Written by Pavani Hapuarachchi
11 Jun, 2020 | 7:52 pm
COLOMBO (News 1s): The American employee holding a diplomatic passport, attached to the US Embassy in Sri Lanka who arrived in the country last Thursday (June 4) and refused to undergo PCR test is not a diplomat, according to Minister Wimal Weerawansa.
Commenting on the recent controversial issue which was opposed by many local parties, Minister Wimal Weerawansa on Thursday (June 11) revealed that based on information received the individual in question, was not attached to the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, rather he was a high ranking official holding a diplomatic passport, attached to the Indo-Pacific Marine Corp.
“This raises concern as to why he arrived in Sri Lanka at this moment, misusing the diplomatic immunity granted under the ‘Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations’ by entering the country as a diplomatic passport holder,” said Minister Weerawansa.
The Minister went onto note, the refusal of the individual in question to undergo PCR testing as part of Sri Lanka’s effort to contain the COVID-19 outbreak is a serious issue.
According to Minister Weerawansa, the US Embassy in Sri Lanka responding to the allegation had said the individual in question who refused to undergo PCR test upon entering the island, was undergoing self-quarantine.
However, the Minister who strongly condemned the act, said the United States of America and the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, disrespected the sovereignty of Sri Lanka by allowing this to happen.
The Minister is of the view the act posed a serious threat to the COVID-19 containment efforts undertaken by the Sri Lankan Government and further jeopardized its effort.
Responding to a question raised on the statement made by the US Embassy claiming the arrival of the US employee in question was approved by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Minister Weerawansa said the Ministry of Foreign Relations must respond to this claim and clarify the matter.
“Whether the arrival was approved or not by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the US citizen who arrived is not an ordinary staff member attached to the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, but a member of the Indo-Pacific Marine Corp,” the Minister emphasized.
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