Other concerns regarding the construction of a physical economic corridor, links to the SOFA and ACSA agreements, the acquisition of Sri Lankan land by the U.S. government, dumped land transactions, the construction of U.S. settlements and/or military bases, the construction of electric fences and the destruction of the local environment were also confirmed as unfounded in the review of the agreement. The four-member committee, headed by Professor Lalithasiri Gunaruwan, who last week presented its interim report to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, said that there were clauses and conditions in the agreement that would have a negative impact on national objectives and objectives, sovereignty and national security and would be incompatible with the legal framework and the Constitution, Financial Times Minister And Guna Gun. Even after the signing of the agreement, Sri Lanka still has the option of amending the agreement, provided that these amendments do not exceed the funding allowance allocated or extend the grant period by five years. However, when verifying publicly available information, the MCC grant does not involve the leasing or transfer of ownership of Sri Lankan land and does not require Sri Lanka to rem pay any of the grant amounts until the agreement is explicitly violated. The second argument is that the GCC agreement is an attempt to undermine Sri Lanka`s national security. While both allegations have been disputed by MCC country director Jenner Edelman, there remains a suspicion. Published by the Ministry of Finance, Sri Lanka: treasury.gov.lk/article/-/article-viewer-portlet/render/view/mcc-agreement-drafted-with-the-consent-of-ag The agreement has indeed been at the centre of heated debates and political conflicts in recent months: the president refused to approve the agreement before the end of his term, a petition of fundamental rights (FR) against the signing of the agreement, filed with the Supreme Court, and even a protest that took place earlier this week. The agreement provides that the projects will benefit about 11 million people over a 20-year period, or about half of Sri Lanka`s total population.
Late last month, Sri Lanka`s Cabinet of Ministers approved, in a major step forward, the implementation of the $480 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant and published the final draft grant agreement to the public for review. The main points of contention are: where does the money go and what does this funding mean? In accordance with the draft publicly available agreement, the MCC is providing this grant to address two of the “binding constraints” that Sri Lanka imposes on economic growth: (a) inadequate infrastructure and transport logistics planning and (b) lack of access to land for agriculture, services and industrial investors. The document makes it clear that the Sri Lankan government is “the primary responsibility for monitoring and managing implementation” of projects, and legal advice signed by the Sri Lankan GA must be sought before the agreement enters into force.