The US offer to string Sri Lanka into the quadrangle using the economic crisis

(MENAFN – NewsIn.Asia)

By PKBalachandran

Colombo, July 4: The United States is using the economic crisis in Sri Lanka to link the Indian Ocean island nation to the anti-China Indo-Pacific alliance, the “Quad”.

US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez urged Quad foreign ministers to proactively assist Sri Lanka, saying it would demonstrate Quad’s capabilities.


In a June 10 letter to Quad Foreign Ministers Antony Blinken (US), Hayashi Yoshimasa (Japan), S. Jaishankar (India) and Penny Wong (Australia), Menendez urged those countries to help Sri Lanka to proactively demonstrate Quad’s capabilities in the Indo-Pacific region.

Menendez blamed the Rajapaksa brothers and China for the economic and external debt crises in Sri Lanka and said “Sri Lankans from all walks of life are rising up to make it clear that it’s time for change.”

He congratulated the foreign ministers of the Quadruple for the successful meeting in Tokyo which produced “tangible results”, ranging from strengthening vaccine capacity to combating climate change and coordinating activities in the areas cybersecurity, space and other critical and emerging technologies. He also hailed the recently launched Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA) as an important step for the region in building joint maritime capabilities and information sharing. Likewise, the launch of the 13-nation Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) is a good first step towards deepening economic integration among allies and like-minded partners in the region, he said. Menendez noted that there is strong bipartisan and bicameral support in the US Congress for the Quad.

Sri Lanka

On Sri Lanka, Menendez said the Quad could and should do much more in the Indian Ocean vicinity, starting with Sri Lanka.

“The origins of the Quad lie in the collective response of our four nations to the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami. In the spirit of that tradition, the current iteration of the Quad can lead the way to avoid an economic implosion in Sri Lanka that could trigger a humanitarian crisis with broader and destabilizing regional impacts.

Blame Rajapaksas and China

Blaming the rule of the Rajapaksa brothers and China for the dire situation in Sri Lanka, Menendez said: “Under the Rajapaksas, Sri Lanka was left on the brink of financial ruin and humanitarian catastrophe. Mahinda Rajapaksa led her country straight into a Chinese debt trap, then her brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, failed to take the prudent economic steps needed to avoid a sovereign debt default. Today, Sri Lankans from all walks of life are rising up to make it clear that it is time for change.

India praised

Menendez noted that New Delhi has already taken a proactive role in providing loans and humanitarian aid to the Sri Lankan government to avert a collapse. And Washington is preparing long-term economic support. Tokyo provides food aid to the people of Sri Lanka. “These are all positive steps,” the committee chair said.

Quad’s Task

On what Quad should do, Menendez said, “There is more than can be done through Quad, including mobilizing additional humanitarian aid, providing much-needed fuel and offering technical support and advice in disasters. areas of financial accounting, health, food. security and macroeconomic policy. Through the Quad’s new Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) mechanism, Tokyo and Canberra can play a greater role and demonstrate that the Quad is capable of meeting challenges across the Indo- peaceful.

No respite for human rights

Not forgetting the issue of human rights in Sri Lanka, Menendez said the Quad should adopt a common position on the “war crimes” committed in Sri Lanka during the civil war.

“On the diplomatic front, the four Quad countries are to stand together this year at the United Nations Human Rights Council when the body receives the report of the High Commissioner on war crimes committed during the civil war in the United Nations. Sri Lanka. Diplomatic unity would help demonstrate the Quad’s commitment to accountability and respect for international humanitarian law,” he said.

In conclusion, the President said, “These types of efforts would demonstrate to the entire region that the Quad is a robust, agile and essential component of the emerging Indo-Pacific architecture, essential to cope with changing circumstances and challenges in the region”.



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