Sri Lanka under the UNP – not our country anymore!?
The controversial defense cooperation agreement between the United States of America and Sri Lanka (SOFA) that was almost signed by the UNP government raised a lot of criticism and concern in our society. A leaked copy of the U.S. draft showed that if signed, the agreement would allow American security forces and civilian personnel to virtually have complete diplomatic immunity on Sri Lankan soil, as well as being completely exempted from paying any taxes, licenses, custom duties and other charges while operating in our country. All in all, the agreement would transform Sri Lanka in a military colony of the U.S., the concept of sovereignty all but disappearing from our shores. Apparently, UNP is willing to transform Sri Lankans to second class citizens in their own country, just for some dollars and influence.
We all know Sri Lanka’s strategic significance that stems from its location in the Indian Ocean. Surrounded by powerful geopolitical players, such as China or India, our country has always juggled with its non-aligned stance, trying its best to not position itself as either pro-US or pro-China. But in the last couple of years, the UNP has completely shifted its alignment towards the United States, thus eroding our sovereignty and our national security to the point where our country finds itself between a rock and a hard place. The fact that the UNP did all of this under a veil of secrecy, without any public consultation whatsoever, shows how much the party cares about the people of Sri Lanka. Make no mistake – under the UNP, the new agreement will be signed, and with it the liberty of our nation will all but disappear. Soon enough, we’ll become just another colony of the U.S. Soon enough, Sri Lanka won’t be our country anymore.