Ceylon Chamber asks Govt. for more transparency on SOFA and MCC
The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce today expressed 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.
In a statement the Chamber requested the Government to provide an enhanced level of transparency with respect to these two 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.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pictured) recently cancelled a scheduled visit to Sri Lanka abruptly, citing scheduling issues. However, it is widely beleived that the cancellation was due to the failure of attempts by US officials in Sri Lanka to persuade the Sri Lankan Government to accept the SOFA.
“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,” the Chamber statement added.
It went on to say that 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.
Caption: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo