India – Srilanka Relation UPSC NOTE

 Relationship between India and Sri Lanka 

  • The relationship between India and Sri Lanka is complex and multifaceted.

  • It has shaped by a long history, geographical proximity, and contemporary geopolitical realities. 

Here are some key points to consider:

Historical and Cultural Ties:

  • The relationship goes back over 2,500 years, marked by deep cultural, religious, and linguistic tiesBuddhism, Hinduism, and Tamil language are shared elements of their heritage.

  • Historical trade routes facilitated economic exchange for centuries, making India Sri Lanka's largest trade partner globally.

Political and Strategic Relations:

  • Being neighbors separated only by a narrow strait, they share common security concerns and maritime interests in the Indian Ocean.

  • India plays a significant role in Sri Lankan politics and has been actively involved in mediating conflicts, providing aid, and investing in infrastructure projects.

  • While valuing India's support, Sri Lanka attempts to maintain its sovereignty and avoid becoming overly reliant on its larger neighbor.

Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities:

  • The Tamil minority in Sri Lanka and their demand for autonomy have been a source of tension in the relationship

India has historically advocated for their rights and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

  • Both countries have benefited from growing economic interdependence, with India investing heavily in infrastructure projects and tourism in Sri Lanka.

  • The increasing presence of China in the region, particularly in Sri Lanka, has led to concerns about strategic competition and balancing power dynamics.

Proposal to establish land connectivity with India

  • The announcement by Sri Lanka’s President about a proposal to establish land connectivity with India has come none too soon

  • Twenty years ago, in Chennai, then Prime Minister, floated the idea of building a bridge linking Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu with Talaimanar in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka

  • This was part of his larger vision of regional economic integration, encompassing his country and the southern States of India and aimed at generating more opportunities for economic growth.

  • Whenever groups and parties claiming to represent the interests of Sinhalese-Buddhists expressed their opposition to the proposal on the ground that this would not benefit Sri Lanka, the talk of having expanded physical connectivity would die down. 

  • In December 2015, when India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari informed the Lok Sabha that the Asian Development Bank was willing to fund the bridge project of ₹24,000 crore, Sri Lanka’s response was muted followed by sharp criticism from the project opponents.

  • However, to the credit of Mr. Wickremesinghe and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the idea of land connectivity was not abandoned. 

  • It found a mention in a joint statement issued in July after the two leaders met in New Delhi



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: India – Srilanka Relation UPSC NOTE
India – Srilanka Relation UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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