In a letter to the President Comrade Bimal Rathnayake MP, the National Organizer of the JVP, points out the threat the country will be confronted with if the war situation in the Middle East escalates and requests that the harmful agreements ACSA and SOFA signed with the US should be abolished.
The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka,
Request to pay attention immediately to the developing war situation in the Middle East and abolish agreements that would be harmful to our country
We believe that the defense of Sri Lanka is in a quandary as a result of the escalation of the war situation launched by the USA against Iran. For, Sri Lanka has already signed two defense agreements, namely ACSA and SOFA, with the USA. ACSA agreement compels the country to make available to US troops facilities they need namely harbours, airports, fuel, communication facilities for their military engagements. Especially, SOFA agreement allows aircraft and vessels of the US Government to enter Sri Lanka free from boarding and inspection, and US personnel will be exempted from licenses, customs duties, taxes and any other charges within Sri Lanka. Further, the US troops will be allowed to wear uniforms while “on duty” in any part of Sri Lanka and carry arms and radio communications equipment. These are requirements to launch a war.
The US launched its war against Iran by assassinating a top military commander of that country, and it was the powers given in SOFA agreement signed between the US and Iraq in 2014 that was used for the move. It was the authority given to use the land, communication facilities etc. while maintaining US military camps in that country.
In such an environment, countries that have signed SOFA agreement are confronted with this challenge. It is evident from the arbitrary manner the US is acting, violating the sovereignty of these countries. Also, after the attack, the Iraqi Parliament took a decision to oust US troops from that country. However, the US is not prepared to accept this decision. Instead, they warn that sanctions would be imposed against Iraq. This indicates that it would not be easy to withdraw from agreements such as SOFA once they have been signed.
As there is a possibility that the US would, due to the developing war situation in the Middle East, make Sri Lanka a party to their military involvement, It is imperative that such a situation should be avoided. Hence, we request you to abolish immediately the SOFA agreement signed in 1995 that threatens national security and sovereignty of Sri Lanka and ACSA agreement signed by you in 2007 when you were the Defense Secretary and extended by the UNP government in 2017. We request you to bring a motion in Parliament to abolish the two agreements, and we pledge that we, as the JVP, would support such a motion and do everything possible to get the two agreements abolished.
Member of Parliament