The second argument is that the GCC agreement is an attempt to undermine Sri Lanka`s national security. While both allegations have been disputed by MCC country director Jenner Edelman, there remains a suspicion. The document makes it clear that the Sri Lankan government is “the primary responsibility for monitoring and managing implementation” of projects, and legal advice signed by the Sri Lankan GA must be sought before the agreement enters into force. BURLINGTON, Vt. – A $480 million pact proposed by the Millennium Challenge Corporation in Sri Lanka has become a central political issue in the country, and a referendum on development cooperation with the United States in a strategic part of the world. Despite this recent experience, the country does not seem to regard the United States as a purely benign alternative to China. Instead, Sri Lanka could provide an early example of what will happen if geopolitical competition intensifies and world powers force countries to choose among themselves. 25 Millennium Challenge Cooperation. (2019). McC Statement on the Board`s decision to suspend the partnership with Tanzania. [online] Available at: www.mcc.gov/news-and-events/release/stmt-032816-tanzania-partnership-suspended [Access August 16, 2019]. In February 2019, the White House announced the launch of the Women`s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) with the goal of reaching 50 million women worldwide by 2025. The MCC supports W GDP and is proud to be a leading partner in this initiative, the government`s first approach to women`s economic empowerment worldwide.
Under President Donald Trump`s administration, U.S. development commitment is increasingly tied to America`s geopolitical and economic competition with China. The government has called for a “clear choice” program to convince development partners that U.S. government assistance is more beneficial and less risky than China offers through its Belt and Road initiative and other international infrastructure financing efforts. While it is important for Sri Lanka to consider all the modalities of implementation of the pact, it is equally important to consider the benefits that could be lost if the government continued to delay the approval of the agreement. 2. Monitoring and data collection: MCC`s contract contracts in the transportation sector offer a comprehensive surveillance system comprising extensive video surveillance devices, facial recognition software, geographic mapping and more. These surveillance mechanisms violate the privacy of Sri Lankan citizens. In addition, the involvement of a foreign state in the recommendation and implementation of this surveillance system is of concern. Strategically sensitive geographic information should be controlled by the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Investigation, not private or foreign companies. In addition, some GIS information should not be made available to the private sector for security reasons.
That is why, even before discussing such comprehensive surveillance and data collection, the Sri Lankan government should prioritize a national data protection strategy and a national plan. 1. Loss of natural resources: Sri Lanka (land and sea) is rich in valuable rare elements of dementia (REE) which, with their geostrategic position in the Indian Ocean, constitute a “paradox of pleence” or the “resource curse” on major trade routes and underwater data cables (UDCs).