed with 29 countries. The panellists were Dr. Nishan de Mel, Executive Director of Verité Research; Dr. Palitha Kohona, former Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations; Neville Ladduwahetty, a well-known author and independent analyst; and Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja, Executive Director, Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute.
Sri Lanka stands to receive a grant of US$480 million under the compact due to be signed with the MCC. Bulk of the grant amounting to US$ 350 million is targeted for improving the transport sector and another US$ 67 million on 5 projects under the land sector. Since 2004, to-date the US has disbursed US$ 14 billion with the objective of reducing poverty through economic growth. The objective of the Pathfinder Foundation was to ascertain whether the grant from the US directed at the transport and land sectors would actually help achieving that objective.
The conference room, where the panel discussion was held, was packed to capacity with high calibre participants, where the panellists discussed the pros and cons of the compact and its impact on the economy in general and the transport and land sectors in particular.
Bernard Goonetilleke, Chairman Pathfinder Foundation acted as moderator of the panel discussion.