Ceylon Chamber calls for more transparency on SOFA & MCC

July 03, 2019 (LBO) – Ceylon Chamber requests the Government of Sri Lanka to clarify the exact position with regards to the current status of the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agreement negotiations and execution.

Releasing a statement, the chamber said a commitment to transparency by all parties will ensure a fair and balanced discussion among relevant stakeholders on the merits of Sri Lanka moving forward with these agreements.

Meanwhile, responding to a recent article published in the local media, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz said that there is no plan or intention to establish a US base in Sri Lanka.

She added that VFA (Visiting Forces Agreement) negotiations only aim to facilitate cooperation and any agreement will fully respect the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

Full statement from CCC

The Ceylon Chamber wishes to express its concern with regard to the increasing levels of speculation among its Membership and society at large on the consequences surrounding the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Agreement.

Accordingly, the Ceylon Chamber requests the Government of Sri Lanka to provide an enhanced level of transparency with respect to these agreements and their potential consequences and also to clarify the exact position with regards to the current status of the negotiations and/or execution of these agreements.

It would also add value to provide comfort to key stakeholders and the public at large, that due process including the securing of policy and legislative approvals, has and will be followed with respect to the processing and execution of these agreements. While it is inevitable that differences in opinion will prevail, compliance with due process combined with a transparent process encompassing stakeholder consultation will ensure that the national interest is protected.

A commitment to transparency by all parties will ensure a fair and balanced discussion among relevant stakeholders on the merits of Sri Lanka moving forward with these agreements.