The 20th Amendment facilitates the MCC!

By Amali Wedagedara

The proposed MCC agreement under section 3.8 explains the process of auditing and review of the MCC agreement. According to the instructions the GoSL will carry out auditing through an independent auditor approved by the MCC and in line with the guidelines spelt out by the MCC’s Guidelines for Financial Audits Contracted by Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Accountable Entities. The committee presided by Prof. Gunaruwan, appointed by the Sri Lankan Government to review the MCC agreement, points out that section 3.8 of the agreement violates the rights of the auditor general as well as the National Procurement Commission (P. 28 in the Gunaruwan Report). Any attempt to weaken the Auditor General’s Department as well as the National Procurement Commission, therefore, facilitates the conditions in the MCC agreement in an instance where the agreement becomes effective.Another obstacle to the implementation of the MCC agreement is it becoming a part of Sri Lankan law through a Parliamentary Act passed through 2/3 majority in the Parliament. However, the ability to bring in urgent bills which could be passed overnight through a simple majority creates a short cut when the MCC is ready to be implemented.

The Public opposition to MCC played a decisive role in influencing public opinion in favour of President Gotabhaya Rajapakshe during the last Presidential Election in 2019. The President having assumed political power with a promise to safeguard peoples’ sovereignty is now attempting to weaken and overpower peoples’ rights to control public funds and determine the manner in which laws are legislated in the Parliament. We could shrug off saying it is another farce in the Sri Lankan history. However, the working people in Sri Lanka can actively contribute to determine how history is written. We the working people will bear the brunt of myopic development policies driven by farces like the 20th Amendment. Therefore, we should rise to defeat the 20th Amendment, a trojan horse facilitating entry to MCC among many other things.

Amali Wedagedara <amalicw@gmail.com>

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