Threat of American Meddling
Posted on June 28th, 2020

GAMINI SENEVIRATNE Courtesy The Island

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This is hardly the time for the US State Department to be meddling in Sri Lanka. It has so many disasters on its hands, and it does not seem that any of them would go away this century.

I shall list a few on a later occasion – as the whole world knows the American jackboot has been slogging on wherever the exceptional greed of its corporations and their political henchmen directs it.

But what is of immediate interest to us here, in Sri Lanka, is the statement made by the US Ambassador, Alaina B. Teplitz, that the US would continue engagement with the Sri Lankan Government despite some recent incidents, including a controversy over a US diplomat who arrived in the country. Asked if the employee is a US military officer, the US Ambassador said that the officer is a US Embassy employee.

She said that while the US and Sri Lanka may not agree on everything, there are areas where they do agree and would be able to easily collaborate, and that while the US will continue to express its opinions on certain matters, it will do so with respect and constructively.

The key US opinion follows: “The Government needs to look at its policies and ease of doing business if it is going to attract foreign investment and take advantage of the changes that will come in future,” she said.

And, in what is not meant to be ‘an opinion,’ the Ambassador said that “the private sector will be the leading edge in the economy”.

Illustrative of the American approach to matters that have nothing to do with the USA, Ms. Teplitz “also echoed concerns on the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Archaeological Heritage Management in the Eastern Province”.

Excuse me? Regardless of the exertions made by European invaders to erase the indigenous archaeological remains in the US, of what concern to her is our archaeological heritage?

Or, is she articulating the intent behind the so-called Millennium Corporation Compact that they have been at pains to engineer, within the most corrupt parliament we have yet had, with a group of the most corrupt at its head?

Your paper has given the necessary support for senior journalist, Shamindra Ferdinando, to commence blowing the lid off the supposed ‘compact’ with a handful, literally, of individuals who possess not a whiff of authority to speak for our people.

For starters, let us put down, in black and white, some features that this draft document seeks to bind us to:

“MCC is a United States Government corporation acting on behalf of the United States Government in the implementation of this Compact.

“MCC and the United States Government assume no liability for any claims, or loss, arising out of activities or omissions under this Compact.

“The Government (of Sri Lanka) waives any and all claims against MCC, or the United States Government, or any current or former officer or employee of MCC or the United States Government, for all loss, damage, injury or death arising out of activities or omissions under this compact and agrees that it shall not bring any claim or legal proceeding of any kind against any of the above entities, or persons, for any such loss, damage, injury or death…

“Any current or former officer, or employee, of the MCC, or the United States Government, shall be immune from the jurisdiction of all courts and tribunals of Sri Lanka for any claim or loss arising out of activities, or omissions, under this Compact.”

The above averments are explicit enough in stating that the government of Sri Lanka ceases to have any sovereign authority vis-a-vis this US Corporation. The example that immediately comes to mind flows from Ms. Teglitz’s response, quoted above, to the inquiry regarding the US citizen who refused to be checked for the Coronavirus at the airport. The ‘compact’ sought by the US now would provide for any person, whether a US citizen or not, who claims to be an ‘employee’ of the MCC, to flout all regulations / laws that are designed to protect our country and her people. It should be mentioned that another American entity, US AID, also wishes to take over a swathe of territory around Arugam Bay. What for? one might ask. To provide R & R for military personnel in the style that destroyed Bangkok, Djakarta, Manila…?

Many months ago, I, and others, called upon those who are in possession of this draft document to publish it. Until that is done, the people, on behalf of whom such agreements are to be made, would not be able to give, or deny, the only possible legitimacy for it – their mandate.

What we have had instead is the spectacle of a tuition mudalali who, it would seem, claims to speak for them.

GAMINI SENEVIRATNE

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