USA, Sri Lanka co-host Security Conference in Colombo

[TamilNet, Thursday, 14 July 2011, 07:15 GMT]
The US Pacific Command (PACOM) and United States Center for Civil Military Relations (CCMR) conduct South Asia Maritime Conference in collaboration with genocidal Sri Lanka at Hotel Galadari in Colombo this week, from Monday to Friday. The US Ambassador in Colombo, Patricia A. Butenis and SL Navy Commander Somathilake Dissanayake were at the inaugural session on Monday. The conference on maritime security of South Asia is attended by Bangladesh, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Australia and the USA.

Last May, when Sri Lanka convened an international military conference to trumpet its genocidal victory, the US first refused to send its delegation but later sent its military attaché in Colombo to attend it.

Last week, the British Defence Secretary, Dr. Liam Fox, delivering a Memorial Lecture of anti Tamil-independence background at Colombo, elucidated on Sri Lanka’s pivotal position in the India Ocean, referred to “formidable strategic asset” in Trincomalee and said that the “New Strategy” of the UK is a “building block” approach through multilateral organizations and through smaller coalitions or bi-lateral relationships.

His citation to counter-piracy operations in the Indian Ocean was a smokescreen for the escalating concern over South China Sea, political observers said.

Meanwhile, China on Tuesday rejected calls by the Philippines for the two nations to bring their conflicting claims in the South China Sea before a United Nations-backed tribunal.

Rejecting Philippine’s claims based on United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China said that its claims are based on “historic rights” and it wishes to settle the dispute through direct negotiations between the concerned countries.

Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are involved in the dispute with China over sharing South China Sea. Most of them are now seeking security guarantees from the USA, against China. Most of them supported Sri Lanka along with China over the question of Eezham Tamils.

In the meantime, diplomatic circles in South Asia said that in recent instances the American Asst. Secretary of State, Robert Blake, showed a special interest in electing the Maldives to some international bodies.

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