AG’s letter to MCC | MCC confirms authenticity

By Skandha Gunasekara

The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Sri Lankan office confirmed to The Sunday Morning the authenticity of then Attorney General (AG) Jayantha Jayasuriya’s letter in 2018, which resurfaced recently causing fresh controversy.

MCC Country Director Jenner Edleman affirmed that such a letter was received by the MCC.

“The letter is legitimate but I do not want to speak further on this to the press,” Edelman told The Sunday Morning on Friday (21). The letter by the then AG appeared to be in favour of the MCC Compact being implemented in Sri Lanka.

“Having gleaned through the proposed Millennium Challenge (Corporation) Compact, the draft Programme Implementation Agreement (PIA), as well as the Points of Discussion (without prejudice) between the negotiating parties which has been made available to me, I wish at the very onset (to) opine that no existing laws of Sri Lanka’s inhibits the Compact and the PIA (from) being implemented in Sri Lanka,” the letter sent by the department said.

However, one amendment to the agreement had been requested by the former AG in the letter.

“Thus, I am of the view that the passage of the said enactment by Parliament would result in the Compact and PIA, having parity of status of a domestic law in Sri Lanka. In the context of the above, it is requisite that Section 7.1 of the Compact referring to the provisions on Entry into Force, would be revised with the deletion of the sentence pertaining to the Compact prevailing over the domestic laws of Sri Lanka.”

Meanwhile, the MCC Compact agreement is currently under consideration and awaiting the observations of several state agencies, according to the AG, Co-ordinating Secretary of the AG State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said, responding to a query by The Sunday Morning.

“We have called for several observations from several state agencies, so until we get these observations, we are not considering the matter. It’s under consideration,” she said.

When The Sunday Morning questioned Jayaratne as to whether current AG Dappula de Livera was of the same stance as his predecessor, she responded in the negative.