Written by Staff Writer
26 May, 2019 | 7:54 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st): In an article, the Sunday Times political editor speaks extensively about the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Acquisition and Cross-Servicing agreements (ACSA) between Sri Lanka and the United States of America.
Writing on the Status of Forces agreement or the SOFA the paper says that if that were to become a reality, since independence 71 years ago, this would be the first time foreign troops would be permitted to freely roam the country in uniform, carrying weapons and communication equipment. The only exceptions were the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) but they were confined entirely to the war-torn north and east during the separatist war. They were sent back by late President Ranasinghe Premadasa.
The other was the presence of foreign troops during the December 2005 tsunami but they were not allowed to carry weapons and given specific areas to undertake relief work.
The article reminds that the US is the sponsor of a resolution against Sri Lankan troops for violating human rights, international humanitarian law and alleged war crimes. Thanks to the then Foreign Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, Sri Lanka became a co-sponsor of the resolution. It further emphasizes that the very country that accused the troops and placed them under scrutiny before the UNHRC and blacklisted many military officers now wants joint military ties.
Meanwhile, the Chief Prelate of the Malwatte Chapter Most Venerable Thibbatuwawe Sri Sumangala Thero expressed the following views when the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka called on the Venerable Thero recently. The Mahanayaka Thero said that there are allegations against America as well and that these agreements should be publicised so that the people are aware of it.
The Thero emphasized that the majority of them point out that this is dangerous and added that he feels the same about the issue.
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