Ranil and his Secret Pacts
(Courtesy of The Island)
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe hands over CFA document to then Norwegian Ambassador Jon Westborg
According to media reports, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that the agreement on the implementation of a US$ 480 million MCC grant would be signed before the presidential election, and asked why should it be rejected when government was receiving US$ 480 million under the grant? His Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has said that the agreement will be presented to Parliament after signing it.
UNP leaders are well known for signing notorious agreements, detrimental to the country in many ways, with foreign powers or with their involvements, without going through the parliament or briefing the contents of the agreements to the opposition political parties or the general public.
We remember how the UNP leader J.R. Jayewardene (JRJ) signed the Indo-Lanka Pact in 1987 amidst curfew. JRJ signed the hurriedly prepared document endorsed by the Tamil separatist groups including the LTTE. The opposition to the treacherous agreement was notable and the extent of the opposition to it was seen when a sailor attacked the Indian PM while the latter was receiving the guard of honour. The agreement didn’t serve the desired expectation at all. The Provincial Councils (PCs) set up under Indo- Lanka Agreement are mere white elephants. According to available records, the government’s allocation for maintaining PCs had gone up from Rs. 90m (1989) to Rs. 60,000m in 2010. Fortunately, no government has yet devolved the police and land powers as per the said agreement, based along ethnic lines. If fully implemented, it will be irreversible and, if an attempt is made to reverse them, the consequences will be disastrous.
Similarly, the CFA arranged by the Norwegians and signed by the UNP leader Ranil and the terrorist leader Prabhakaran in 2002 was not transparent and didn’t serve any purpose to the country. Its legality is questionable since the agreement was signed by the PM who was neither the Head of the Executive nor the Head of the Cabinet of Ministers.
Ranil, via the agreement, blindly gave some areas of the North and Eastern Provinces to the LTTE under so-called “LTTE territories”, without the knowledge or the approval of the country. Unless this foolish agreement was abrogated and LTTE defeated militarily to remove the so-called “LTTE territories”, the situation of the country would be entirely different today.
Thus signing any form of treacherous agreement by a UNP leader like Ranil, behind closed doors disregarding its consequences, is not a surprise at all.