The concern is not limited to certain politicians or nationalist groups. The last objection came from the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The leading economic organization, along with prominent representatives of the private sector, asked the government to clarify the “exact position” regarding the current status of SOFA and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement, under which the United States grants about $480 million to Sri Lanka. In a statement, it called for “an increased degree of transparency about these agreements and their potential consequences.” Sri Lanka is still in talks with the United States for a Status of Armed Forces Agreement (SOFA) for the visit of U.S. military personnel, the prime minister said, ignoring a warning from the president that it would undermine sovereignty. In an article claiming that the US is considering turning Sri Lanka into a “military colony”, the US Ambassador to Colombo Alaina Teplitz said: “Blatant disinformation. There is no plan or intention to build a U.S. base in Sri Lanka. The VFA negotiations are only intended to facilitate cooperation and any agreement will fully respect the sovereignty #SriLanka. 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 “was not a military pact, but only an agreement defining the rights and privileges that the U.S. military would enjoy if they were in the country,” according to Reuters. “Sofa is a peacetime document,” he said. Wickremesinghe then assured Parliament that he would not support a deal that would threaten Sri Lanka`s sovereignty.
(14) If the above is acceptable to the Government of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the dispatch proposes that this note, together with the corresponding reply from the Ministry, constitutes an agreement between the two Governments which will enter into force on the day of the Ministry`s reply. In an attempt to allay fears about SOFA, the U.S. mission in Sri Lanka began calling the proposed agreement a Visiting Agreement (VFA), which gives it a much softer tone by underesizing the idea that U.S. forces are becoming a permanent feature of the island`s political landscape. .