Lanka signs US$ 760,000 lobby deal

dealThe Sri Lankan Government has signed a new US$ 760,000 deal with Liberty International Group LLC of the USA to promote the island in the US, including among US Government members.

Signed earlier this month between Dr. P Nandalal Weerasinghe, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Connie Mack, President of Liberty International] Group, the deal, which will be in force from August 1 to July 2015, looks to ensure the US receives “clear and accurate information” about Sri Lanka’s current achievements and future plans.

The Sri Lankan Government had earlier signed similar deals with other lobbying firms in the US amidst human rights allegations being raised against the country following the war.

The main objectives of the deal, as per the requirements of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), is to create a political environment in the USA that is more conducive to enhancing Sri Lanka’s long term political and economic aspirations, seek a higher volume of private sector investment in Sri Lanka from the US, inform the US that the current international media focus on Sri Lanka is unbalanced and note that Sri Lanka has made an “earnest and genuine” effort to improve the living standards of people in the conflict-affected areas in the process of post conflict rebuilding and reconciliation.

Liberty International Group had made an initial study of the conditions prevailing in Sri Lanka through an extensive fact finding mission spread over 5 days in July 2014, and thereafter expressed its willingness to provide its representation services in order to enable the Central Bank to achieve the objectives while communicating the above key messages in the USA, in keeping with the framework of this Contract.

Liberty International Group hopes to plan and execute immediately an ongoing engagement with US Congress, US Senate and US Governmental Departments to discuss Sri Lanka and also reach out to opinion leaders in think tanks and academia in the USA and engage with the broader Sri Lankan Diaspora, by organizing interactions and meetings as appropriate.

Under the deal, Approximately US$ 63,300 is to be paid to Liberty International Group by the Central Bank Monetary Board after the end of each month of the Contract period up to 31s t July 2015 subject to the satisfactory completion of the monthly deliverables referred to in the contract.