Sri Lanka is just two weeks away from a crucial Presidential Election which will pave way for a new president to be elected.
As we all know this government is well aware that it has failed all its citizens by working only for their own benefit and not the benefit of the country. After all they, under the guise of good governance, performed the worst by any functioning government by neglecting FDIs, dampening investor confidence, compromising with our national security, imposing unjust taxes and ignoring the staggering cost of living.
These are just some of the failures of the UNP.
Since 2015, this government has only been successful at one thing and that is to mislead the citizens and the international community. They have also attempted on several occasions to discreetly sign detrimental agreements with foreign countries without disclosing its contents to the public or putting it before Parliament, exposing their nation first policy and good governance pledges as a farce.
Now, all over the world, when a country prepares to face a presidential election, its government does not prepare to hurriedly sign an agreement with a foreign country, especially without disclosing it to parliament or its people. However, in Sri Lanka, under the UNP government, this is possible.
For a week now, the UNP have hurriedly tried to sign the MCC agreement with the USA without disclosing its contents to the parliamentarians, let alone the public. Although the government maintains it is a grant of 480 million US dollars, there is a saying that nothing comes for free.
There are several questions which arise from the signing of this agreement, which the government says is a grant. If it is as harmless as the government says it is, then why was it not offered earlier, and why did both parties wait just days before a presidential poll to sign it? And why is the UNP secretly attempting to sign the so called grant agreement at the Temple Trees, by keeping the President and all Parliamentarians in the dark?
In the absense of public information, the story is that this so called MCC agreement is being signed after the government’s failure to sign the SOFA and the ACSA agreements following a huge public outcry and major opposition from almost all parties in Parliament. The effects of signing such agreements would have been catastrophic and this beautiful land would have become the center of geopolitics. After studying agreements such as the SOFA very carefully, one has to accept that it would have enabled free access for US troops to enter our land. Infact senior defense journalists such as Iqbal Athas had exposed the detrimental effects Sri Lanka would face after signing the SOFA agreement, which makes one wonder how low the UNP could stoop to fulfill their own agendas.
The story does not end here. The story is that this so called MCC agreement will severely plunge the country into jeopardy which is why the government is ignoring key questions such as – What do we have to give in return of this grant being offered to us so hurriedly? What are the funding terms? What makes Sri Lanka eligible for this grant when there are so many other countries who deserve this? Afterall Sri Lanka was recently upgraded to an upper middle income country. Why are the details of this agreement including its terms and conditions not disclosed to Parliament or the public? Why have both parties decided to sign it in the heat of a Presidential Election?
Also one wonders how catastrophic this agreement would be for us as it is being spearheaded by the same minister who made Sri Lanka co sponsor a fresh resolution at the UN Human Rights Council – Mangala Samaraweera. Minister Samaraweera and his lot have always bowed down to agendas which have had no benefit to the nation and infact has only plunged us into further uncertainty with the international community.
This government has done enough damage to this nation within these past four years. They have done us no good locally and internationally and when the new President takes over next month there will be a lot of damage control he will need to do to win over confidence of the domestic as well as global communities.
SLPP’s Presidential candidate, Gotabaya Rajapaksa has vowed to maintain a neutral and friendly foreign policy with all nations so that we do not need to bow down to any one foreign power. He, in his election manifesto has also pledged he will not sign any agreement which will severely compromise Sri Lanka’s national security and plunge our country into a crisis.
Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa know the value of this land. Afterall it was under their leadership that our valiant forces were able to eliminate terrorism from our shores.
Stand up against the UNPs wrongdoings. Lets see this government go home. It is time we vote in a true leader who will work for all citizens equally.
It is time Sri Lanka faces a change – for the better.