Sri Lanka will never become an American State

Monday, 8 July 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

 A recent Daily FT opinion piece (‘SOFA not so good; who or what will drive the MCC Sri Lanka Compact?’) adds to a burgeoning collection of hyperbole, distortion and hysteria surrounding US-Sri Lanka military ties and more. Growing defence ties are part of a broader warming of the bilateral relationship since Maithripala Sirisena became president. No country can ignore domestic politics, human rights considerations need to be kept in mind and greater transparency should be encouraged. Unfortunately, Raj Gonsalkorale carelessly conflates economic matters, diplomacy and military affairs with a purported agenda to compromise Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. Many of his claims are inaccurate and detached from reality.

There’s no question that US-Sri Lanka ties, including military-to-military relations, have improved since January 2015 and that may continue. However, Gonsalkorale’s assertion that, “[i]n the longer term, Sri Lanka could be akin to one of the territories of the USA, if not its 51st State” is complete nonsense.


Taylor Dibbert

Takoma Park,  Maryland (USA)