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MCC Board of Directors to decide on deal with Sri Lanka

A delegation from the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), led by Managing Director for Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Latin America Caroline Nguyen and Managing Director for Selection, Eligibility, and Policy Performance Daniel Barnes, visited Sri Lanka this week to gather information and assess the current situation, the MCC said in a statement.Over the last two years, MCC and the Government of Sri Lanka have worked to develop the proposed MCC Sri Lanka Compact – a large-scale five-year grant program designed to promote economic growth. The proposed MCC Sri Lanka Compact is designed to spur economic growth and would invest in projects in the transport and land sectors. MCC expects all of its country partners to remain committed to democratic governance, which includes respect for the rule of law, political rights and civil liberties for all.MCC is an innovative foreign assistance agency of the United States Government established in 2004 that has signed compacts with over 30 countries around the world. Before the proposed compact can move forward, MCC’s Board of Directors must review and approve the program, as it does with all compacts. “MCC has been monitoring developments in Sri Lanka over the last few months. This visit is an opportunity to engage with senior government officials, the private sector and civil society to understand their perspectives about the current situation and Sri Lanka’s commitment to the proposed MCC compact and to MCC’s eligibility criteria,” said Managing Director, Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Latin America Caroline Nguyen. “Our conversations will inform deliberations by the MCC Board of Directors.” read more

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Mother on run with children amid custody battle with wife claims authorities

first_imgA woman who left her wife and went on the run with their daughter amid a custody battle has claimed that the authorities have been “blinded” by gay rights.Lauren Etchells, a teacher originally from north east England, is accused of child abduction and police have ordered an international hunt.Now the 31-year-old has come forward to describe why she left her marriage to Tasha Brown and justifying the reasons for leaving their home in Canada with their two-year-old daughter Kaydance and her baby son.Criticising what she described as the “political correctness” surrounding her case involving the dispute over Kaydance, Ms Etchells said: “This whole case has been about gay rights and not about what is good for my child.” She claimed that she wanted Kaydance to have a life with Marco van der Merwe, a former boyfriend from school whom she said had agreed to be a sperm donor for her second child.Giving no clue about her location, Ms Etchells explained her position to leave home in an 18,000-word email to The Times.”At some point the system needs to look at the straight facts and see that Kaydance is better off with me instead of getting blinded and caught up in political correctness and bureaucracy,” she wrote.”Breaking up her family, separating her from her mother and brother and the man she knows as her father is going to do far more psychological damage to her than growing up not knowing … Ms Brown.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Lauren Etchells (left) and Tasha Brown on their wedding day in Canada, 2002 Lauren Etchells (left) and Tasha Brown on their wedding day in Canada, 2002Credit:Facebook The system needs to… see that Kaydance is better off with me instead of getting blinded and caught up in political correctnessLauren Etchells Ms Etchells, who met 43-year-old Ms Brown on a dating site while studying at the University of Victoria in 2007, said that she wanted Kaydance to “grow up with her biological family” who “always put her best interests first”. She also accused the authorities of hunting her “like an animal”.Ms Etchells and Ms Brown lived in the United Arab Emirates, where Ms Etchells worked at a private school, before they tied the knot in Canada in 2012. It was Ms Etchells who gave birth to Kaydance after getting pregnant by artificial insemination, but the pair were both listed as the girl’s mother on her birth certificate.Ms Brown, also a teacher, was said to have been granted access to their daughter by a court after they relationship ended.In her email, Ms Etchells said that Mr Van der Merwe had agreed to become a donor for her second child and she became pregnant again after parting from Ms Brown.She described how she and the children accompanied 31-year-old Mr Van der Merwe as far as Britain four weeks after their son was born before he returned to the Middle East, with the promise of joining him a fortnight later.Ms Brown told The Times: “I am Kaydance’s mom too, who loves and misses her dearly. I am worried about her safety and concerned for her health. A life on the run is the worst possible way to raise our daughter.”last_img read more