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.