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India – Sri Lanka Relations

Mains -GS2- International Relations

1. Sri Lanka’s newly elected President made his first presidential abroad visit India and also invited the Indian leader to be the first State guest to Sri Lanka.

2. Such affirmation by the two nations makes good bilateral ties a priority for each.

Highlights

1. India has announced $50 million in aid along with an additional $400 million in development aid to Sri Lanka.

2. The need for cooperation as in the LTTE issue was recognized due to the recent Easter Day terror attack in Sri Lanka that has Indian links.

Bilateral Concerns

1. The slow pace of reconciliation in the Tamil-majority north and East regions.

2. Sri Lanka’s support to Chinese investment in major projects including the Hambantota port and Colombo harbour and military engagement.

3. The slow pace of clearance for Indian projects.

4. Sri Lanka is also suspicious about India’s interference in domestic politics.

Way Ahead

1. Consistency and constant communication are required to avoid the problems of the past in the bilateral relation.

2. Sri Lanks’s engagement in clearances for Indian infrastructure projects,  regulation of investment and debts from China will play a crucial role.

3. Ensuring dignity, peace, equality and justice for Sri Lankan Tamils who suffered due to civil war is of importance to India.

4. So, the priority given by Sri Lanka to development over the devolution of power can be a hurdle.

‘A war can be won in a defined and short span, winning the peace and healing people is an extended process that takes decades’.

Source: The Hindu