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Plans for another agreement with US forces

The Agreement signed between Sri Lanka and the USA to provide facilities for American operations had ended in 2017, but the government had again renewed this agreement, said JVP-MP Bimal Ratnayake.

The government is trying to sign a new agreement with the USA called Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and discussions are currently under way, adding that if this agreement is signed, Sri Lanka would not be able to take any legal action against any American soldiers who commit wrong.


"In terms of the proposed agreement prepared after a several rounds of talks between the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US mission in Colombo, it has been proposed that US personnel be accorded the privileges, exemptions and immunity equivalent to those accorded to the administrative and technical staff of a diplomatic missions under the Vienna Convention. The US personnel may enter and exit Sri Lanka with U.S. identification and with collective movement or individual travel orders; that Sri Lanka shall accept as valid all professional licenses issued by the United States, its political subdivisions, or States thereof to US.” This is what the Sri Lankan Government agreed to, he said.

He noted that according to the agreement the US personnel would be able to enjoy the privileges, exemptions and immunity equivalent to those accorded to the administrative and technical staff of a diplomatic missions under the Vienna Convention. “The US personnel may enter and exit Sri Lanka with U.S. identification and with collective movement or individual travel orders; that Sri Lanka shall accept as valid all professional licenses issued by the United States, its political subdivisions, or States thereof to US. Further US military personnel would be allowed to wear the US military uniform in Sri Lanka and carry their weapons.”

"The Government of Sri Lanka recognizes the particular importance of disciplinary control by US Armed Forces authorities over U.S. personnel and, therefore, authorizes the Government of the United States to exercise criminal jurisdiction over U.S. personnel while in Sri Lanka,” Which means they will not come under the law of the land. So no matter what they do here, we will not be able to take any action against them, he pointed out.