MCC – US Contradicts Expert Committee Findings
The United States Embassy in Sri Lanka, today (June 26) contradicted findings presented to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa by the Expert Committee that reviewed the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact (MCC). The Committee’s findings were presented to the president yesterday, June 25th.
The contradictions were made via twitter. Referring to the Committee’s findings that account details of payments made to two stages of the Compact cannot be found, the US Embassy stated ‘No MCC grant monies were ever transferred to or spent by the Government under the current $480 million grant. Funds for preparatory activities have been canceled or indefinitely postponed, pending the Government’s decision whether to proceed with the grant.”
A release from the Presidential Media Division on the findings of the Committee yesterday stated that the MCC had been signed in two stages in 2017 and 2018 during which time USD 7.4 million and USD 2.6 million had been granted respectively.
The US also debunked another of the findings mentioned in the press release which said that the current status of countries where the MCC had been implemented had been tragic.
No MCC grant monies were ever transferred to or spent by the Government under the current $480 million grant. Funds for preparatory activities have been canceled or indefinitely postponed, pending the Government’s decision whether to proceed with the grant.
— U.S. Embassy Colombo (@USEmbSL) June 26, 2020
The Expert Committee’s findings follow a six month study, which considered ‘opinions, views and suggestions from various sectors of the society including experts, voluntary organizations, public entities and individuals,’ according to the Presidential Media release.
The MCC was one of the highlights of the 2019 Presidential election, with President Gotabaya’s Sri Lanka Podujana Party accusing the then government of ceding land and sovereignty to the US by agreeing to the Compact.
The Expert Committee which was appointed in January this year was chaired by Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, Professor of Economics of University of Colombo. Others on the committee were former Secretary to the Ministry of Transport Dr. D. S. Jayaweera, President’s Counsel Justice Nihal Jayawardena and architect Nalaka Jayaweera.