Army will not signSOFA with USA – Army Commander
The present so called Yahapalana government led by pro-federalist Ranil Wickremasinghe is notoriously infamous to sign anti-Sri Lankan pacts. Once he signed a suicidal peace agreement with LTTE Tamil terrorists in 2001 giving full power to run two districts of Sri Lanka to Tamil terrorists. Again, Ranil co-sponsored anti-Sri Lankan resolution at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva in 2015. Recently he worked hard to sign one sided agreements with India, ICTA and with Singapore.
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.