SOFA with US threatens Lanka’s sovereignty

(By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya)

While the contents of the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the governments of Sri Lanka and the US still remain hidden from the public eye, parliament was told last week that the government had not entered into such an agreement – yet. The negotiations however are going on, and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana has reportedly indicated to the US that some of its provisions could not be implemented. One was the provision seeking exemption for visiting US personnel from criminal jurisdiction under Sri Lankan law, while in Sri Lanka. Another was a clause that would give effect to the agreement through an ‘exchange of notes.’