Jun 07, 2020

Can't let US official flout our laws - Tamara

Former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Office at Geneva Tamara Kunanayakam has said that an US embassy official cannot be allowed to 'flout our laws and regulations and put the lives of our people at risk'.

"At a time that the Sri Lankan Government, with its limited resources, must protect its own citizens from the devastation of the pandemic and has even hesitated to repatriate its own workers from the Gulf states, it cannot allow the US embassy official to flout our laws and regulations and put the lives of our people at risk, she has said.

“Under the circumstances, the Government must resort to article 9 of the Vienna Convention and request the US Embassy to withdraw the diplomat in question or, as a last resort, notify the sending State that the diplomat is ‘persona non grata’, she added.

Persona non grata stipulates that the receiving state may at any time without having to explain its decision, notify the sending state that one of the members of diplomatic staff is no longer welcome.

There are laws like that - Prasanna

Meanwhile, minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation Prasanna Ranatunga said, “The course of action had been decided based on his diplomatic rights. The airport has not done anything wrong. There are laws like that. It is the US embassy which has taken the responsibility of him and ensured that he will be subjected to home quarantine.” 

“This is the same thing that happens to us when we go overseas. If our Ambassador goes to the US or to any other country to assume duties, then he too has similar rights,” he added.