Disclose the agreements, drafts and documents negotiated with the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry in connection with SOFA (status of forces agreement), MP Wimal Weerawansa told the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz yesterday.
Referring to a tweet by the ambassador that there were no plans to establish a US base in Sri Lanka, he said the envoy should clarify the necessity for the agreement which contained clauses that could 'potentially lead to war hideouts in Sri Lanka.'
“If there were no plans to establish a US base in Sri Lanka, we would like to know the contents incorporated in the documents related to SOFA which the US embassy sent the Foreign Affairs Ministry. Also, we like to know what agreement has been reached by the envoy and Foreign Affairs Minister Tilak Marapana in this regard. The US military forces will be entitled to extravagant benefits if the said agreement were enforced. Taking into account the gravity of the situation, we would like to place before the country the contents of the document. To our understanding, the agreement applies to the American forces, Civil Defence Department personnel and those attached to the US Department of Defence.
"All the above categories will be granted diplomatic immunity in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
They will enjoy privileges to access any location including high security zones in Sri Lanka. Thus, our legislation will not apply to them. They will only be bound by American legislation. They will not be subjected to any tax or other form of payment in Sri Lanka. They will be entitled to import equipment, supplies, raw materials and any other apparatus needed for technical training. All vessels and vehicles used by the US Department of Defence for purposes of the armed forces shall be free to enter and exit Sri Lankan territories. American troops will be entitled to use their own telecommunication networks in Sri Lanka at no cost.
If such an agreement were enforced, there is no need for the US bases to establish themselves in Sri Lanka as the entire country will automatically become a US war hideout,” he said.
jaliya Thursday, 04 July 2019 11:16 AM
What is he talking of ? Didn't his wife enjoy diplomatic immunity when she carried a DIP passport that she obtained illegally ? WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT CASE ? I suppose we have to lift up the dirty mat to find it ? Nothing wrong with the SOFA contract .... most of these people don't understand it ... that is the real issue.
Ajja Thursday, 04 July 2019 11:19 AM
There are more burning issues for the Srilankan people rather than those silly questions.
ndndn Thursday, 04 July 2019 11:27 AM
What about deals with China
Anmanpan Thursday, 04 July 2019 11:33 AM
Am an engineer by profession and may not understand the contents of the legal documents. As for Modawansa it will be Greek. His request makes little or no sense.
Mentally Disorder Thursday, 04 July 2019 11:51 AM
this fellow is mentally disorder. one time about Rishard Badurdeen and other time US.. These jokers and theif has done nothing so far for this country rather than stealing with his big leader.. Whatevre he talks no about withou evidence. See finally what happened to Rishard badurdeen.. He has no any proof to show to police
Nesam Thursday, 04 July 2019 06:11 PM
America is only interested in their agenda. How can you trust people who impose, 'their brand of Democracy' at the point of a gun. God help us if we do find Oil
Kingsley Wijesinhe Thursday, 04 July 2019 08:07 PM
We may dislike Weerawansa as a politician and even as a person, but in this case he is asking some legitimate questions. From the little we know of SOFA, it confers enormous privileges and immunities on US personnel who may operate in Sri Lanka at some time or other, but whether there are any corresponding benefits for Sri Lanka is not clear.
Neville Jayakody Friday, 05 July 2019 03:59 PM
If the party you supports come to power will you give the public an assurance of revoking the deal, and can you make it an election promise!
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