Great Power Confrontation in the Indian Ocean: The Geo-Politics of the Sri Lankan Civil War

Published on Global Research.ca, by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, Oct. 23, 2009.

The support and positions of various foreign governments in regards to the diabolic fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan military, which cost the lives of thousands of innocent civilians, says a great deal about the geo-strategic interests of these foreign governments. The position of the governments of India and a group of states that can collectively be called the Periphery, such as the U.S. and Australia, were in support of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (LTTE) or Tamil Tigers, either overtly or covertly. Many of these governments also provided this support tacitly, so as not to close any future opportunity of co-opting Sri Lanka after the fighting was over … //

Enter the Chinese Dragon: The start of Sri Lankan Estrangement from the U.S. and India:  

2007 was a milestone year for Sri Lanka. On March 12, 2007, Colombo agreed to allow the Chinese to build a massive naval port on its territory, at Hambantota. An agreement on the construction of the port was finalized and signed by the Sri Lankan Port Authority with two Chinese companies, the China Harbor Engineering Company and the Sino Hydo Corporation. [1] The Sri Lankan government’s decision were mostly on the basis of economic benefits and Chinese support to end the fighting on their island.

What followed was the estrangement of Sri Lanka from the U.S. and India. It has been a U.S. policy to encircle China and to prevent it from building any ports or bases outside of Chinese territory. As a result, the U.S. shortly cut its military assistance to the Sri Lankan military. [2] Indian support for the Tamil Tigers also increased through pressure on Colombo to make Sri Lanka a federal state with autonomy for the Tamils. Beijing threw its political weight behind Colombo and also began sending large arms shipments to Sri Lanka. As an additional comparison, Chinese aid to Sri Lanka in 2008 was about a billion U.S. dollars, while U.S. aid was only 7.4 million U.S. dollars. [3] … //

Sri Lanka enters the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):

In 2009, Sri Lanka joined the SCO, as did Belarus. The entry of Sri Lanka into the Eurasian organization was announced at the SCO conference in Yekaterinburg, where the light was on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad following the election riots in Iran. While the SCO put its weight behind the re-election of the Iranian President, Sri Lanka thanked the organization for its collective support against the Tamil Tigers.

Both Sri Lanka and Belarus, which is also a member of the Russian-led Collective Treaty Security Organization (CSTO), entered the SCO as dialogue partners. [12] The entry of Sri Lanka as a dialogue partner confirms its strategic ties and alliance with Russia, China, and Iran. Dialogue partner status in the SCO puts Sri Lanka under the umbrella of China and Russia. Although it is not spelled out in Article 14 of the SCO Charter, a dialogue partner can request protection and defensive aid under such a relationship. Dialogue partners are also financially tied to the SCO, which facilitates their integration into the coming Eurasian Union that will emerge from the cohesion of Russia, China, Iran, and their partners.

Sri Lanka and the Broader Conflict in Eurasia: … (full long text and Notes 1 – 12).

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