US-Lanka extradition treaty is

[TamilNet, Friday, 01 October 1999, 13:27 GMT]
The Acting Secretary of State of the United States, Mr.Strobe Talbott, and the Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar, signed Friday morning a new extradition treaty between the two countries, said the Sri Lankan government's Information Department.

The full text of the Department's statement follows:

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar and the Acting Secretary of State of the USA, Mr.Strobe Talbott signed this morning the new Extradition Treaty between the two countries which took place at the US State Department, Washington D.C.

Mr.Karl F.Inderfurth, Assistant Secretary for South Asian Affairs, U.S.A.,Sri Lanka's Foreign Secretary, Mr.Lionel Fernando, Dr.W.Rasaputram and Dr. Rohan Perera, Legal Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka and other senior officials of both governments were present at the signing ceremony.

The new Treaty replaces the existing pre-independence Treaty between the United States of America and Great Britain on the Mutual Extradition of Criminals signed at London on 22nd December, 1931 which was then applied to Ceylon.

Mr.Lakshman Kadirgamar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka in his opening remarks stated that the conclusion of this Treaty constitutes a landmark in the bilateral relations between Sri Lanka and the U.S.A.

He recalled the Treaty concluded between the United Kingdom and the United States of America way back in 1931 and then made applicable to Ceylon as a colonial territory of the UK. This pre-independence Treaty continued to be in force over a period of 50 years after our independence, to govern questions of extradition between our two countries.

He pointed out that during his visit to Washington in October, 1997, emphasised the need to re-negotiate the comprehensive Treaty on the extradition fugitive offenders which should reflect current developments and advances in international state practice, paying particular attention to the problem of terrorism.

Foreign Minister Kadirgamar was pleased to note that a delegation headed by the then Solicitor General of Sri Lanka who is presently the acting Attorney General visited Washington in March this year and was able after just one round of negotiations, to conclude this Treaty. He said the speedy conclusion of this Treaty is testimony to the close understanding and co-operation, which has developed between our two countries over the years. He further went on to state that the signing of the Extradition Treaty reflects the commitments of the United States to co-operate in a joint endeavour to deal effectively with the combating of international crime.

In conclusion, Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar stated that this Treaty would send a clear signal to all criminal elements, that they shall not enjoy safe haven within our territories.

Mr.Strobe Talbott, acting Secretary of State in his remarks while welcoming Foreign Minister Kadirgamar to the signing of this important Extradition Treaty stated that the signing of this Treaty will make it more difficult for criminals, particularly terrorists, to find a safe haven in each other's countries. He went on to further state that the governments of Sri Lanka and the United States have worked for many years to conclude a modern Extradition Treaty, and its signing today symbolises the co-operation and goodwill between our two countries.

 

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