Visiting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Defence Jedidiah P. Royal who called on State Minister of Defence Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon ruled out speculation that he was here to discuss a US military base in Trincomalee.
Minister Tennakoon told Daily Mirror that the US defence officer sat down to the meeting with the remarks that he did not wish to talk anything about a camp in Trincomalee. These remarks were made obviously because of speculation in Sri Lanka that the US, along with India, was planning a military base in Trincomalee.
Tennakoon said he broadly discussed further tightening of defence ties with the US, Indo-Pacific security, regional stability and the impact of Russia-Ukraine war. The US provides training opportunities for 150 Sri Lankan defence officers. It recently donated two ships to the Sri Lanka Navy.
“This is a normal meeting. We entertain such visits by foreign dignitaries from time to time,” he said. However, he declined to specify the matters discussed.
Mr. Royal is the key officer in charge of the Indo-Pacific Security Affairs of the US Department of Defence.
He oversees IPSA’s extensive portfolio – spanning China, Taiwan and Mongolia, East Asia, South and SouthEast Asia, and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia – and works across the national security enterprise to synchronize IPSA activities with foreign policy objectives.
The US and India have strategic interests in Sri Lanka mainly because of their geo-political rival China’s influence. Sri Lanka is strategically positioned in the Indo-Pacific region triggering the attention of all the major world powers.(Kelum Bandara)
Buddhist Friday, 17 February 2023 07:54 PM
Has the present government ever told the "TRUTH"? Name one.
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