Growing military ties with US, a threat to SL - Tissa



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By Maheesha Mudugamuwa


Former Cabinet Minister and Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP) leader Prof. Tissa Vitarana yesterday said growing military ties between Sri Lanka and the US as confirmed by the U.S. Ambassador Atul Keshap would pose a major threat to Sri Lanka’s national interest.


Addressing the media at the N.M Perera Centre in Colombo, Prof. Vitarana said that if military cooperation of that nature continued, Sri Lanka, too, would become a puppet of the US, like the Philippines.


Highlighting the US Ambassador Keshap’s statement at a reception on board the ship USS New Orleans, which docked in at the Colombo Port for a three-day goodwill visit last week, Prof. Vitarana said the US envoy’s statement had substantiated the allegations made by the Socialists Alliance during last few months.


The Sunday Island on August 06 had quoted the US Ambassador Keshap as having said that they were working to strengthen their relationship with all of the different facets of the Sri Lankan government, including the armed forces, because they believe that a professional military was essential to the development and success of any viable democracy, Prof. Vitarana said.


The Veteran LSSPer said the government had decided to allow the US to have its bases at Trincomalee harbour and bring in the Seventh Fleet and thus Sri Lanka’s sovereignty was compromised.


Prof. Vitarana said the Sri Lankan navy was being asked to protect the entire Indian Ocean.


The capacity of the Sri Lankan Navy, despite its record of bravery, was so limited that there it was finding it difficult to protect our territorial waters from incursions by illegal fishermen from India and elsewhere, Prof. Vitara said. "If the small Sri Lankan navy is going to be given this huge responsibility, the USA ships will have to be berthed in Sri Lanka," he added.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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