Government decides to suspend MCC pending report

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By Rose Kenny

The government has taken a decision to suspend  the much-debated Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement pending the committee report expected in four months.

Minister of Foreign Relations, Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations and Leader of the House of Parliament Dinesh Gunawardena responding to JVP lawmaker Anura Dissanayake on the progress of the MCC held President Gotabhaya Rajapakse will not enter into any agreement harmful for the country.

Addressing parliament on Tuesday, Gunawardena said, “The Government appointed a committee on 18th December 2019 under the Chairmanship of Professor of Colombo University Lalithasiri Gunaruwan to study the MCC agreement. D. S. Jayaweera, President’s Counsel Nihal Jayawardena and Nalaka Jayaweera are the other members of the committee. The committee is given a time period of four months to study the matter and submit the report. This report of the committee would be presented before the Parliament when it is submitted.”

Minister Gunawardena stated that the cabinet of the former UNP government approved the MCC agreement and then the current government while being the opposition objected it. “UNP Cabinet approved the MCC. But people rejected the MCC. The UNP came into power making use of a fantasy agreement called Good Governance. During the recent election, we pledged to rectify the damages made to the country including this agreement,” he added.

MP Anura Dissanayake delivering the special statement under section 27(2) of the Standing Order demanded an explanation from the Government to clarify the rumors that the MCC agreement is signed and will be implemented soon.