A fundamental rights petition was filed in the Supreme Court today seeking an order staying the signing of the MCC, SOFA and ACSA agreements with the US.
The petition filed by Attorney-at-law Dharshana Weraduwage cites the Attorney General, Defence Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Affairs Minister Thilak Marapana and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera as respondents.
He states that a newspaper had reported that the Cabinet had approved the proposal forwarded by the Finance Minister to sign the agreement with Millennium Challenge Corporation ( MCC ) to obtain a grant of US$480 million.
The petitioner states that there are serious concerns that the contents of the agreement are highly prejudicial to the interests of national security, territorial integrity, the fundamental rights of the citizenry and the security of the region.
He said he had sent notices under the Right to Information Act No.12 of 2016 seeking information relevant to the agreements on SOFA, ACSA and MCC.
The petitioner points out that in the event that one or more of the respondents had already given effect to one or more of the agreements there is the possibility of allowing the US government to maintain military installations in Sri Lanka.
He said unless the respondents are stopped from entering into or implementing the agreements without a broad, transparent and in-depth discussion and analysis of the impacts of the agreements, irreparable damage might be made to the defence, territorial integrity, national security of Sri Lanka. (S.S. Selvanayagam)