US to be asked to show cause

The US Embassy in Colombo is to be asked to show cause as to why it signed an agreement with the Trincomalee Urban Council to open an American information center in Trincomalee without informing the External Affairs Ministry.

External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatillaka Amunugama told the Colombo Gazette that there is an accepted norm when such a decision is taken and the US Embassy had failed to respect that norm.

He said that once the US Embassy responds to the show cause request then the External Affairs Ministry will decide on the next course of action.

Meanwhile, US embassy spokesman and Director Press Cultural and Educational Affairs Christopher Teal told the Daily News that the embassy has put up these information centres in Kandy and Jaffna without any prior approval from the External Affairs Ministry.

He has said that the same process was adopted for the establishment of the American Corner at the Trincomalee Public library.

“The purpose of setting up of these information centres are to provide vital information to the people particularly the student population in the East”, he said.

Teal added that the mission is contemplating setting up such a Centre in the south soon.