US Entrenchment in Sri Lanka in Context of Indian Ocean Geopolitics

Key Points:

  • On July 1, Sri Lankan Cabinet Spokesperson Minister Bandula Gunawardene publicly acknowledged that the Government of Sri Lanka has entered into a Status of Forces Agreement with the United States
  • The takeaways from the draft US-Sri Lanka SOFA clearly indicate that the Government of Sri Lanka is considerably restricted and handicapped from oversight into US military activities on its soil.
  • If the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Grant for Sri Lanka is approved by the country’s parliament, it would pave the way for US interference in Sri Lanka’s development sectors in a direct competition with China leading to political consequences for the Rajapaksa administration.
  • Signing of the SOFA could indicate the Rajapaksas’ eagerness to mend relations with the US Government as quid pro quo in exchange for increased political patronage leading to a decline in insinuations of human rights violations.
Zaki Khalid

Zaki Khalid

is a freelance national security and strategic affairs commentator whose writings have appeared in South Asia Journal, The Nation, Russian International Affairs Council, The Frontier Post and Pakistan Observer, to name a few. He can be reached on Twitter @misterzedpk

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