I was bemused when reading a news item appearing in one the leading daily newspapers entitled “Private US company chosen for public sector reform and with a sub headline “USD 13 mn project in collaboration with Parliament.” It reports of an agreement signed between the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and Chairman of the House Democracy Partnership, Peter J. Roskam.
It further says that US had chosen Maryland headquartered Development Alternatives Inc [DAI] to implement the mega project meant to reform Sri Lanka’s public sector, in accordance with the above agreement between SriLanka and the House Democracy Partnership of the US House of Representatives.
Quoting the US embassy in Colombo, the news report adds that DAI would work closely with the Parliament,Independent Commissions and related ministries and the “Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability Project (SDGAP)” worth Rs 1.92 bn (USD 13 mn) would help the Government of Sri Lanka to increase transparency and accountability, advance good governance reforms, and strengthen systems and processes for public accountability, financial management, policy development and implementation. It also would support the government to strengthen communication with citizens, including the public in policy-making, and increase the participation of women in political processes.
Responding to the above news item Dhammika Dasanayake, Secretary General of Parliament had sent the following statement which was also published by the particular newspaper on January 5th. It said: "The House Democracy Partnership Agreement signed between the Parliament of Sri Lanka and the United States House of Representatives was purely a bilateral agreement between the two legislatures for the purpose of promoting friendship between the two legislatures and to strengthen co-operation in assisting each other in developing bilateral exchange programmes for Members of Parliament and Staff of Parliament, sharing of information on legislative systems, effective management and development of legislatures.
The Agreement signed does not relate to the Strengthening of Democratic Governance and Accountability Project (SDGAP) launched by USAID with DAI as its implementing partner. The article gives the impression that the Agreement signed by the Speaker was in relation to this project, which is incorrect."
The News Editor of the particular newspaper, replying to this clarification explains that the story was based on the US response to several questions posed by his correspondent to the US diplomatic mission in Colombo. He further gives details given by the embassy regarding the SDGAP for which USAID had allocated the initial USD 3 million for the USD 13.7 worth project and that it was signed in September of 2016 and launched in the month of November.
If as the Secretary General of Parliament says that the agreement signed between the Speaker and Peter Roskam does not relate to the SDGAP launched by USAID with DAI as its implementing partner it proves that there had been two agreements signed between Sri Lanka and the US.
While accepting the clarification by the Parliament’s Secretary General I was confused and at the same time was inquisitive to seek details about the SDGAP launched in November by USAID with DAI implementing it.
What is DAI (Development Altenatives Inc)?
DAI is a development consulting company based in Bethesda, Maryland, and acts as a conduit for US Agency for International Development (USAID).
And going by the facts obtained from several websites in the Internet, a high-level USAID official had confirmed that the CIA uses USAID’s name to issue contracts and funding to third parties in order to provide cover for clandestine operations. The official, a veteran of the U.S. government agency also had stated that the CIA issues such contracts without USAID’s full knowledge.
In addition, since June 2002, USAID had maintained an Office for Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Venezuela, through which it has channeled more than $50 million USD to groups and individuals opposed to President Hugo Chávez. The same contractor active in Afghanistan and connected with the CIA, Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI), was awarded a multi-million dollar budget from USAID in Venezuela to “assist civil society and the transition to democracy”. More than two thousand documents partially declassified from USAID regarding the agency’s activities in Venezuela reveal the relationship between DAI and sectors of the Venezuelan opposition that have actively been involved in coup d’etats, violent demonstrations and other destabilization attempts against President Chávez.
In Bolivia, USAID was expelled this year from two municipalities, Chapare and El Alto, after being accused of interventionism. In September 2009, President Evo Morales announced the termination of an official agreement with USAID allowing its operations in Bolivia, based on substantial evidence documenting the agency’s funding of violent separatist groups seeking to destabilize the country. In 2005, USAID was also expelled from Eritrea and was accused of being a “neo-colonialist” agency. Ethiopia, Russia and Belarus have ordered the expulsion of USAID and its contractors during the last five years.
Meanwhile another website has affirmed that Development Alternatives Inc (DAI) is a CIA front organization. It further says that the use of a chain of entities and agencies is a mechanism employed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to channel and filter funding and strategic political support to groups and individuals that support US agenda abroad.
It further adds that the pretext of “promoting democracy” is a modern form of CIA subversion tactics, seeking to infiltrate and penetrate civil society groups and provide funding to encourage “regime change” in strategically important nations whose governments are unwilling to succumb to US dominance.
Currently, DAI has a $50 million contract in Afghanistan. In Latin America, DAI is presently operating in Bolivia, Brasil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haití, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Perú, República Dominicana and Venezuela. (These involvements were mentioned in the first news item published by the newspaper.)
As mentioned earlier, if SDGAP had been already launched and DAI been given the responsibility of implementing it, we must know to what extent it had strengthened democratic governance of SriLanka by increasing transparency and accountabililty, advanced good governance etc. But going by the facts revealed by the websites regarding the links between the CIA and the DAI it is vital for us to seek to what extent these agencies had already “infiltrated” the political fabric of SriLanka.
Then the million dollar question is whether they have infiltrated and penetrated civil society groups and provided funds to encourage regime changes in Sri Lanka?
And when observing the vicarious methods they had used in Latin American nations, who had been unwilling to succumb to US dominance, the task before them here is very easy as their lackeys living in SriLanka are most willing to support them in this endeavor.
Hence “I scratch your back, You scratch my back” will be the main motto that will be the basis to help each other!
May the Triple Gem, Lord Vishnu, God Almighty and Allaha protect Sri Lanka from foreign domination and their local lackeys!
By Vijaya Ariyarathna