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International Relations

Ceylon Chamber seeks transparency on SOFA/MCC

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC) today called for an “enhanced level of transparency” on the controversial Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement that Sri Lanka is poised to sign with the United States.

In a statement issued to the media, the CCC expressed its concern about the increasing levels of speculation among its membership and society at large on the consequences surrounding the two proposed agreements.

Calling for due process, the CCC said it seeks clarification the Government’s exact position on the current status of the negotiations pertaining to the 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,” the Chamber said in its statement.

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, it added.

Minister Ranjith Madduma Bandara, meanwhile, told RepublicNext that State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardena will make a statement in the near future about SOFA to clarify the Government’s position.