Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sri Lanka as a Pawn in the Grand Chessboard

Too often, the Left speaks in terms of conspiracy and intrigue as a way for 'the elite' to maintain power. But usually, ruling class arguments and objectives are out in the open.

Consider the recent US Senate report on Sri Lanka:

Sri Lanka’s geopolitical position has evolved considerably. As Western countries became increasingly critical of the Sri Lankan Government’s handling of the war and human rights record, the Rajapaksa leadership cultivated ties with such countries
as Burma, China, Iran, and Libya. The Chinese have invested billions of dollars in Sri Lanka through military loans, infrastructure loans, and port development, with none of the strings attached by Western nations. While the United States shares with the Indians and the Chinese a common interest in securing maritime trade routes through the Indian Ocean, the U.S. Government has invested relatively little in the economy or the security sector in Sri Lanka, instead focusing more on IDPs and civil society. As a result, Sri Lanka has grown politically and economically isolated from the West.

This strategic drift will have consequences for U.S. interests in the region. Along with our legitimate humanitarian and political concerns, U.S. policymakers have tended to underestimate Sri Lanka’s geostrategic importance for American interests. (page 2)


The United States cannot afford to ‘‘lose’’ Sri Lanka...(page 3)


Sri Lanka’s strategic importance to the United States, China, and India is viewed by some as a key piece in a larger geopolitical dynamic, what has been referred to as a new ‘‘Great Game.’’ While all three countries share an interest in securing maritime trade routes, the United States has invested relatively few economic and security resources in Sri Lanka, preferring to focus instead on the political environment. Sri Lanka’s geostrategic importance to American interests has been neglected as a result. (page 19)

1'SRI LANKA: RECHARTING U.S. STRATEGY AFTER THE WAR' - Committee on Foreign Relations, US Senate

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