US denies funding regime change in Sri Lanka

The United States today insisted that it did not fund regime change in Sri Lanka nor was it attempting to keep the United National Party (UNP) in power.

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz said that the people of Sri Lanka elected the current Government and will choose the next in a few months.

In a Facebook chat today the Ambassador said the United States supports the will of the people and stands ready to work with whichever Government is elected.

Teplitz also insisted that China is not the reason for US interest in negotiating a Visiting Forces Agreement with Sri Lanka.

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz said that the US supports a strong, sovereign, and independent Sri Lanka, and they also appreciate Sri Lanka’s contributions to security in the Indo-Pacific.

She said that US interest in negotiating a Visiting Forces Agreement is to help Sri Lanka be even more capable in this regard.

The Ambassador said that a Visiting Forces Agreement is an administrative agreement that standardizes routine procedures, including entry/exit requirements, recognition of professional licenses, and fees for services received.

“Our countries currently have to renegotiate these issues before every single training, ship visit, or other mutually agreed upon event. This takes a lot of time that we could devote to other tasks if we could agree in advance on how our countries want to address these issues. China has nothing to do with the VFA; this is all about the long-standing bilateral partnership with Sri Lanka,” Teplitz said.

She also said that many countries have agreements that specify a particular law to be applied in certain circumstances.

“For example, when Sri Lankan soldiers overseas were accused of crimes, they were sent home and faced an investigation and legal proceedings under Sri Lankan law. Such occurrences are extremely rare – thankfully,” she added.

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