Sinhala media questions Gotabaya’s alleged pro-MCC ‘connections’ with US

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 10 June 2020, 23:39 GMT]
Sinhala media in the South have started to raise questions on SL President Gotabaya’s intermediaries connected to Milinda Moragoda’s Pathfinder outfit, which wants to promote a slightly modified Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) project. The issue also gained focus, especially in connection with SL Police brutally suppressing a George Floyd protest held outside the US Embassy in Colombo on Tuesday. The role of four personalities, Senior SL Presidential Advisor Lalith Weeratunga, Additional Secretary to SL President Admiral (retd) Jayanath Colombage, SL Presidential Secretary P. B. Jayasundera and SL Ports Authority Chairman Lt Gen (retd) Daya Ratnayaka was taken up in the live political programme, “Salakuna” on Hiru TV already on Monday.

SL Minister Wimal Weerawansa was confronting the question, which was raised by Sinhala blogger Chapa Bandara in the programme.

“Minister Weerawansa said that even if he landed in trouble and suffered a setback the Pathfinder was nothing but an intelligence-gathering outfit,” according to a news report in The Island on Tuesday.

Lalith Weeratunga has been a ‘Senior Fellow’ at Pathfinder Foundation and Admiral (retd) Jayanath Colombage, a director at the same outfit.

Former SL Army Commander Daya Rathnayake was also associated with Pathfinder, and he has represented the outfit as a special invitee in essential meetings with external actors in the past.

The exact Pathfinder involvement of PB Jayasundera is not known.

During the peace process and the genocidal onslaught on Eezham Tamils, Sinhala extreme nationalists such as Wimal Weerawansa and Patali Champika Ranawake as well as section of Sinhala ultra-nationalist monks took a sophisticated US-orientation.

While Wimal Weerawanse continues to serve the Rajapaksa Establishment, Patali Champika Ranawaka aligned with the so-called “good governance” regime of Wickramasinghe-Sirisena along with Mangala Samaraweera, who was one of the primary connections to the US Establishment at that time.

Milinda Moragoda seeks to replace the role played by Mangala Samaraweera with regards to Colombo-US relations, political observers in Colombo said.

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External Links:
Counter Point: Pathfinder National Security Strategy for Sri Lanka 2020
The Island: Wimal favours US style Prez election, appreciates Dr. PBJ’s present role, finds faults with CBSL Jayanath Colombage: Counterterrorism and Deradicalization: Lessons Learnt from the Sri Lankan Experience
YouTube: IN BLACK AND WHITE - Exclusive Interview with Amb. Robert O’ Blake
Daily FT: Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant dilemma: The Pathfinder compromise
Business Today: Transcript: ‘In Black And White’ With Milinda Moragoda



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