India, China watch keenly as Sri Lanka negotiates new military deal with US

As India scrambles to counter China’s expanding footprint in Sri Lanka, negotiation over a military pact with the US threatens to split the strategically located Indian Ocean island’s polity again.

Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced in parliament on Wednesday that the island nation is negotiating a new military cooperation pact with the United States which seeks to replace the 1995 Status of Forces (SoFA) arrangement. The new greement, if signed, would allow the US military easier access to Sri Lanka.

Wickremesinghe told the federal legislature that the deal would not hurt Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. He said that the deal would not allow the US to set up – as critics argue – a military base on the island. Read More

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