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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 “is not a military pact, but only an agreement that defines the rights and privileges enjoyed by the U.S. military if they were in the country,” according to Reuters. “SOFA is a peace document,” he said. Mr Wickremesinghe assured Parliament that he would not support any agreement threatening Sri Lanka`s sovereignty. Danger to Sri Lanka Sri Lanka needs investment, but it needs its sovereignty, culture, natural flora and fauna and natural beauty even more. The United States has a history of just over 200 years compared to our history more than 2,600 years after some accounts and even longer through other accounts. It is true that we do not have equipment as physical as the United States, but there is a good chance that many Sri Lankans will be satisfied with what they have and would prefer economic prosperity to happen at our own pace, without compromising who we are. Moreover, Sri Lanka cannot become a battlefield for the warring superpowers, and we should not offer them the stage to play their game and leave us in ruins. The MCC Sri Lanka Compact alone would not have raised many eyebrows, other than its open promotion of private enterprises and the reduction of the role of the state, particularly in the field of agricultural policy.
The risk to Sri Lanka could arise from the joint implementation of these three agreements. If that were to happen, there will be no turning back. In the longer term, Sri Lanka could look like one of the territories of the United States, if not its 51st state. Such agreements would truly define a positive relationship and a genuine mutual interest in a peaceful and prosperous future for the peoples of Malta and the United States. Not a CANAPÉ! If these and other clauses of the agreement are not an indication of a future military presence, what other conclusions could be drawn? Great grammatical errors make fun of this “agreement.” Serious misinterpretations would lead to ambiguities. This agreement would essentially mean that Malta would have to relinquish the criminal jurisdiction of the US military that commits crimes against the United States in Malta. This is an agreement to which Malta is rightly allergic, having gained independence in 1964 and completely closed British services in 1979. People deserve to know the truth. The government should know what kind of agreement has been discussed, whether it is a sofa or a watered-down version of it.
The footprint of the United States in all regions of the Third World in the last century has been disastrous for these countries. Readers should appeal to U.S. foreign policy and their commitments in South America, Asia and the Middle East, where millions of innocent people have died as a direct result of U.S. action. No self-respecting poor nation would hear of such an agreement, and local officials who would allow such “arrangements” should be brought to justice for high treason. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Sri Lanka Compact alone would not have raised many eyebrows, except for its open promotion of private enterprises and the reduction of the role of the state, particularly in the area of land management policy. The risk to Sri Lanka could result from the combined exploitation of the three agreements – MCC Sri Lanka Compact, SOFA and ACSA. If that were to happen, there will be no turning back.