Colombo, September 17 (newsin.asia): Sri Lanka will not sign the UN nuclear weapons ban treaty, which is scheduled to come up for signatures in New York on September 20, because it is yet to go through the required domestic decision-making process, a senior official said.
“ We are not signing it on September 20. There are internal processes to be completed before signing any instrument, which we have not. For example, cabinet approval has to be secured. Moreover, there is no requirement to sign on the day the instrument is opened for signatures,” the official, who did not want to be named, clarified.
The official denied a report that the United States is stopping Sri Lanka from signing.
Other sources said that the treaty was on the agenda as a subject to be considered during the visit of President Maithripala Sirirsenat to New York from September 17 to 23.
But apparently due to last minute pressure from the US, any thought of signing up was given up, the sources said.
Dhanapala Blames US
Dr.Jayantha Dhanapala, a retired Sri Lankan diplomat who had been UN Under Secretary General and had re-established the Department of Disarmament, described the reported Sri Lankan decision not to sign the treaty, as “appalling”.
He directly blamed the US for it.
“I would blame the US, not India. The US does not want the treaty to get sufficient support to make it legally binding. The treaty needs the support of at least 50 countries and the US is seeing that this requirement is not met,” Dhanapala said.
“Sri Lanka’s not signing it represents abandonment of the country’s unsullied record of adherence to the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement,” he said.
Not surprisingly, India and Pakistan are opting out. Other countries in South Asia are expected to sign, though.
President Sirisena will be in New York from September 17 to 23, and will address the UN General Assembly on September 19.