Covid & MCC Sri Lanka: Health risk in flooding Sri Lanka with US/Foreign Personnel?
US tops the world list on coronavirus cases and deaths with 3.2million cases and 137,000 deaths in a world with over 12million cases and over 560,000 deaths. Sri Lanka has had 11 deaths with over 2000 confirmed cases and close to 2000 recoveries. Sri Lanka has done remarkably well in not only containing but quickly identifying the cluster groups in an effort steered by a Presidential Task Force & the dedicated services of the health sector, the armed forces, police, intelligence & public service. The discipline of the citizens in conforming to the measures and instructions given by authorities has to also be commended. Across the ocean in the US even requests to wear a mask has been ignored alongside the most basic requests made. In short, it is pandemonium in the US and explains why Japan has banned US & Canada from entering its shores. When Japan has SOFA bases in Okinawa and is part of US-ally, taking such a decision is noteworthy. In such a scenario, the MCC with its unlimited US personnel, contractors and firms allowed to enter Sri Lanka is a serious worry to Sri Lanka, given that all of Sri Lanka’s covid-cases & spread have been after arrival of people from overseas. Therefore, the Health Authorities & GMOA must take a stand that MCC cannot be on any table for discussion or signature or even MOU level given the Covid-19 situation. Let us not forget that the colonial invaders brought small pox and killed millions of natives and it is no exaggeration to place Covid in this perspective too. The priority of a Govt is to look after the health of a nation BEFORE ironing out differences with foreign nations over agreements ventured into in secret.
See how Japan is protecting the health of its citizens.
Sri Lankans are one of the few countries that Japan has permitted to enter its shores.
Japan is one of America’s closest allies in Asia but Japan has placed the lives of the Japanese above any relationship with external parties.
This is how Sri Lanka has also function.
This is why we must relook at the MCC Agreement more seriously.
Take Section 8.3 in the MCC Agreement which binds the GoSL to allow ANY FOREIGN PERSONNEL (this indicates the provision to allow even non-US nationals) to be PROMPTLY provided ENTRY or WORK VISA. Even a time period is not mentioned.
The legally binding ‘SHALL’ in the agreement confirms Sri Lankan Governments commitment to facilitate this promptly.
We saw how a top US officials entered the country in June 2020 and refused to undertake the PCR test. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQDKOEN2V6Y
Imagine if hundreds of FOREIGN PERSONNEL as individuals, consultants or personnel of firms arrive in Sri Lanka and similarly refuse PCR tests and may be carriers of the covid virus?
When Section 8.3 is read with Section 6.8 on IMMUNITY it is seriously worrying.
We are falsely presented a notion, that is mentally trying to make us believe that we are getting a GRANT or GIFT of $480m but when reading the clauses attached to the Agreement it is clear that this is NEITHER a GIFT NOR a DEVELOPMENT PROJECT to benefit Sri Lankans.
Compounding the negatives in the agreement is the health issue with covid-19.
These 2 videos will show the attitude of the American.
‘I don’t wear a mask for the same reason I don’t wear underwear: Things gotta breathe.’ —Anti-maskers in Florida.
Imagine a bunch of them landing in Sri Lanka for work!
In this store, a customer throws a box of shoes when asked to wear a mask.
In Sri Lanka it is mandatory to wear a mask – what if all the MCC ‘foreigners’ refuse and enter anywhere and everywhere without a mask & spread the covid? Just take a minute to imagine this scenario.
The MCC is nothing but a CONDITIONAL CONTRACT full of UNCONDITIONAL & CONDITIONAL PROVISIONS and UNLIMITED CONDITIONS.
A translation of the MCC Agreement into Sinhala & Tamil will make the public understand the dangerous nature of these provisions can be understood. Patriotic organizations must demand that the Agreement has to be translated & presented to the People.
Who is the AG that approved this nationally detrimental MCC Agreement?
Who are the Public Officials who nodded their head in consent to MCC Agreement?
Who are the locals who helped draft this detrimental MCC Agreement?
Who are the locals promoting this dangerous MCC Agreement?
We want to know who they are because they are helping repeat 1815 two hundred years later.
When the country is facing a serious health issue that is impacting our daily lives, our economy and even the education of our children, we cannot have MCC plugged into make matters worse.
The doctors must come forward to raise this dangerous aspect vis a vis MCC.
Shenali D Waduge