Rebuilding the India-Sri Lanka relationship - Livemint
Sri Lanka's Constitutional Crisis: The Geopolitical Dimension. The sacking of Sri Lanka's prime minister bodes poorly for India and the US, but is a welcome sign. India SriLanka relations. Strong relationship from pre-colonial era ( years) built upon a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic interaction. 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.
There should also be a political maturity among the various stake holders in India on Sri Lankan Tamil issues. However due to the insurgency that prevailed during the past thirty years in these areas, Indo-Sri Lanka maritime boundary and the Palk Strait became an increasing trouble spot. The maritime boundary with SL has been demarcated except for the contended area around Katchatheevu Island - which is 18 nautical miles off the Indian coast and accord — India accepted the sovereignty of SL over the island but was not tabled for parliament's ratification.
Fishermen from both sides were allowed to fish on their side of the IMBL, and they should not cross over to the waters of the other country for exploiting the resources. At the same time, Indian fishermen were allowed to use the island for drying their nets, to rest etc. Pilgrims and Indian Fishermen will not be required to obtain travel and visa documents to enter Island.
India-Sri Lanka relations−Good, Bad or Ugly?
The Indian fishermen venture deep into Lankan waters and fish near the SL coast posing a security threat to Lanka and affecting the livelihood of Lankan Tamil fishermen They also use heavy mechanised trawlers due to which the nets of the Lankan Tamils are destroyed along with the ecosystem.
Rather than be engaged in solving strategic issues, officials are preoccupied in pleading for the release of Tamil Nadu fishermen, which is interpreted by Colombo as doing India a favour. Establish a Joint Palk Bay Authority comprising representatives of the governments of India and Sri Lanka, fisheries and marine experts and fishermen of both the countries to regulate fishing activity in the Bay. The authority could decide the permissible annual catch, type of fishing equipment to be used, allot equitable fishing dates to both groups of fishermen three days each per week for the two sides and one-day holidaydefine non-fishing zones, identify means of safeguarding interests of traditional fishermen and identify alternative livelihood too.
Fishermen from the India can be rehabilitated by deploying them in deep sea fishing and processing vessels. Start joint-venture initiatives involving Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen in deep sea fishing by introducing multiday boats and giant fishing and fish-processing vessels in international waters. It will act as a boost for the deteriorated relations Indian Navy and Coast Guard and their SL counterparts should engage more, evolve standard practices, and coordinate more on information sharing and other Confidence building measures CBM.
Sri Lanka is India's second largest trade partner in South Asia. India in turn is Sri Lanka's largest trade partner globally.
Have signed FTA in China supplies huge number of military equipments, arms and ammunitions. China is now supplying over half of all the construction and development loans Sri Lanka is receiving Chinese investment in the development of infrastructure and oil exploration projects in Sri Lanka have increased - constructing power plants, modernising Lankan railway, providing financial and technical assistance in launching of communication satellites.
China is providing interest free loans and preferential loans at subsidised rates to Sri Lanka for the development of infrastructure. First foreign nation to have an exclusive economic zone in Sri Lanka. Some of the important infrastructure projects developed by China in the island state include Hambantota port, Colombo Expressway, Coal Power Project, Mattala Airport etc.
In value terms, it is estimated at over USD six billion- more than any other country. China is financing over 85 per cent of the Hambantota Development Zone to be completed over the next decade which includes an international container port, a bunkering system, an oil refinery, and international airport.
It says that it had first extended the offer for its development to India and only after getting no response from the country it was given to China. Sri Lanka allowed twice Chinese nuclear submarines to dock at its Colombo harbour despite concerns raised by India.
Rehabilitation effort in the NP — Renovation of the Palaly Airport and the Kankesanthurai harbour, medical assistance, one million roofing sheets and agricultural implements, for displaced Tamils.
At the grassroots levels, 2,50, family packs comprising clothing, utensils and food items have been distributed.
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Cement and other building materials have been given for war damaged houses and 95, packs of seeds and agricultural implements provided to those tilling the land. The projects being undertaken include the construction of 50, homes and supply of materials to repair around 43, residences. India also continues to assist a large number of smaller development projects in areas like education, health, transport connectivity, small and medium enterprise development and training in many parts of the country through its grant funding.
Also supplies non-lethal, defensive military weapons etc. New Delhi will supply equipment and assist in training. India's carrot approach through Tamil areas and establish strong trade links and then use that influence. India offers scholarship slots annually to deserving Sri Lankan students. Tourism also forms an important link between India and Sri Lanka.
India is the largest source of market for Sri Lankan tourism. India and Sri Lanka signed FTA inwhich facilitated increased trade relations between the two countries. Sri Lanka has long been a priority destination for direct investment from India. Issues and Conflicts There are a few areas over which there is minor contention between India and Sri Lanka.
Strategic Issues In the period of low profile relationship between the two nations, SL apparently started favoring China over India. Over the years Chinese funds started flowing, it has started big buck infrastructure projects in the island nation. The presence of China in Sri Lanka increased significantly in the recent years.
India-Sri Lanka ties improved in despite port lease to China - The Financial Express
And it helped to revamp the century-old relationship with Sri Lanka. India is also planning to build Trincomalee Port. The port is envisioned as an Indian counterweight to Chinese developments at Hambantota Port. Fisherman Problem Fishing disputes have been a constant area of concern between the two South Asian neighbors for a long time.
Sri Lanka has long expressed concerns about illegal fishing by Indian fishermen within its territorial waters across the Palk Strait. India also detains Sri Lankan fishermen for the illegal fishing. But Tamil Nadu claimed that Katchatheevu falls under the Indian territory and Tamil fishermen have traditionally believed that it belongs to them and therefore want to preserve the right to fish there.
Conclusion India shares a common cultural and security space with the countries in the South Asian region especially Sri Lanka. As a prominent Asian nation with critical national interests in South Asia, India has a special responsibility to ensure peace and stability in its closest neighborhood.
India should shed its big brother image and actively take part to rebuild the war-torn country.