MCC Review Committee says MCC Agreement detrimental to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty – what amendments is GoSL suggesting?
The Gunaruwan Committee handed its supplementary report on the MCC to both the President & Prime Minister of Sri Lanka on 17th February 2020 and had made some recommendations and comments that should awaken the government to the dangers at stake for Sri Lanka which $480m could never cover. However, various media reports from Government ministers claim MCC with amendments can be accommodated. While the Gunaruwan Committee has had the foresight to present the dangers in alongside the recommendations & comments, any amendments the Government proposes to suggest to MCC must cover some critical areas.
Prof. Gunaruwan describes the mandate of his team & the objective of their role ‘national interest’ will be the top priority of our study”
The MCC Review Committee comprises Dr. T L Gunaruwan, D S Jayaweera, President’s Counsel Nihal Jayawardena & Chartered Architect Nalaka Jayaweera.
The US ambassador to Sri Lanka in June 2019 said that $480m was a gift not a loan from the US to the People of Sri Lanka – if $480million is a gift
If US is giving $480m as a gift & not a loan
- Why does Sri Lanka need to sign an agreement with the US Govt?
- Why does the agreement need to be passed in Parliament?
- If all existing statutes and other legislation will get nullified as a result of passing the 5year valid MCC agreement by Parliament – shouldn’t the People be asked if they want this “gift” or not?
- Why cannot MCC project be a BOI project?
- Why is there a need to set up a separate private company (MCA Sri Lanka)?
- Why is the $480m going to a private bank account under the private company?
- Why is there need for a ‘Inspector General of MCC’ to be created?
- Why is this Inspector General of MCC and other representatives of MCC allowed to look into Sri Lanka’s records? Section 6.8 audit. If MCA is set up to channel funding why should MCC arrange audits of the Government? Why so much of US audit guidelines when money is being disbursed not to GOSL but to MCA Sri Lanka a private company?
- Why does Section 5.4 include ‘late payment interest’ under Compact and PIA? This nullifies claim that the $480m is a gift.
- What about the MCC Presentation made at Temple Trees revealing an economic corridor (5miles to left and 5 miles to right of railway line – an extent of 1.2million acres (200miles x 10miles) covering the very districts MCC is proposing to digitalize via e-registrar where the State is presently giving land right titles and accelerated title registration. Railways will be leased out via State Land Bank Act and MCC & its US allies will be leasing area for 100 + 100 years.
- Giving a gift but Section 6.4 says MCC is governed by international law. US are immune from anything & everything in Sri Lanka and US doesn’t pay any levies, taxes, duties whatsoever – what kind of gift is this?
- Getting a gift of $480m but Section 3.9 Intellectual Property says that GoSL grants to MCC a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide, fully- paid, assignable right and license to practice or have practiced on its behalf (including the right to produce, reproduce, publish, repurpose, use, store, modify or make available) any portion or portions of Intellectual Property as MCC sees fit in any medium, now known or hereafter developed, for any purpose whatsoever.
Is the GoSL considering to sign MCC with amendments?
This MCC agreement was peddled by the treacherous government previously in power. Therefore, their treacheries are known to all. However, with a change of Government it is obvious that the officials that helped draft the Agreement with the MCC & US Govt officials are still in office holding key portfolios.
We have every right to know who these officials who helped draft the MCC giving inside information and showing MCC where they can manipulate our laws. These unknown government officials are worse than the external enemies because they are obviously misleading the new Government into believing we are getting a ‘gift’ and totally ignoring the dangers in store given the track record of the US (illegal invasions/illegal interventions/foreign assassinations/interference in foreign elections/covert & overt operations/resource grabbing/coups & regime change etc). We are told that some Sri Lankan officials have even been flown overseas to draft the MCC! These need scrutinizing as obviously they are giving a false legal green light based on perks given to them!
GoSL has to look at MCC as part & parcel of US Govt strategy.
- It is an arm of its 3D policy – Diplomatic / Defense & Development. It is an integral part of US Pivot to Asia and its National Defense Strategy. MCC is a US Govt entity working with US companies and transnational corporations which are US-friendly.
- Without examining the LEGAL IMPLICATIONS of signing an agreement WITHOUT knowing what the ‘undisclosed’ documents MCC will give which GoSL is bound to accept & implement?
- Why should GoSL allow no liability for any claims or loss committed by MCC & US Govt?
- Why is GoSL waiving all claims against MCC & US Govt or any CURRENT or FORMER officer or employees of MCC or the US Govt for loss, damage, injury or DEATH arising out of activities or omissions under Compact? If MCC kills a Sri Lankan even by accident, who is going to pay compensation for that loss of life? If MCC kills a non-US by accident, who is going to pay compensation for that loss of life? Section 6.8 – what about law of reciprocity under international law mentioned in Section 6.4 of MCC? This loss of life and compensation is not covered by $480million!
- Hope the GoSL is also aware that companies are now taking governments to court & this is going to be something Sri Lankans will having to pay because of follies of government officials and politicians.
- Did Govt officials direct present Government leaders to the 25 April 2019 Congressional Notification Transmittal sheet? According to this $480m was to be given across 5 years via the MCA Sri Lanka private company.
- Did Govt officials show the 2 draft legislative acts that seek to convert permits & grants to State Lands to absolute land grants and allow permit holders to sell or lease their land?
- Did Govt officials show that in this same Congressional Notification the US aspires to create a database gathering information on State lands and facilitate investment in underutilized State lands. What is the benefit that Sri Lankan citizens are getting from this privatization and sale of State land? Ultimately what is any Government going to benefit when all State lands finds it way into foreign possession? Ultimately the politicians themselves will be working under foreigners!
- How many in the Govt have been informed by government officials of what MCC’s real plan is – because the MCC by promising $480m is asking GoSL to make legislative changes to facilitate their ultimate goal of grabbing Sri Lanka’s land. https://assets.mcc.gov/content/uploads/cn-042519-sri-lanka-intent-to-sign.pdf
- If 200miles of the economic corridor results in land owners selling or leasing land to foreign investors – what happens to around 4million people? With the State having no state lands to relocate these displaced people where will the GoSL relocate them? What about their livelihoods?
- We are giving up our entire intellectual property rights (present & futue) for $480million – are we insane?
- Have GoSL officials briefed about the Section 3.5 ‘implementation letters’ which are going to appear in MCC website and via other letters etc which are binding though GoSL hasn’t a clue of its contents? What kind of bilateral agreement is this?
- Why is the GoSL Treasury giving full power of attorney to US Governmental company registered as a Sri Lankan company which is to operate superior to the GoSL? How can GoSL abdicate its sovereignty to a US governmental company to act as primary agent? This violates article 1.4 of the Sri Lankan constitution.
- On what grounds is GoSL agreeing to 3.2 d) to fund anything that exceeds MCC Funding while also giving tax free/minus all levies to MCC and privatizing state land allowing Sri Lankans to sell their land and for foreigners to buy any amount of land – what is the source of income for the GoSL when after 5 years MCC has grabbed all land?
MCC from the point of view of the Sri Lankan citizen
- Yes, permit holders will end up getting a piece of paper giving them ownership but they are left on their own & poverty will encourage them to sell their land & eventually they end up without a piece of land, without a home to live, without a livelihood
MCC from a political point of view
- How will politicians and political parties deal with the eventuality and outcome when MCC – SOFA –ACSA are in full force and US troops and US personnel & US contractors land in Sri Lanka to operate projects with all immunities, with no taxes or levies and giving full access to government institutes and records. What is the place the politicians will have when eventually 4million or more people end up displaced & without jobs except to act as slave labor for the transnational companies setting up ventures along the economic corridor being set up?
Do politicians and political parties want to risk so much for a paltry $480million – it will be the end of their political careers when people begin to realize the sellout of the country no sooner any government signs on the dotted line.
Shenali D Waduge