The Colombo-based US ambassador Julie J. Chung regularly meets President Ranil Wickramasigha, as political commentators point out among many reasons
Strategic interest in Indian Ocean security is definitely a key reason for these regular meetings.
Sri Lanka sits along the main east-west sea lanes in the Indian Ocean and is of strategic geopolitical interest to China, India, and the USA.
Pakistan Navy ship that arrived in Colombo port on Aug. 12TH and China’s Yuan Wang 5 ship, which arrived in Hambantota port on Aug. 16 has created a new wave of tensions
Financial Shrink of Sri Lanka
The financial shrink which is calculated at around eight percent will certainly limit Sri Lanka’s navel monitoring of its exclusive economic zone.
The capacity of the country’s navy will be constrained in conducting maritime security missions such as marine pollution response operations near busy Indian Ocean sea lanes, and prevention of illegal migration and human smuggling.
India, Australia, and other Indian Ocean countries will be worried as Sri Lankan refugees could be a real problem.
The USA will be interested in
Protecting the free flow of commerce by securing safe passage for containers, bulk cargo, and hydrocarbon traffic that is critical for the global economy. The second
U.S. objective in the region is maintaining military access in the Indian Ocean.
exclusive economic zone
The U.S. may expand its Indian Ocean presence, and currently, the US is engaged in a naval training program with Sri Lanka.
Most likely the US will attempt to place itself in a position where it could have better control and more influence in the Indian Ocean.
Sri Lanka claims an exclusive economic zone extending 200 nautical miles, which is approximately 6.7 times Sri Lanka’s land area and the USA may look for an improved presence within this vast area by working with the SRI Lankan authorities.
The US may not allow the economic vulnerabilities of Sri Lanka to be exploited by China to an extent that it becomes a problem for its own Indian Ocean security strategy.