SLPP green lights SOFA and MCC negotiations

SLPP green lights SOFA and MCC negotiations

Written by Staff Writer

27 Sep, 2019 | 8:39 pm

Colombo (News1st) – The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna states that they will consider signing the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and the Millenium Challenge Corporation agreement under their Government.

Addressing the media in Colombo yesterday, MP Keheliya Rambukewella noted that they met the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka on two occasions and requested the agreements, adding that they would only sign international agreements which are mutually beneficial to both countries.

Speaking to media at the Mandarina Colombo, SLPP spokesman MP Keheliya Rambukwella said they would only get into international agreements that are mutually beneficial for both countries, and pledged to follow a transparent process before signing any international agreement. Rambukwella also stated that they would submit such agreements before Parliament and have it passed through the Attorney General’s department before they are signed.

The SLPP member also stated that they had consulted the foreign ministers of two countries that had signed the MCC agreement and noted that according to their feedback, the agreements are purely commercial contracts that benefit both nations.

SOFA and MCC are two controversial US agreements dealing with US Military access in Sri Lanka and the other, a multi-million dollar grant with a specific project scope involving land and transport in Sri Lanka. President Maithripala Sirisena earlier this year stated emphatically that neither SOFA nor the MCC agreements would be signed without his approval. The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in July requested the government to provide an enhanced level of transparency with respect to the proposed SOFA and MCC agreements and their potential consequences.

It is in this aftermath that the Sunday Times reported on the 18th of last month that the United States has told Sri Lanka, it would suspend discussions on the controversial Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with Sri Lanka until the presidential election is over.

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