Editor: I have not had the time to study the SOFA and MCC proposals or the several conflicting reports on this set of topics; while I have reservations about my own deciphering capacity on economic issues. An academic with a broad span of experience across several countries indicated to me this month that the discussions surrounding these two issues has been marked by writings that “[ignore] facts that are unfavorable to the case that is being made or willfully distorting facts or using outright lies”.
He added: : ‘Unfortunately, this kind of unacceptable commentary is now common practice the world over and that includes some people in the highest levels of US government and academia.”
To this caution I add Sam Samarasinghe’s[i] cautionary email note to me a few months back where he indicated that the USA’s governing order is complex and its various arms do not always work with one mind.[ii]
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Shenali Waduge, in Lankaweb, 9 February 2020, where the title is “Balkanizing India: National Security dimensions for India & Sri Lanka”
Indo-Sri Lanka relations have never been what either country would have liked it to be. What both countries should realize is that small as Sri Lanka may be, India cannot afford to bully it or destabilize it as India would have liked. The terrain is now far different than when India could call the shots in 1980s. There are bigger and far more powerful players that even India needs to weather with caution. There are many faux pas that India will not like to admit to, but what India must realize is that if it is in Sri Lanka’s best interest to ensure India remains unbalkanized, it is to India’s best interest that Sri Lanka remains without elements that covertly propose to do what was done to the Soviet Union & the former Yugoslavia.
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