MCC request Private Company to be PRIMARY AGENT of GoSL – Is this permitted by Sri Lanka’s Constitution?
By shenali Waduge
Does the Sri Lankan Constitution allow a Government elected for a term of office and given guardianship of the land and the interests of the people to appoint a foreign country to establish a company to be an agent for 480 Million Dollars? This looks like a gift to US rather than to Sri Lanka. How aware is the GoSL of the objectives of this private company which will come into operation ONLY AFTER MCC is signed? The company MCA Sri Lanka thereafter enters into undisclosed agreements to operate the agency to change the land policy and the land laws of the country. MCC Agreement specifically refers to the Program Implementation Agreement and the constitutive documents and internal regulations [MCC Annex 1V under Independence and Autonomy]
Annex 1-34 of MCC Annex IV
After MCC agreement is signed MCC is to establish a PRIVATE COMPANY called MCA-SRILANKA PRIVATE LTD. This MCA is to be the PRIMARY AGENT of the GOSL to legislate on behalf of the Sri Lankan People.
The Government shall appoint an accountable entity, MCA Sri Lanka, a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act 7 of 2007”
MCA Sri Lanka shall be the Government’s Primary Agent responsible for exercising the Government’s right and obligations to oversee, manage and implement the program”
- Why should Sri Lanka sign an agreement with a sub-unit of a foreign country, establish a private company (even if it has foreign-friendly locals working in it) and become the AGENT of the Sri Lankan Government ‘on behalf of the people’. Shouldn’t the GoSL be functioning on behalf of the people not a part-foreign company?
- Do we know what the powers of this MCA Sri Lanka Private company is? NO. Shouldn’t the GoSL know what the mandate and powers of this private company is before even considering to sign MCC turning a private company to be the PRIMARY AGENT of the GOSL? Note: $480m funding is to be channeled by this company not by GoSL. Not a penny will go into the Sri Lankan Treasury!
- Does Sri Lanka’s Constitution allow appointment of a PRIMARY AGENT to change land policy & legislation relating to land?
Sri Lanka’s Constitution Article 76
- Parliament shall not abdicate or in any manner alienate its legislative power and shall not set up any authority with any legislative power” (golden words)
- It shall not be a contravention of the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article for Parliament to make, in any law relating to public security, provision empowering the President to make emergency regulations in accordance with such law.
- It shall not be a contravention of the provisions of paragraph (1) of this Article for Parliament to make any law containing any provision empowering any person or body to make subordinate legislation for prescribed purposes including power”
- to appoint a date on which any law or any part thereof shall come into effect or cease to have effect:
- to make by order any law or any part thereof applicable to any locality or to any class of persons”
- to create a legal person, by an order or an Act”
- Will Sri Lankan law apply? No, a clause in MCC says ‘International Law’ will apply but US and US citizens are given immunity. There is no immunity for Sri Lankans. This MCC Agreement and MCA by having ‘International Law’ applicable to one party and other party is immune creates what is known as UNFAIR CONTRACT.
- The MCC Agreement only states position on Bim Saviya, Land Privatization & Digitalization of title registrations. The MCC does not disclose contents of a list of ‘unknown agreements’ to be signed by the MCA Sri Lanka [agent of the Government] & GoSL. How can GoSL commit an entire nation & its people to ‘unknown agreements”?
- Annex IV of MCC (to be signed) is CONDITION PRECEDENT to the disbursement of MCC Compact CDF. So GoSL is agreeing to commit to what GoSL does not know what it is committing to!
- GoSL does not have a clue about what the contents of the Program Implementation Agreement (PIA), future letters or documents are – all of which are binding the GoSL via MCA Sri Lanka. MCC Page 6 / 2.5 Government has already agreed to act according to future agreements”
- On what basis and for what reason is GoSL privatizing all State land? Why is GoSL changing land laws following Australian law & giving the digitalizing to a foreign company who will hold all back office passwords and operating systems?
- Why is GoSL allowing Sri Lanka’s land details to be entered into a land information portal run by foreigners without any security laws/codes and accessible even externally by anyone?
- Does the GoSL know that whatever land information already digitalized can be seen by anyone abroad? All they have to do is type the name of the owner and every detail about that owner can be seen in public domain?
- Does the GoSL know that after taking people’s original title deeds they are only given an A4 laminated sheet of land ownership which is the ONLY source of proof that they own the land!
- With international law being applied and MCC US citizens immune from all wrong doings – no Sri Lankan citizen can go to Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court or seek legal assistance. Are these concerns being overlooked for a paltry $480m – an amount GoSL does not know how much has been spent already for various MCC related preconditions that the previous Govt launched?
GoSL has appointed a team to study MCC – does this team have legal representation to evaluate the legal repercussions of a bilateral agreement? If not, shouldn’t the team request a legal counsel expert in land laws of Sri Lanka as well as aware of MCC operating in other countries?
How does this escape court intervention?
Sri Lanka’s Lawyers come forward and tell us if the MCA Sri Lanka Private Ltd is a valid agency to operate in Sri Lanka?