Editorial

Colombage must explain ‘compromise’ regarding the MCC Compact

Summary

Is the Cabinet planning to compromise the national interest, sovereignty and national security? If not, what, pray, is the Cabinet compromising on?

Colombage must explain ‘compromise’ regarding the MCC Compact

Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage has made some remarks about the proposed Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact. The MCC Compact, since it is being pushed by the USA, could come under ‘Foreign Affairs,’ but it is more than that. It is about economic issues, political and social issues, environmental issues and of course sovereignty. That’s what the committee appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to study the draft agreement has concluded. And they’ve not exactly hurrahing it! 

Colombage has expressed an opinion and we do not know if he’s stating the Government’s position or that of Minister Dinesh Gunawardena. 

“I think the report will be submitted to the new Cabinet. The new Cabinet will be expected to make observations from the view point of each ministry. Once that is done, it will be referred to Parliament probably, debated to arrive at a compromise. I don’t know what that compromise will be,” he said.

Now, if we went by this, we have to conclude that cabinet has ALREADY DECIDED something. That something is, ‘TO ARRIVE AT A COMPROMISE.’ Colombage doesn’t know WHAT the compromise will be, but he’s certainly convinced that there will be a compromise. 

Why a compromise, though? 

The report of the committee is very clear that there’s little or nothing in the draft agreement to cheer about. Among the conclusions of the committee’s review were the following: a) the Compact would have an adverse impact on national, social and economic well-being of Sri Lanka, b) the Compact in its draft form contains sections that are at odds with Sri Lanka’s Constitution and the law while implementation would be detrimental to national interest, sovereignty and national security.

So is the Cabinet planning on compromising the national, social and economic well-being of Sri Lanka? Is the Cabinet planning to compromise on Sri Lanka’s Constitution and law? Is the Cabinet planning to compromise the national interest, sovereignty and national security?
If not, what, pray, is the Cabinet compromising on? Colombage could elaborate. Dinesh Gunawardena must make a clear statement. The Cabinet cannot pussyfoot around the issue any longer. 

What of the MCC, Mr President? What do you say Mr Prime Minister? What does the rest of the Cabinet have to say? We need to know. ASAP.

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