Wickramasinghe has said that Sri Lanka does not want to get involved in the superpower competition.

(MENAFN- NewsIn) Q

Colombo, February 28: Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said that Sri Lanka does not want to get involved in a major power struggle in the Indian Ocean region. He was delivering the keynote speech at the Pathfinder Indian Ocean Security Conference – Phase III on Wednesday.

Wickramasinghe traces the evolution of the importance of the Indian Ocean since colonial times, explaining how countries in the region have devised plans to address emerging issues and challenges and what new challenges they face in today's rapidly changing geopolitical landscape.


He noted that events surrounding Sri Lanka have made it an important geopolitical entity. But such prominence has created the possibility of becoming an arena of conflict between great powers. He made it clear that Sri Lanka does not want to become the arena of great power rivalry or competition in the region.

India's independence in 1947, Wickramasinghe said, was due to the difficulties Britain faced in holding on to the Indian Empire.
A few months before the British left India, of India
President Nehru organized an Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi to discuss the problems arising from decolonization.

According to information available at the New Delhi Conference, the topics discussed at the ARC were: National Movements for Independence; racial problems; Migration between Asian countries; transition from colonial to national economy; Agrarian rehabilitation and industrial development; labor issues and social services; cultural issues; Status of Women and the Women's Movement.

Notably, „safety and security questions” were not discussed.

Wickramasinghe said that the next phase of joint negotiations was the Colombo Conference in 1954. It was between Ceylon, India, Pakistan, Burma and Indonesia.

READ  Release from Chinese military may help Taiwanese Kinmen angler return from China

News of the time reported that the Indo-China issue, colonialism and communism were discussed. But there were conflicts between Sri Lanka's pro-Western stance and India's tolerance of the Communist camp. A compromise was made and several „expressions of hope” were made about Asian unity.

At the insistence of Indonesia, the Bandung Conference took place in 1955. Wickramasinghe said that this is the next landmark.

The issues at the Bandung Conference were broad, such as respect for human rights, the UN Charter, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations; recognizing the equality of all nations, great and small; Interference or non-interference in the internal affairs of another country was discussed.

Addressing the concerns of the West and the Soviet Bloc, Nehru confirmed that the Bandung Conference was „in no way opposed to the United States or the Soviet Union or any other power or group of powers”.

The Non-Aligned Movement came as the next logical step. The canvas was widened to cover the entire Afro-Asia region.

However, in the past five years, various developments have taken place that complicate the geopolitical situation in Asia. Wickramasinghe pointed out that the inevitable rise of China, the resurgence of Sino-Taiwan conflict, China's expansion as a global economic power through its Belt and Road Initiative, and the debt crisis are the new factors shaping the region.

West Asia emerged as a factor with Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Iran emerging as independent players. He noted that new alliances are forming with Iran and Saudi Arabia due to China's mediation.

READ  NNCA signed a knowledge-sharing agreement with ADB

Even as China became a factor in West Asia, India entered the region with alliance projects involving Iran.

New groupings like BRICS are breaking down old barriers. But at the same time the region is facing new problems such as new Somali piracy and Houthi attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, Wickramasinghe said.

The Bay of Bengal is also a disputed area where China seeks access from its mainland via Myanmar.

Shivshankar Menon, India's former national security adviser, said relations between states in the Indian Ocean region have been strained by geopolitical rivalry and worsened by the rise of authoritarian leaders who make compromise difficult.

Menon also noted that there is no fixed order in the world. What we have is an uncertain gap between orders, he said. It has given countries an opportunity to level the playing field. A significant aspect of this situation is that the UN Global powers must work with other powers and take their interests into account.

US Ambassador Julie Chung said that Sri Lanka occupies an important position in the Indo-Pacific region and can play an important role in ensuring that global supply chains are not affected. That is why America has given
US$ 533 million has been earmarked for the development of a deep-sea container terminal at the Port of Colombo, which will provide critical infrastructure for the South Asian region.

The United States has donated to Sri Lanka to ensure it maintains its sovereignty
Three Coast Guard cutters and a fourth are on the way, Chung said. He suggested that Sri Lanka realize its centrality in the Indo-Pacific region and play a leadership role in it. However, he welcomed Sri Lanka's desire to join the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

READ  Palliative care is an important part of the treatment plan

Dr Zongyi, a senior fellow and director of China's Center for South Asian Studies, condemned the Indo-Pacific as a „destructive” concept that is mainly aimed at hindering China's development and damaging its relations with other countries.

He blamed India for joining the QUAD with the aim of countering China in the Indo-Pacific region. But it advised countries in India's neighbors to maintain good relations with India while developing good relations with China. He cited the case of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who maintains good relations with both India and China.

Hayashi Makoto, Deputy Director General/Deputy Minister of the Department of Southeast and Southwest Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, explained Japan's contribution to the origin and development of the Indo-Pacific concept.

Ambassador Bernard Gunathilaka, President of Sri Lanka's Pathfinder Foundation, in his introductory speech, spoke about maritime domain awareness, the need to develop capabilities to protect exclusive economic zones and the importance of discovering what lies beneath the sea. Impacts.



Legal disclaimer:
MENAFN PROVIDES THE INFORMATION „AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND. We do not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues regarding this article, please contact the above provider.

Dodaj komentarz

Twój adres e-mail nie zostanie opublikowany. Wymagane pola są oznaczone *