Indian FM visits Gotabaya to ensure Colombo’s conformity to US-India geopolitics in Indian Ocean

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 19 November 2019, 22:50 GMT]
Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was quick to visit Colombo and meet the newly elected SL President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Tuesday evening. Jaishankar has been a key figure influencing the Indo-US geopolitical outlook in the recent times, and his unscheduled direct presence in Colombo inviting Mr Gotabaya to India at his earliest was nothing else than an indication that the USA is pulling strings. Informed diplomatic sources in Colombo said Gotabaya Rajapaksa was also well aware that India and the USA were tightly synchronised than ever before on defence and maritime affairs of the Indian Ocean.

Jaishankar is also well aware of the national question in the island as he was a special assistant to G. Parthasarathy and an advisor to the IPFK in the late 1980s.

The USA and India are now major defence partners and want the SL State to be a defence partner giving necessary access to the forces of the USA and India.

It was Mr Gotabaya who signed a defence agreement with the USA in 2007.

US-Sri Lanka ACSA (2007 - 2017)
The Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), entered in 2007 by Mahinda Rajapaksa’s regime was signed by the then SL Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and US Ambassador Robert O Blake, before the genocidal onslaught on Eezham Tamils. That 8-page agreement expired in 2017, and the former SL President Maithiripala Sirisena entered a lengthy 83-page agreement in full secrecy and refrained from informing the cabinet and the parliament.

The existence of a renewed ACSA was revealed after the Easter Attacks earlier this year. The subsequent move by the USA to negotiate another framework agreement, SOFA, was grounded due to opposition from Sinhala ultra nationalists, who are opposed to the erosion of the so-called sovereignty of the unitary state of genocidal Sri Lanka.

Mr Gotabaya came to power vowing that he would “adopt a non-aligned policy in all foreign dealings and work with all friendly nations on equal terms”.

The election manifesto also stated: “We must work closely with India to ensure regional security and also engage with other SAARC and BIMSTEC nations.”

“We will ensure that ownership of strategic assets and economically important natural resources are not transferred to any foreign country,” the manifesto had stated.

The same manifesto also states: “Given the fact that economic power is now shifting towards Asia, our focus will be on developing strong bonds and reciprocal commercial ties and trade relationships with our Asian neighbours.”

Gotabaya, a former US citizen, would have a tendency towards making a defence treaty with the USA and India while seeking to balance it out with stronger trade ties with China.

Both the dealings would go contrary to the interests of Eezham Tamils in the island as Mr Gotabaya would be trading off international justice with geopolitical and trade dealings with the foreign powers.

Gotabaya maintained good rapport with high-ranking Pentagon officials such as Professor James Clad, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia from 2007–2009, was advised well in advance by the US experts that a tight-knit coordination of political and military establishments on the island was the key to achieve Colombo's military objectives in the war.


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