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Will not give land rights to the US through MCC – AKD

Dissanayake addressing the rally

The National People’s Movement (NPM) presidential candidate MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that his party will not let the controversial Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement be signed unless the section on ‘land reforms’ will be removed.

Addressing a rally held in Anuradhapura last Wednesday (06), Dissanayake said that his party finds the proposal to ‘amend the land laws’ problematic.

“We are not against signing bilateral or multilateral agreements between countries. We criticize, approve or reject a particular agreement after considering its content. There are three main proposals in the MCC agreement in order to provide 400 USD million,” he said.

He pointed out that two proposals will provide money to improve the road and transport infrastructure, while the other to reform land laws.

“We do not agree with the American proposal to amend our land laws. There is a hidden agenda behind it. They want to get our land resources to their companies, “he alleged.

He went on to say that some bilateral agreements the rulers signed in the past were not favourable to the country.

“When Chandrika Kumaratunga was in power, she signed the SOFA agreement and Mahinda Rajapaksa ruled the country for 10 years while the agreement was still valid,” he said.

He said that in 2007, former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa signed a defence agreement with the USA “where we agreed to provide land, food, water and other infrastructure facilities to American military forces if the US gets involved in a war in this region. “Through that, we will eventually become an American-ally during a war,” Dissanayake added.