‘US official acted against Vienna Convention on Consular Relations’ Refusal to undergo PCR test:
Posted on June 5th, 2020

Tamara Kunanayakam Courtesy The Island


Diplomatic immunity did not allow a diplomat to violate the laws and regulations of the receiving state, former Sri Lanka Ambassador in Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, said yesterday.

A US diplomat, attached to its Colombo Embassy, was allowed to enter the country, though he refused to take a PCR test.

Deputy Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services Limited Rajiv Suriyarachchi said that the official was released as he had invoked diplomatic privileges.  The US official had arrived in the country around 1.30 am Wednesday, in a Qatar Airways flight.

Kunanayakam said: “The US is bound by both the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Diplomatic immunity only offers protection against criminal and civil jurisdiction, i.e., diplomats cannot be subject to legal proceedings in the receiving state. However, the Vienna Conventions set limits to immunity. They do not give diplomats carte blanche for misconduct. Under Art 41(1) of VCDR, diplomats must respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state. In case of persistent violations, the receiving state can request the Embassy to withdraw a particular diplomat or as a last resort declare a ‘persona non grata’. Under international law, the sending state has an obligation to comply with such a request.”

Meanwhile Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited Chairman Maj. Gen. (Rtd.) G.A. Chandrasiri said that it was the first time that a diplomat arrived in Sri Lanka after protocols and standards regarding COVID-19 were implemented.

“We consulted all relevant government officials including the Presidential Secretariat and Foreign Relations Ministry. The diplomat had to wait for four hours at the airport,” he said.

In response the US Embassy in Colombo states that US Diplomatic Staff always complies with the Norms and Procedures outlined in international conventions on diplomatic relations.

The US is currently the epicentre for COVID-19 with 1.89 million confirmed cases and 109, 000 people killed by the virus so far.

One Response to “‘US official acted against Vienna Convention on Consular Relations’ Refusal to undergo PCR test:”

  1. Nimal Says:

    All countries must respect laws of decency that is practised to safeguard all,without an exception. Bloke in WH will be run out in November and it will be back to normal. He doesn’t care about conventions or set or agreed convention. People in US will decide. His employee and followers are being led badly by the occupant in WH.Hopefully good times will come after Nov.

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