Pompeo's visit to Sri Lanka

There is no point in bragging about the geopolitical location of this country if we don’t dare to promulgate and implement steady national policies to manage the potentials.


Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is one of the most successful intergovernmental organizations. Decades ago, Sri Lanka not only sought membership in ASEAN but also sought to become a founding member. That was even before Jayewardene came to power. Mr Jayewardene as political and economic reformer then the President of the island nation sought Sri Lanka's membership in ASEAN. But his attempt too failed. The main reason for this failure was the protest of the so-called leftists and pseudo patriots in this country. They caused a political upheaval in the country and deprived the country of its opportunity. Outside the country, especially India and Singapore driven by various political imprecations and judgments prevented Sri Lanka from seeking ASEAN membership. But the efforts made by Malaysia on behalf of Sri Lanka at that time should be appreciated. 


Sri Lanka's foreign policy is often referred to as a moderate and neutral foreign policy. But this neutrality did not set the right direction for the country and the future of the country. Decades of internal conflict, driven by various motives, dragged the country backwards. 

Needless to say, the leftists in this country have misled the majority of the people by giving false hopes. They bragged about China or the Soviet Union but did not consider how the strategies used to develop those countries could be implemented in a way that suited Sri Lanka. While other countries in the Asian region changed their market regulations to optimize the potentials, we were left with nothing but caging ourselves to brag our ancient history and traditions. We have caged ourselves while other countries explore the opportunity in dynamic market realities.    

For example, Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew gained independence from Malaysia, engineered North American global strategies to suit its own national interests. China under Deng Xiaoping also used the North American market and its resources to the fullest to achieve its goals. China is now a world economic power due to United States support in 70-80s. Case in point is that Asian countries such as China, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea have demonstrated in practice how a state should act in the handling of foreign policy. 

In Sri Lanka, there were many spoke of Singapore's progress and said over, again and again, they were working to make Sri Lanka a Singapore. But none of them emphasized that there must be a leader like Lee Kuan Yew to make Sri Lanka a Singapore. 

When there is no program to engineer dreams into realities, only empty dreams will remain. You have to have a vision as well as the talent to make dreams come true. Being able to read and understand contemporary politics accurately at the state level is essential in public administration. When such capabilities exist, strong and important national policies for the country can be formulated and implemented. Unfortunately, it did not happen in Sri Lanka. 

The main reason for this is that we believe that the path to power in Sri Lanka is easy. There are plenty of opportunities for anyone to usurp universal rights such as adult franchise of the people of the country. All that is needed is financial power and a few chemicals needed to deceive the people of the country. Consequently, people are falling head over heels. And the country is going to the abyss. Sri Lanka has maintained for decades same putrid modus operandi in the name of democracy. In such a program, the attempt to formulate the state policies is nothing but a smokescreen. Such a program can only fall prey to false criticism and various forces that are eager to achieve their desired goals. 

If Sri Lanka had become a member of ASEAN at that time, the local market would have been very competitive. Also, if that had happened, Sri Lanka would have become the hub that truly connects all parts of Asia. Under such circumstances, the people of this country could have obtained the best employment opportunities. Contrarily, what happened was the Sri Lankan market has contracted. It is the bitter truth of the dark phase of history. The important thing is to learn from abandoned and missed opportunities. It is to understand them in the present context and use them for the betterment of the country. 

We believed that the forthcoming visit of Michael Richard Pompeo, the 70th Secretary of State of the United States of America, to Sri Lanka should be understood in this context. There is no point in bragging about the geopolitical location of this country if we don’t dare to promulgate and implement steady national policies to manage the potentials. Unless it does, it will be exploited by other external parties, no matter whether it is China, India or the USA or our former colonial masters.  All of them have the same old plan in various appearances.