Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Colombo: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Wednesday that his government would not enter into any agreement with the United States that would affect the country's sovereignty.
The government had come under fire from the opposition that under the Status of Forces (SOFA) Agreement the US forces will have unrestricted access to Sri Lankan facilities while giving them diplomatic immunity.
"We have not signed a new agreement, but we have been discussing a draft. We will not sign anything to harm our independence and sovereignty," Wickremesinghe told the parliament in response to an opposition query.
Wickremesinghe said the SOFA agreement was already signed in 1995 and Sri Lanka had taken exception to some of its clauses.
He said that the Lankan ports would not be allowed to be used by any foreign force. "There was an exchange of letters between the then President JR Jayawardene and the former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. It was stated that Trincomalee or any other ports in Sri Lanka will not be available for military use by any country," he said.
President Maithripala Sirisena, who is at loggerheads with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, over the weekend said that he would not allow signing of any agreement with any country which will not be in Sri Lanka's interests.
"I will not allow any agreement that undermines our independence and sovereignty," Sirisena told a public rally.