Army Chief will not sign SOFA with U.S.
Posted on May 12th, 2019

GAGANI WEERAKOON Courtesy Ceylon Today

While noting that there are various regional and world powers trying to take advantage of the current situation, due to the strategic and geographical importance of Sri Lanka’s location, Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake vouched that he will not agree to sign the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States of America.

How can we sign such an agreement? We can’t agree to what is stated in it. That is like committing suicide after writing all my properties to someone else,” he said.

The alleged plans by the Government to sign the SOFA agreement with the USA has drawn much criticism from various political parties and interested groups, who opined that it poses a severe threat to the country’s sovereignty.

SOFA agreement allegedly contains clauses which undermines domestic rule of law and tax and there was no reciprocity.

The US had requested that US military personnel be subject to US law when they are in Sri Lanka, several Opposition Parliamentarians alleged earlier.
There is also a request to exempt US military personnel from taxes in Sri Lanka,” JVP MP Bimal Ratnayake said.

Sri Lanka’s Customs cannot inspect them or their baggage. When Sri Lanka’s President goes to the US, is he exempt from US Customs?” he asked.
US military personnel would also be allowed to export goods purchased in Sri Lanka without questions being asked

2 Responses to “Army Chief will not sign SOFA with U.S.”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    Thank you very much for the bold stand.

    However, ACSA (now SOFA) with USA was signed in 2007 by the Defence Secretary and Robert Blake. What the parliament, the people, the army commander thought was not regarded.

    The current Defence Secretary will sign it (in my opinion) as it is the tradition and the precedence. If the current Defence Secretary refuses to sign it, USA will demand what has changed from 2007 to 2019 and force him to sign it or face consequences, or USA will want the 2007 Defence Secretary who signed it amicably.

    It is like the 13A. Once someone commits the country internationally, it is very difficult to stop the trend, let alone reverse it.

    Those who truly love Sri Lanka must shed political affiliations and support whoever does good. The army commander deserves our support. The government must listen.

  2. Nimal Says:

    Sri Lanka is a peaceful country and a sovereign state and US could play their war games in US not in other countries. They should not be allowed to put a base here but with two bit umbuda clad thieving politicians could allow them for various favours.

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