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Us Sri Lanka Military Agreement

Numerous analyses of China`s geopolitical ambitions highlight the installation of the Hambantota port as a naval facility. Unlike Cambodia, where China wields real influence, Sri Lanka remains within India`s military reach and must act accordingly. Sri Lanka may offer the promise of massive – and strategic – belt and street investment for Xi Jinping`s China, but local actors appreciate their autonomy in a neighborhood of competing major powers. China may prefer other authoritarianisms, but the Rajapaksas maintain their ties and sponsorship by the Chinese, but India and the United States continue to overtake China beyond its immediate periphery and the first island chain. With the addition of a new U.S. embassy and a defense deal in the Maldives, China`s efforts in the Indian Ocean sometimes seem counterproductive. Two defense cooperation agreements between the United States and Sri Lanka, the Already signed AcSA (AcSA) and the Status of the Forces Agreement (SOFA), which is currently being negotiated, are raising concerns, criticisms and controversies on the Indian Ocean island. “The deal under discussion appears to be aimed at streamlining unblocking procedures for visiting U.S. military personnel,” Nilanthi Samaranayake, director of strategy and policy analysis at CNA, a nonprofit research organization in the Washington area, told The Diplomat. In February, the United States imposed individual sanctions on Sri Lankan military leader Shavendra Silva, currently both chief of the defence staff and commander of the Sri Lankan military. The move essentially means silva and his family cannot enter the United States “due to gross human rights violations.” While CASA promises “reciprocal” rights to the U.S.

and Sri Lanka, it`s hard to ignore the fact that this is indeed an agreement that benefits the U.S. far more than Sri Lanka. Unlike the United States, which has a strong military presence in the Indian Ocean and therefore will likely seek Sri Lankan support, Sri Lanka, with its limited naval and military capabilities, will hardly require the use of U.S. military facilities. The debate over the need for such an agreement is particularly important after the Easter Sunday attacks and is widening a deeper rift between President Sirisena Maithripala and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, already in conflict. In the crosshairs is a status-of-the-armed forces agreement first signed by countries in 1995, which paved the way for U.S. military logistical access to Sri Lanka. But Washington`s initiative to negotiate a new military cooperation agreement under sofa, which provides for a series of protective measures and privileges for the visit to the United States.

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