India has deep historical and cultural ties with this island nation. In this post, we analyze the areas of co-operation between India and Sri Lanka. You can also learn about the major issues between the two nations. Sinhalese eternal conflict with Tamils for power had been gathering strength since before independence.
Post Phase Monday 14 Juneby Gurnam Chand The immediate threat to any country arises in its neighbourhood. The specific geo-strategic location of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean and ethnic affinity of the Indian Tamils with the Sri Lankan Tamils have been the most important factor in their relationship.
India is the closest neighbour of Sri Lanka, separated from it at its narrowest point by 22 miles of sea called the Palk Strait. The implication of such a close proximity is that developments in each country have affected the other.
The presence of external powers there can possibly pose a serious threat to the security and unity and integrity of India as well as to regional stability.
India is the most important foreign supporter of Sri Lanka, and remains its largest trading partner.
The Sri Lanka Government under President Mahinda Rajapakse is exploiting the geo-political struggle unfolding in the Indian Ocean between China and India, with the United States having its own agenda for retaining its influence.
While Pakistan is playing for stakes in Sri Lanka with Chinese knowledge to queer the pitch for India, the Russians too are keeping a hawk eye on any activity in the Indian Ocean.
India needs to invest more in Sri Lanka to keep China within its zone of influence. India sought tried to eliminate these threats through various bilateral agreements with Sri Lanka. India-Sri Lanka relations are based on a deep and abiding friendship based on shared historical experience and common civilisation and cultural values sustained by geographical proximity and ethnic affinity.
There have been shifts and changes in the pattern of the relationship marked by mutual differences, irritants, cooperation and friendship. But, both the countries have developed adequate strength to withstand the stresses and strains; this is a notable feature of their bilateral relationship.
India-Sri Lanka relations are multifaceted and interconnected; invariably, therefore, they have implications for domestic politics and economy in the two countries.
Nearly every bilateral issue between them is intertwined with some domestic issues and therefore become a matter of domestic political debate. There is interdependence but, at the same time, the smaller partner also complains of asymmetry in the relationship. In the post phase, the sharply improving economic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka has its roots in the maturing political relationship.
The events that unfolded between and imparted a new dimension to bilateral ties and these were the most troubled and by and large conflictual years in India-Sri Lanka relationship. Realising the constraints and cost of its direct intervention in the internal affairs of Sri Lanka from toIndia adopted a new policy of non-intervention with active interest in the ethnic conflict of Sri Lanka, the focus being on economic cooperation.
|Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan Civil War - Wikipedia||The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London.|
|Background of Sri Lanka and History of Civil War||VeeramaniKamaraj Congress led by Nedumaran during the late s. Karunanidhiwho served as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadusucceeding one another.|
In the post phase, India and Sri Lanka have established a dense bilateral network of institutions and mechanisms so as to ensure sustained cooperation irrespective of domestic politics and changes in the external environment of the two countries. A significant development in this period was that a large legal framework was provided by the Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement ISFTAwhich was signed at the highest political level on December 28, with the overall objective of enhancing trade and economic relations between the two countries and promoting FDI.
It was entered into force from March 1, Apart from the legal framework, during this period, the institutional framework for the relationship was provided by frequent contacts at the political level, including at the highest levels; the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Ministers of both the countries are engaged in threadbare discussions covering the entire scope of the bilateral relationship.
In this new phase, both the nations realise that restrictions on trade between the two nations are detrimental to their economic growth and prosperity. While the Indian Government declined to provide military equipment, citing political compulsions and concern over the use of force against the LTTE, China filled in the gap with liberal supply of a wide variety of armaments.
The timely help rendered during the war has enabled China to gain a lot of strategic space and credibility in Sri Lanka.
The Chinese are constructing a commercial port in Hambantota in the South and thus their presence in Sri Lanka is likely to be firmed up.
In the coming years, the Chinese influence in Sri Lanka can be expected to not only increase but become more assertive. It is evident that the USA values India for its unique geographic and strategic advantage in Sri Lanka; this relationship is likely to be strengthened to balance the growing Chinese profile in the South Asian region.
Hence it is important that India looks at these developments with great caution and ensures a proper foreign policy towards Sri Lanka. India will have to safeguard its interests particularly in the Indian Ocean region. India-Sri Lanka relations are now broadbased with the economic agenda being a priority followed by strategic considerations.
Its role had been limited as an advisor and counsellor not only to Sri Lanka but to the four co-chairs—the European Union, Japan, Norway and the USA which promoted the peace process. In the General Election ofthe Congress party came back to power and P.
Narasimha Rao became the Prime Minister of India. After assuming power Rao declared his Sri Lankan policy. He said that India would not desire to take any active part in resolving the problems of Sri Lanka.
These problems would have to be solved by the Sri Lankans themselves, regardless of whether they were Sinhalese or Tamils. At the bilateral level, India showed more interest in developing the framework for a working relationship with Sri Lanka, rather than identifying itself with the Sri Lankan Tamil cause.
Its sub-commissions included those on trade, investment and finance, science and technology. President Premasdasa visited India in October and discussed the bilateral relations of the two countries.
After being elected, President Chandrika Kumaratunga paid a significant visit to India in March and laid the basis for close relations with India.The relations between India and Sri Lanka during – (the pre-conflict, post-colonial period) had been rather amicable despite the problem of the ‘Plantation [Malayahi] Tamils’6 and the gradual alienation of the Sri Lankan Tamils.7 During this period, the simmering discontent among the Tamils led to the civil war which began in After negotiations, India and Sri Lanka entered into the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord.
Though the conflict was between the Tamil and Sinhalese people, India and Sri Lanka signed the peace accord instead of India influencing both parties to sign a peace accord among themselves. India-Sri Lanka relations in the post period have undergone a contextual change together with changes in India’s foreign policy perceptions.
After the end of the Cold War and the emergence of the US as the sole superpower, India’s foreign policy perceptions too have changed. Tourism also forms an important link between India and Sri Lanka.
India is the largest source of market for Sri Lankan tourism. Trade Relations. Sri Lanka is India’s second largest trading partner in SAARC. India and Sri Lanka signed FTA in , which facilitated increased trade relations between the .
India-Sri Lanka relations in the post period have undergone a contextual change together with changes in India’s foreign policy p. The Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan Civil War was the deployment of the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka intended to (of Sri Lanka and India) These Tamil parties firmly backed the militants' cause of creating a separate Tamil Eelam within Sri Lanka.
Thereafter, LTTE developed relations with M. G. Ramachandran and M.