The government will not sign agreements with any country without seeking the Attorney General’s advice, Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella told Parliament yesterday.
Minister Kiriella said the government had already sought the advice of the Attorney General on extending the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) agreement.
“This agreement was signed during President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s regime in 1995 while the Acquisition and Cross-Services Agreement (ACSA) was signed in 2007,” Minister Kiriella said.
“In this context what this government is doing is extending these agreements. However, the government will only do it after seeking the advice of the Attorney General. He has the power to get the agreements cancelled any time if it affects Sri Lanka adversely,” he added.
Mr. Kiriella said Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana during his recent visit to the US had informed that country’s authorities that Sri Lanka will not agree to any military arrangement with them. He said Minister Marapana had also informed the US that Sri Lanka would not allow US soldiers to use radio equipment, military uniforms or engage in weapons within its territory.
“Some criticise the USA but they and their children have studied in that country. They go on holidays to the USA. They go to America for medical treatment. In addition, one person who intends becoming an opposition candidate at the next presidential election hid in America during the war. Besides one should remember that it was America which helped Sri Lanka to win the civil war. America purchases goods worth Rs 11 billion from Sri Lanka annually,” he said. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)