Despite bragging about their disregard for US policies and its hypocrisy, Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Ministry has hired two more firms specialising in government relations to white-wash its image in the US.
According to reports by Kevin Mccauley, the External Affairs Minister has signed Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) contracts with the ‘Madison Group’ and ‘Beltway Government Strategies’.
The contract with Madison Group, on which the Sri Lankan government will spend a whopping $18,000 worth of public money per annum as well as expenses and bonuses for their performance, has been signed to assist the EAM in ‘creating a situational awareness of current affairs’ in the country.
Beltway Government Strategies based in Los-Angeles has been hired to ‘retain and manage firms to engage in government relations activities’ on Sri Lanka’s behalf, according to its FARA contract. It has been reported that the firm may also participate in lobbying or other political activity on behalf of Sri Lanka’s EAM Monitoring Unit.
However, the specific issues have not yet been ironed out. The contracts are said to have been signed about a week ago.
According to news reports, Sri Lanka already has two other active FARA contracts with Thompson Advisory Group and the Majority Group – a boutique lobbying firm.
These new agencies are hired in the wake of the probe in alleged war crimes during the final years of Sri Lanka’s war with the LTTE, led by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights as it has been anticipated that the international inquiry would intensify international pressure on the government.
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