US activities in Sri Lanka are reminiscent of what they did in the Philippines
Posted on October 20th, 2019

Asoka Kuruppu

US ship visits, aircraft transits, and small unit exercises happening in Sri Lanka at the moment are reminiscent of what the US attempted with the Philippines.

History tells us how the inherent and entrenched anxieties and phobias the US arms manufacturers and high military officials have, has led to building war bases all over the world.  Massive military budgets and interventionist attitudes are leading to a resurgence of US bad behaviour in Sri Lanka fuelling a kind of Cold War with Asia.  The US wants to show ‘Who is Boss” to emerging power bases of China and India.

November 1992 US/Philippines agreement was drawn up and ratified under the innocuous name of “Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement” (ACSA)  giving the US, military access, to Philippine ports, airfields, and military installations. In hindsight, now we can conclude that it was existential anxiety in the US.  However this unjustified fear on the part of the US-led to repercussions which undermined the Philippines morale, led to horrendous demonstrations and protest rallies which in turn led to violence, deaths, and injuries.  Further, it gave rise to Amer/Asian children, toxic waste at the former base sites and prostitution of Philippine women by returning U.S. military personnel.  In other words, it did not end without leaving permanent scars in the Philippines psyche.

Now the US is starting it all over again in Sri Lanka.  If we do not nip it in the bud, we will end up in similar circumstances, if not worse. So do not encourage the US to influence Sri Lanka and entrench themselves in the Sri Lankan political scene.  And better start saying `Yankees Go Home ‘ now rather than later.

An editorial, “Re-inventing the bases,” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer of November 23, 1994, wrote:

“As far as the Philippines is concerned, any arrangement that re-instates the bases in Philippine waters or on land in whatever euphemism they are labeled is unacceptable. What should be clear to the US is that among America’s Cold War allies, it is only the Philippines that decided to end the bases and that anti-bases sentiment still runs deeply and strongly.”

If you don’t believe me read the whole article:

2 Responses to “US activities in Sri Lanka are reminiscent of what they did in the Philippines”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    I agree with Asoka.

    But unfortunately for SL,

    1. We are 12 years too late. ACSA was signed in 2007. It is game over for SL since 2007.

    2. SL will not have a bold leader as the Philippines.

    3. This is not a national issue in SL. It is a political party issue.

    e.g. One group blames the other for a 7 page ACSA while the other group blames the first group for an 83 page ACSA. Both fools have missed the woods for the trees! They both signed ACSA and want to keep it. If any of them consider it to be a national issue, they would vow to abolish it.

    Some totally shameless people have even defended ACSA saying it benefitted SL! ACSA didn’t help SL at all. ACSA was never intended to help SL.

    4. Howling against USA is the best cover to serve USA!

    e.g. All military deals with USA were signed by avowed “anti-US” regimes in 1957, 1995 and 2007.

    5. This is possible because the majority are fooled by symbolism and cannot grasp substance. Between the head and the hind of a cow, the majority always prefers the head.

    6. No matter who wins the presidential election, ACSA will be in force and MCC and SOFA will be signed too.

    These facts must be accepted before considering a remedy.

    The only damage control available now is to restrict US military activity to Trinco and Jaffna (with the new international airport). Let TE separatists experience first hand how professional the SL army is (compared to US army and IPKF). It will split TE separatists from the West. Large scale US military ships and planes will pollute this limited area.

    The impact on SL will be negligible.

  2. aloy Says:

    At the moment politicians of both US and UK are confused. And their citizens are rediscovering nationalism.

    No need to split hairs by putting forward various theories as Dilrook does. When the problem comes ( when pushed to the wall) Sinhalese will be united. Next election will show that they are united.

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