à propos des accords du gouvernement du Sri Lanka avec les USA

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Notre amie Tamara Kunanayakam , qui fut représentante de son pays a l'ONU, a dénoncé avec force sur la première chaîne de tv Sri Lankaise les accords du gouvernement Sri Lankais avec les USA de Trump. Le pays passe du non alignement a l’alignement complet sur la stratégie de Washington de confrontation avec la Chine et la Russie. Ce basculement à une grande importance pour l'avenir de cette région devenue la pointe avancée de la conflictualité mondiale. Elle nous concerne tous, c'est la paix du monde qui est menacée par les dirigeants de l'impérialisme Etats-unien, et leurs complices hypocrites d'Europe et d'Asie. Dans ce bras de fer, nous sommes solidaires des luttes pour la paix des peuples de Corée, de Chine, et d'Asie en général.
Collectif Communiste Polex

publié le : 29 août 2019

The people of Sri Lanka, their Parliament and President, have only recently learned of three military or military-related agreements between the United States of America and Sri Lanka that have been secretly and hurriedly elaborated, negotiated and signed or are on the verge of being signed. Together, they form part of a larger project to transform Sri Lanka into a US strategic military hub in the Indian Ocean, a project that is incompatible with the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and violates the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.

We highlight below some of the provisions of relevanceto the aims and objectives of IORA. Since neither the Government of Sri Lanka nor the Government of the United States have released the text of the agreements to the public or to Parliament, the information provided is based on excerpts leaked to the press :

1. ​Under Acquisitions and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), formerly known as the NATO Mutual Support Act,signed on 4 August 2017, Sri Lanka agrees to provide the United States with logistical and other support for, inter alia, “unforeseen circumstances or exigencies.“ In other words, itallows utilization and exploitation by US forces of Sri Lanka’s strategic harbours, airports and military installations for large-scale power projection operations in and through the US Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) area of responsibility, which will transform Sri Lanka into a Launchpad for attacks of aggression against third countries in our region, as defined in General Assembly resolution 3314 (XX1X), and in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law.

2.​Secret negotiations are ongoing on a new Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which permits Department of Defence (DoD) military and civilian personnel, as well as DoD contractors, to occupy the entire territory of Sri Lanka,including, inter alia, for “other activities mutually agreed,” in addition to its use for “ship visits, training exercises, (and) humanitarian activities;” exempts DoD personnel from criminal jurisdiction; grants them diplomatic privileges and immunities; authorizes their entry into the country with only US identification; allows their free movement to any part of Sri Lankan territory, wearing military uniform and carrying weapons; allows also the free movement of their vessels and vehicles; and exempts them from any inspection, restriction, taxes or duties of any equipment, records or other material they import, export or use.

3. ​Millenium Challenge Compact (MCC) is a third secret agreement signed on 25 April 2019 involving a land project and a transport project that will create an “economic corridor” involving 8 districts and which reportedly covers 1,2 million acres and divides the country into two parts. An electric train will connect the strategic northeastern port of Trincomalee to Colombo’s international airport and harbour in the west, thus facilitating the movement of US troops and other DoD personnel between Sri Lanka’s strategic ports and airport. Under the land project, the US has imposed drastic reforms of land laws that will permit privatization of state lands and purchase of unlimited extents by foreigners.Through this mechanism, state lands, which under existing laws are granted to landless farmers for their use, or used for public schools and hospitals, parks, or natural reserves, will be transferred to foreign transnational corporations. The area covered by the MCC project contains a wealth of natural resources and strategic assets, including energy deposits, rare earth elements and other minerals, a rich biodiversity, water resources, and UNESCO world heritage sites. Its implementation will lead to a massive displacement of populations; the plunder of their wealth and natural resources; stripping them of their livelihood and depriving them of public utilities, schools, hospitals, places of worship, cemeteries, etc.; and, causing irreparable harm to environment and loss of biodiversity.

All three agreements have been negotiated in secret and imposed upon the people, without any public participation or parliamentary oversight, with the President of the country himself being misled. Negotiations were/are conducted under duress with regular threats of unilateral coercive trade and economic measures, blatant Western interference in theinternal affairs of the country, and the selective targeting of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council by the US and its Western allies, including through successive US-ledresolutions to provide legitimacy to its unilateral project. It is significant that the pressure intensified following the tragic Easter Sunday massacres that saw the arrival in the country of significant numbers of US and other Western intelligence and military personnel.

Together, the three agreements contribute to the extension and strengthening of NATO activities in the region and cannot be isolated from the overall strategy of the United States in the region that it calls the Indo-Pacific. The US President’s National Security Strategy 2017 and the 2018National Defense Strategy identified three sets of threats to America and its allies, all of them of concern to the IndianOcean region: China and Russia; Iran and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea; and “jihadist terror.”

The signing of such military agreements in the context of US bellicosity against powers in our region, including China and Iran, but also the conflict between India and Pakistan, andbetween India and China, poses a grave threat to regional and international peace and security and must be of concern toIORA and to its Working Group on Maritime Safety and Security.

In view of the foregoing, the undersigned appeal to IORA member States, individually and collectively, as a matter of priority, to take the following urgent measures in conformity with their obligations under the IORA Charter andthe Charter of the United Nations:

a) Ensure respect for, promote and safeguard the fundamental principles upon which international cooperation among states must be based, including, inter alia, respect for the principles of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, political independence, non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful coexistence and mutual benefit;

b) Evaluate the adverse consequences of the agreement for regional and international peace and security and communicate the results to the United Nations, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the UN Charter;

c) Take appropriate action under Chapter VIII, Article 52, of the UN Charter, concerning regionalarrangements which authorises such arrangements “to deal with matters relating to the maintenance of international peace and security in a manner consistent with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations, and in no way impairing the authority of the General Assembly and Security Council in such matters underArticles 34 and 35;”

d) Implement, through appropriate mechanisms of IORA and in conformity with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the UN Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace adopted by the General Assembly resolution 2832 (XXVI), which designates the Indian Ocean for all time as a zone of peace “within limits to be determined,” together with the airspace above and the ocean floor subjacent thereto;

e) Take appropriate action under Chapter V1, Article 35 of the UN Charter, concerning Pacific Settlement of Disputes, which “authorizes any Member of the United Nations to bring to the attention of the Security Council or of the General Assembly, any dispute, or any situation which might lead to international friction or give rise to a dispute, in order to determine whether the continuance of the dispute or situation is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security.

TAMARA KUNANAYAKAM

Note

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is a dynamic inter-governmental organisation aimed at strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean region through its 22 Member States and 9 Dialogue Partners.
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