By Colombo Telegraph –
Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa says that each time he meets the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka she asked him why he had not taken steps to punish Sri Lankan soldiers.
Speaking at a presentation ceremony at the National Chamber of Commerce yesterday Rajapaksa said that he always responds to Ambassador Michele Sison that soldiers cannot be punished without due procedure being followed.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Defence referred to remarks made by Ambassador Sison in Matara on Wednesday when he claimed she criticized the impeachment process against Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake.
“The biggest threat the US can pose to Sri Lanka’s military is to take away their defence scholarships” Rajapaksa said, adding that if they withdrew the training programmes, China would replace them. “We can send our soldiers to China for training” the Secretary said.
He claimed that Sri Lanka had not received any weapons assistance from the US during the war.
In Matara on Wednesday, the US Ambassador noted that “actions that undermine an independent judiciary in Sri Lanka may also undermine Sri Lanka’s ability to attract foreign investment. It’s no secret that foreign investors assess the state of rule of law in a country as a factor when making investment decisions.”
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