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Title : INDIA SRI LANKA RELATIONS


Date : Jan 17, 2022

Description :

Based on a News Article published in the ‘The Hindu’ on 17th January 2022 on Page Number 8

 

Useful for UPSC CSE Prelims and Mains (GS Paper II)

 

 

Background of India-Sri Lanka relations:

  • The relationship between India and Sri Lanka is more than 2,500 years old.
  • Both countries have a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic interaction.
  • In recent years, the relationship has been marked by close contacts at all levels.
  • Trade and investment have grown and there is cooperation in the fields of infrastructure development, education, culture and defence.
  • In recent years, significant progress in implementation of developmental assistance projects has further cemented the bonds of friendship between the two countries.

 

Background of India-Sri Lanka relations:

  • The nearly three-decade long armed conflict between the Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE came to an end in May 2009.
  • During the course of the conflict, India supported the right of the Sri Lankan Government to act against terrorist forces.
  • India's consistent position has been in favour of a negotiated political settlement, which is acceptable to all communities within the framework of a united Sri Lanka and is consistent with democracy, pluralism and respect for human rights.

 

Geo-Political Significance of Sri Lanka for India:

  • Sri Lanka’s location in the Indian Ocean region as an island State has been of strategic geopolitical relevance to several major powers.
  • Some examples that highlight Western interests in Sri Lanka’s strategic location are the British Defence and External Affairs Agreement of 1948, and the Maritime Agreement with USSR of 1962.
  • Even during the J.R Jayewardene (1978-1989) and Ranasinghe Premadasa (1989-1993) tenures, Sri Lanka was chosen to build the Voice of America transmitting station (suspected of being used for intelligence gathering purposes and electronic surveillance of the Indian Ocean).
  • It was the massive Chinese involvement during the Rajapaksa tenure that garnered the deepest controversy in recent years.

Geo-Political Significance of Sri Lanka for India:

  • China is building state of the art gigantic modern ports all along the Indian Ocean to the south of it, in Gwadar (Pakistan), Chittagong (Bangladesh, Kyauk Phru (Myanmar) and Hambantota (Sri Lanka).
  • China’s string of pearl’s strategy is aimed at encircling India to establish dominance in the Indian Ocean.
  • Post 2015, Sri Lanka still relies heavily on China for Port city project and for continuation of Chinese funded infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka.
  • Although the Hambantota harbour is reportedly making losses, it too has potential for development due to its strategic location.
  • Sri Lanka has a list of highly strategic ports located among busiest sea lanes of communication.

Geo-Political Significance of Sri Lanka for India:

 

  • Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port is the 25th busiest container port in the world and the natural deep water harbor at Trincomalee is the fifth largest natural harbour in the world.
  • Port city of Trincomalee was the main base for Eastern Fleet and British Royal Navy during the Second World War.
  • Sri Lanka’s location can thus serve both commercial and industrial purposes and be used as a military base.

Tags : indo-china, indo-lanka


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