We all know that currently, Sri Lanka is witnessing a great pull because of great power rivalry in the context of Indo pacific strategy. Americans, Russians, Indians, Chinese want to capitalize on the geo-strategic location of Sri Lanka and use her as a pawn to further their interests in the region. It is nothing new in international politics but for Sri Lanka after a decade long brutal insurgency it is a unique and pleasant development.
Recently, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said: “will ensure that there is no outside interference in Sri Lanka”. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dispatched his Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Alice Wells to Colombo to hand over a personal message from US President Donald Trump to Sri Lankan President. The US is using the carrot and stick policy; they also declared Sri Lankan army chief guilty of war crimes in the recently concluded insurgency.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Army chief, Gen Oleg Salyukov called to Sri Lankan counterparts, Gota Rajapaksa and the SL army chief also assumes increased relevance. Putin opined that bilateral ties with Sri Lanka were in line with the strengthening of regional security and stability.
India considers Sri Lanka its back yard; they tried to lure in Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa during his recent five-day trip to India in Feb 2020. The Sri Lankan PM said, what was music to the ears of Modi, abrogation of article 370 in Kashmir and Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) was an internal matter of India. His Excellency, Mahinda Rajapaksa forgot that human rights are not considered the domestic issues to any state as per international law.
Sri Lankan, “two brothers in power”, (Sri Lankan PM and President are real brothers) must not have forgotten that it was India and US who had attempted regime change in Sri Lanka in 2015.
However, Pakistan and the Chinese role have been different and constructive. These two countries helped crush Sri Lankan’s insurgency, the 30 years long deadly rebellion, the menace of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam). Pakistan provided unwavering support to Colombo its need of the hour and the assistance has been multi-dimensional particularly in security affairs.
It is time, Sri Lanka identifies its time tested friends and foe and enhanced its security cooperation with his real friends.
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