11. September 2021
On the other hand, the likelihood of Sri Lanka and the US reaching an agreement on SOFA may seem bleak at the moment, given the strong opposition. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who heads the right-wing National Party (UNP), which has a majority in parliament, is responsible for renegotiating sofa. On July 10, Wickremesinghe told parliament that the proposed SOFA „was not a military pact, but only an agreement defining the rights and privileges that the U.S. military would enjoy if they were in the country,“ according to Reuters. „Sofa is a peacetime document,“ he said. Wickremesinghe then assured Parliament that he would not support a deal that would threaten Sri Lanka`s sovereignty. „[We] have an obligation to protect and preserve the unity and territorial integrity of our nation. We believe that Sri Lanka should adopt a foreign policy of non-alignment. Since Sri Lanka is strategically located in the Indian Ocean, the country must remain free of a bloc and not interfere in the geopolitical confrontation between America and China, through agreements that would allow these countries to establish themselves in Sri Lanka. The agreement establishes rules for the benefit of both countries — „no base, no permanent presence of U.S.
troops,“ Teplitz said, adding that Sri Lanka has the right to allow or deny any entry of people, ships and aircraft. However, Sri Lankans remain skeptical. Part of the problem lies in the fact that there is „little information in the public“ about the „specifics“ of the agreements. In cases where they can be settled by the U.S. Department of Defense, the agreement requires that the charges be nothing more than what is paid by the Sri Lankan military. Overall, regime change at the leadership of the UNP in 2015, led by a band of leaders, shifted the politics of the New Era of War to the Republic of Sri Lanka. Indeed, a welcoming military city of the United States on Lanque soil, that the norms of democratic governance that undermine step by step this regime of the UNP of Wickramasinghe von Ranil. . . .