December 17, 2020 : The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) board has decided to cancel the agreement with Sri Lanka. According to the Sri Lankan English newspaper The Daily Mirror, the decision was taken by the MCC board two days ago.
Sri Lanka was on the board at this week’s MCC board meeting. The previous government had announced a सम्झौता 480 million deal, but the new government refused to continue. Sri Lanka had decided to take grants to improve land management and transport systems. The project was selected in 2016 but could not move forward.
The previous Sri Lankan government was in favor of the MCC, while Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who came to power in 2019, was against. He had formed an independent task force to study the issue in detail.
The task force had recommended rejecting the agreement last January. Therefore, the government did not sign the agreement. Opposition groups called for the beleaguered PM to resign.
During a visit to Sri Lanka last October, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo discussed the MCC with Sri Lankan officials. He accused China of making a bad deal with Sri Lanka and bringing lawlessness. In Sri Lanka, as in Nepal, there was controversy over the MCC agreement. Agency