Sri Lankan President says he will not sign MCC deal even in dream: Report

Published On: November 1, 2020 06:01 PM NPT By: Agencies

KATHMANDU, Nov 1: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has said that his government will never sign the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement proposed by the United States, Sri Lankan media reports said.

The Sri Lankan President said so in an interview with a Sri Lankan newspaper Aruna immediately after the visit of United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the island nation. It was learnt that Pompeo was in Sri Lanka to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan leadership to sign the MCC deal.

‘‘The MCC agreement will not be signed even in dream. Some people say that if the MCC agreement is signed they will do that and this, to please the gallery. Those who say that know that we will not sign MCC. Therefore, without any fear they say that they will leave the government if the MCC agreement is signed. These are just stories to please the gallery,” President Rajapaksa was quoted by Aruna newspaper as saying.

He also said that the discussions with the US Secretary of State were very cordial and nothing controversial had taken place. 

“When American diplomats visit Sri Lanka, they first talk about human rights violations. But this time we reminded the United States of the issue of human rights. The Secretary expressed his desire to forget the matters in the past and work in harmony with the government. We pointed out that we practice a policy which protects the sovereignty of the country without being under China or any other country,” the president said in the interview.

He further stated that he was also against the sale of the Hambantota port to China.

“However we explained that China had been our friend for more than seventy years. We also said that we would not allow our country to be used against any other country or to be utilized as a threat to the security of other countries,” the Sri Lankan president said.

Talking about his country’s ties with India, Rajapaksha said that India is Sri Lanka’s traditional relative. “China is our friend. I had to say that we will not allow our country to be used for something that could pose a threat to India's security, “he said.

On June 1, 2019, the United States Department of Defence unveiled the Indo-Pacific strategy report in which Nepal along with Sri Lanka has been added to the United States’ ‘State Partnership Programme in the Indo-Pacific’. The document titled ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy Report: Preparedness, Partnership, and Promoting a Networked Region’ suggests that all countries included in the document are counted as fundamental parts of the strategy. 




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