India-Sri Lanka : Overview


  • India will invest $2 billion in Sri Lanka in the next three-four years
  • Colombo Port City Project:
      • China and Sri Lanka have decided to develop into a financial hub
      • Concern for India from strategic point of view.
      • However SL  rejected the contention that like Gwadar in Pakistan, the Chinese will manage the operations of the Hambantota  port.
  • Importance of India-SL cultural ties underscored when Modi and SL President declared “Simhastha Declaration”
      • Simhastha Declaration has 51 sacred points for betterment of mankind that will start new discourse not only in India but around the world.
      • It is also a prescription on how a duty-centred system that had been the origin of Indian philosophy of life is relevant in today’s India
  • India and Sri Lanka have a Free Trade Agreement since 1998.
  • ETCA : The Indo-Lanka Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement better known as ETCA (formerly CEPA) is a trade agreement. The ETCA agreement seeks to boost cooperation in technical areas, scientific expertise and research amongst institutions, boost standards of goods and services able to compete on the global market and improve opportunities for manpower training and human resource development
  • The bilateral trade between India and Sri Lanka in 2015 was 4.6 billion dollars, of which Indian exports were valued at about 4 billion dollars and Sri Lankan exports 645 million dollars.  
Analyse why having good relations with Sri Lanka is important for India from security point of view. In this regard, examine what efforts have been made by India to forge strong relationship with Sri Lanka in recent months. (200 Words)
India shares not only great civilizational linkage driven by Buddhism but also strategic partnership on diverse spheres of cooperation.
Fostering harmonious relation with island nation are crucial for protecting our strategic interests in Indian ocean region.. At times when Chinese expansionist policy is being manifested through naval bases in Maldives and other nations, countering security challenges driven by ‘String of pearls’ of China is imperative for securing our security and commercial interests. In order to prudently scrutinize negative intentions of ‘Maritime silk road ‘ project of china, constructive ties with Sri Lanka is needed. In keeping line with such objectives, India is geared to strengthen trilateral defense linkages involving Maldives and Sri Lanka. we have reached to successful realization of civilian nuclear cooperation and signed MOU for cooperation in Nalanda university as well agricultural cooperation. The much awaited NTPC power generating projects in Sri Lanka is expected to achieve concrete realization. Besides, it is expected that through constructive talks with present pro-Indian and pro- minority government in Sri Lanka, we can evolve realization of 13th amendment for democratic stability and demilitarization in northern province of island nation.
Thus, considerable efforts are being made towards strengthening bilateral engagement in diverse sphere. India should realize the potential offered through ‘pro-Indian’ approach of current government in trade facilitation, tourism and people to people interaction
Critically analyse the contentious issues between India and Sri Lanka relations. Also comment on the manner by which both the countries have tried to address these issues. (200 Words)

Despite geographic proximity, strong past cultural and civilizational linkages, some contentious issues have prevented the realization of full potential of India-Sri Lanka ties.
  1. Issues of Tamils in Sri Lanka‘s northern province- even five year after the end of bloody civil war, Sri Lankan government has been dragging its feet on 13th amendment based on 4 Ds- development, democracy, devolution of power and demilitarization.
  2. Fishing right issue- Indian fishermen fishing in Sri Lankan water with hazardous equipment claiming traditional rights over the Palk Bay area.
  3. Growing Chinese influence- Chinese help in infrastructure building and allowing Chinese submarines to dock in Colombo has raised security concern in India.
  4. Dispute over Katchathivu island
  5. Trade issues- the signed FTA is complained to be heavily in favor of india.

MANNER of solving the issue:
  1. Tamil issues are being addressed bases on 13th amendment. India is pushing for power devolution with financial assistance for reconstruction to make condition suitable for refugees to return.
  2. Fishermen issue has been recognized as a livelihood and humanitarian issues avoiding any rigid stand spurring out of jingoism. Fishermen bodies on both sides have resumed negotiation.
  3. Some gesture of new dispensation in Colombo has relieved New Delhi of insecurity due to Chinese.
Bonhomie, dialogue and building stake are the way forward to resolve issues and strengthen ties benefitting both sides. In this light India‘s position of abstain  from voting during UNHRC resolution is welcome one.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top