The JVP is staging a protest opposite the US Embassy in Colombo against the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Pompeo is expected to arrive in Sri Lanka today (27).
Carrying placards displaying slogans including ‘Hands Off Sri Lanka’s Sovereignty’, the protesting is taking place in accordance with health guidelines.
In addition, the JVP has directed a communique to the embassy.
“We do not believe that the visit of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo to Sri Lanka is at all to do with a “commitment to a strong, independent, and democratic Sri Lanka” as stated in the briefing of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson and Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell on the 22nd of October 2020,” it notes.
The complete communique is as follows :
The Embassy of the United States of America,
We wish to register our strong protest and condemn the efforts by the United States government to interfere with the independence and sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
We do not believe that the visit of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo to Sri Lanka is at all to do with a “commitment to a strong, independent, and democratic Sri Lanka” as stated in the briefing of the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Dean Thompson and Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell on the 22nd of October 2020.
On the contrary, the USA has consistently sort to bring Sri Lanka under its sphere of influence and thereby drag Sri Lanka into an unnecessary and costly global and regional power play. We are well aware that the USA is willing to violate every democratic and international norm and principle when it comes to protecting its interests. World history is littered with far too many examples of the US’s bullying of independent nations that also include interference with elections, usurping of democratically elected leaders, providing military and economic support for dictators and terrorist organizations.
Now that the USA’s influence and power are waning in the world, it is desperately attempting to fix its interests in South Asia with whatever means it can. If not, we see no reason why a week before a critical election in the US, the Secretary of State should hurriedly visit Sri Lanka is this manner. We are well aware that several critical military and trade agreements are pending which the US government is pressurizing the Government of Sri Lanka to enter into without proper accountability and due process. Unfortunately, the current government of Sri Lanka has proven itself unable to maintain an independent and non-aligned stance on these issues.
We find the statement by the US government urging Sri Lanka to make ‘necessary but difficult decisions to secure its economic independence’ not just hypocritical (given that the US government is making all efforts to undermine Sri Lanka’s political & economic independence!) but also threatening and deeply disrespectful of an independent and sovereign nation-state.
In addition to that, at the same statement principal under secretary had mentioned that “encourage Sri Lanka to review the options we offer”. We would like to know among these undeclared secret options, signing of MCC agreement, strengthening of SOFA, pulling Sri Lanka to be a partner of QUAD and any more.
We categorically affirm that the people of Sri Lanka have no intention of tying its fortunes to a regime, which has been violating every decent principle of international cooperation, collaboration and diplomacy. We assert that we will take all steps in our power to resist the ambitions of the US government to compromise our nation’s regional and international independence.
We call upon the people of the USA to join us in resisting imperious ambitions of any global power, including that of the USA but to work towards a system of international cooperation and collaboration that prioritises interests and well being of people and our planet. The failure of the economic model championed by the USA and other capitalist countries has become all too obvious today as we face crises on multiple fronts. It is time that all those who value equality, social justice and democracy join forces against rulers who have exploited the people and the planet for far too long.
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna