LankaWeb – U.S. military presence and popular resistance in Sri Lanka

United States Arleigh Burke-class destroyers docked in Sri Lanka. Included in the task-force were the USS Howard (DDG 83), USS Shoup (DDG 86), USS Pinckney (DDG 91) and the USS Kidd (DDG 100). (October 28-31, 2017) [Credit: Sri Lanka News / Ada Deranavia]

The Indian Ocean is one of the most contested regions in the world today. China, the United States, India, and also Japan, Saudi Arabia and other rich and powerful states are struggling for influence over Sri Lanka, located in the geographical heart of the Indian Ocean. Sea lanes of the Indian Ocean are considered to be the busiest in the world with more than 80% of global seaborne oil trade estimated to be passing through them. 

Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka and the jointUK/U.S. Diego Garcia Naval and Military Base

Sri Lanka is a participant in the Maritime Belt and Silk Road Initiative, Chinas extensive network of ports and maritime facilities connecting the Pacific and Indian Oceans. In a controversial move in January 2017, the Sri Lankan government granted China a 99-year lease of Hambantota Port in exchange for U.S. $1.1 billion in debt relief. China is also developing other projects in Sri Lanka, such as, the U.S. $1.4 billion Port City in Colombo, on land reclaimed from the Indian Ocean. 

To curtail Chinese expansion across Asia, the U.S. is turning strategically located Sri Lanka into a Military Logistics Hub, and the center of its Free and Open Indo-Pacific Region Policy. Moreover, ....

read more from