MCC agreement with US continues to court controversy in Nepal

[TamilNet, Saturday, 29 February 2020, 23:17 GMT]
Nepal’s ruling Communist Party (NCP) appointed a task force to study provisions in the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement it had entered with the US in 2017. The three-member task force was appointed following mounting criticism that the implementation of the US $500 million grant programme could infringe Nepal’s state sovereignty and coerce it into the US Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS). The task force submitted its report last week suggesting Kathmandu not endorse the Compact in its current form.

The task force has recommended amendments to some provisions of the Compact before the Nepalese parliament could ratify it.

However, such a move to amend the Compact could violate the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and that a treaty once signed cannot be revised later by altering its primary purpose and objective, reported the Kathmandu Post on Wednesday.

The development was carefully watched by Colombo and other actors in the region.

In the meantime, a bipartisan US Congressional delegation, which recently visited Colombo and New Delhi, was in Kathmandu last week.

Amerish Babulal Bera (Ami Bera) of the US Democratic Party, who chairs the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s (HFAC) Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, and George Edward Bell Holding of the Republican party were visiting Kathmandu along with two HFAC staff officials, Nikole Burroughs and Sajit Gandhi.

Ami Bera refuted the claims that the MCC was a US strategy to encircle China.

“I would ask how helping Nepal improve its energy transmission infrastructures or improve the road transportation system helps to encircle China,” he told Nagarik Daily’s Guna Raj Luitel and Republica’s Kosh Raj Koirala, who interviewed him on the current controversy.


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External Links:
The Kanthmandu Post: Amending the MCC Nepal compact could violate the Vienna Convention https://tkpo.st/2vj1KOt
myRepublica: Nepal should not be swayed by disinformation on MCC


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