MCC: National People’s Power presidential candidate opposes land section of pact

COLOMBO (The Island/ANN) - National People’s Power presidential candidate opposes reformation of land laws proposed in the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement.

National People’s Power presidential candidate Anura Kumara Dissanayake says while the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement will not create a "fairy tale country" as the government claims, it is not a "bogeyman" as the opposition wants the people to believe.

Speaking at an election rally held by the NPP at Anuradhapura, the JVP leader said the Sajith Premadasa camp that includes Mangala Samaraweera says the MCC agreement is an exceptionally good agreement, and it would make available USD 487 million to develop the road network.

"Meanwhile, the Rajapaksa camp that rejects the agreement says it is an attempt to hand over about 20,000 acres from the country to the US at one USD a perch. They say a corridor would be created across the country partitioning the country with walls."

"Both these stories are blatant lies. The agreement would not create a fairy tale country nor will it create a bogeyman," he said.

Dissanayake said, many have asked them about their stand regarding the MCC agreement.

"As a political party, we do not reject bilateral or multilateral agreements. We always criticize, reject or accept agreements after considering its content," he said.

The JVP leader explained that there are three main proposals to make available US$ 400 million from the MCC agreement. One was to make funds available to develop the transportation sector. The second is making available funds for developing the road network. The third is the reformation of land laws in the country. "Our issue is with the third one," he said.

"There is an issue when the USA gives funds asking us to change our land laws. Our land laws are complicated. They are more than 90 years old," he said.

The JVP leader assured that if they came to power they would never allow the agreement to be signed with the clauses regarding lands although it would not be necessary to reject the agreement outright.

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