India-Sri Lanka Relations: Everything You Need to Know - Clear IAS
The Diplomat is a current-affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific, with news and analysis on politics, security, business, technology and life across the region. India and Sri Lanka share a relationship that is more than 2, The s was a period when the relations soured between both Sri Lankan Government and the Tamil militants to seek a political solution for the conflict. India and Sri Lanka managed to keep their relationship warm in with talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Sri Lankan could have geo- political consequences, which are adverse to India,” he said.
For most of the Tamils in Sri Lanka, their ancestors were from India. Indian intervention in the Sri Lankan civil war[ edit ] Main articles: The peace accord assigned a certain degree of regional autonomy in the Tamil areas with Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front EPRLF controlling the regional council and called for the Tamil militant groups to lay down their arms.
Further India was to send a peacekeeping forcenamed the IPKF to Sri Lanka to enforce the disarmament and to watch over the regional council. Notably, IPKF was alleged to have perpetrated Jaffna teaching hospital massacre which was the killing of over 70 civilians including patients, doctors and nurses. Bilateral relations improved in the s and India supported the peace process but has resisted calls to get involved again.
India is also the fifth largest export destination for Sri Lankan goods, accounting for 3.
India–Sri Lanka relations - Wikipedia
Negotiations are also underway to expand the free trade agreement to forge stronger commercial relations and increase corporate investment and ventures in various industries. The issue is because of Indian fishermen using mechanised trawlers which deprives the Sri Lankan fishermen including Tamils of their catch and also damaging their fishing boats.
The Sri Lankan government wants India to ban use of mechanized trawlers in the Palk Strait region and the negotiations on the same are going on. So far no concrete agreement has been reached since India favours regulating these trawlers instead of banning them altogether. Anger amongst the Sri Lankan side is also because the use of mechanized trawlers is ecologically damaging. A Joint Working Group JWG has been constituted to deal with the issues related to Indian fishermen straying in Sri Lankan territorial waters, work out modalities for prevention of use of force against them and the early release of confiscated boats and explore possibilities of working towards bilateral arrangements for licensed fishing.
The JWG last met in Jan Fewer thanapplied for Indian citizenship, many of them reluctantly, after having been rejected for Ceylonese citizenship. A follow-up agreement inrecognizing the nonviability of the proportions in the earlier agreement, decided that each country would accept half of the remaining , but this agreement was never implemented.
By the end of the period of the pact in OctoberonlyIndian Tamils had been registered as citizens of Ceylon, whilehad been given Indian citizenship of whomhad been repatriated to India. The rest remained stateless and voteless, with few individual and political rights. In the following period, the Sri Lankan government gradually reversed its previous positions and belatedly granted citizenship to the remaining persons—a process largely undertaken by the UNP as a reward for the political support given by the Tamils in elections in the post period.
The Citizenship Special Provisions Act of granted citizenship to the remaining persons of Indian origin who had not previously applied for Indian citizenship. This benefitedstateless persons. Further legislation, enacted in Marchgave citizenship to a furtherTamils.
Kachchativu Island Another subject of dispute between India and Sri Lanka after independence related to the maritime waters and boundaries between them. For the most part, the demarcation of boundaries and areas of countrol over adjacent waters were settled amicably through negotiations in keeping with international law.
Kachchativu, a barren island in the Palk Strait, which had traditionally been used by fishermen of both countries to rest and dry their nets while on fishing expeditions and annually for festival observances, acquired importance due to the extended maritime boundary and access to fish, prawns, and other marine resources they would give the possessing country.Sri Lankan Civil War - LTTE (Hindi)
In the interest of improving relations, India agreed to concede the issue in favor of Sri Lanka's ownership of the island, on the condition that Indian fishermen and pilgrims would be allowed to continue to visit the island as they had in the past.
Differences between the Sinhalese-dominated central government and the Sri Lankan Tamil leadership were rooted in the colonial period. Sri Lankan Tamil fears of marginalization and subordination in the post-independence period grew in reaction to successive discriminatory state policies, including the deprivation of the Indian Tamils of citizenship and representation, the consequent disproportionate representation of Sinhalese, and the declaration of Sinhala the language of the Sinhalese as Sri Lanka's only official language in The allocation of development funds and projects by Colombo's Sinhalese-led government to majority regions in the southwest, as well as official support of a pro-Sinhalese university admissions policy in the early s, further frustrated and alienated the Sri Lankan Tamils.
Militant Tamil youth groups "The Boys" were soon ready to fight for a separate Tamil state by any means. Efforts by the state to repress these groups through coercion further polarized the situation, culminating in major bouts of ethnic violence in, andand ultimately led to civil war. This trend of events led to an internationalization of the Sri Lankan Tamil issue and drew India into a more active role. India had expressed diplomatic concern in and at the impact of the ethnic violence on Indian Tamils, many of whom were Indian citizens.
The operations of the Sri Lankan army against the militant Tamil youth groups and the ethnic violence in sent someSri Lankan Tamils fleeing to seek asylum in Tamil Naduthe South Indian state in closest proximity, and with which they had the closest historical and cultural ties. The press, people, and political parties in Tamil Nadu, which had its own history of secessionist movements, provided sympathy, support, and funds to the refugees and militants, and demanded action by India's government in New Delhiled by Indira Gandhi and her Congress Party.
This sequence of events coincided with larger concerns in Delhi that had been raised by the growing closeness of the UNP government in Colombo with Western powers, as evidenced by its growing economic dependence and indebtedness, military aid and training to put down the Tamil insurgency, and other concessions having strategic implications. India adopted a two-track policy toward Sri Lanka in the subsequent period, under Indira Gandhi and later Rajiv Gandhi.
On the one hand, it provided support, training, and funding to Tamil militant groups to help them create pressure on the government in Colombo to desist from its increasing identification with Western interests. On the other hand, India actively sponsored repeated rounds of negotiations between the government in Colombo and the Sri Lankan Tamil parties to further reconciliation, compromise, and the recognition of minority ethnic rights to establish a system of regional Tamil autonomy for Sri Lanka's northeast.
The bilateral talks that ensued from to compelled a growing recognition and delineation of Tamil rights and demands, providing the basis for the provisions supporting provincial autonomy incorporated into the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord of Those efforts to effect a reconciliation did not, however, materialize. The many militant youth groups seeking to represent Sri Lankan Tamils suffered from serious individual and political differences among themselves, with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam LTTE maintaining the most militant and intractable separatist position.
Jayewardene on 29 Julysought to solve the exploding ethnic conflict by declaring Sri Lanka "a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual plural society" consisting primarily of four main ethnic groups.
It recognized that the northern and eastern provinces had been areas of "historical habitation of the Tamil-speaking population. The Sri Lankan government promised to devolve power to provincial councils and to allow the adjoining northern and eastern provinces to form one administrative unit, or to remain separate, their preference to be determined by referendum in the Eastern province.
As a temporary measure, the two provinces would be merged into a single unit, the North-Eastern Provincial Council, until the referendum could be held. India promised to send a contingent of troops as a peace-keeping force IPKFat the invitation of Sri Lanka's president, to be deployed in the northeast of the island to oversee the cease-fire, receive arms to be surrendered by the Tamil militants, and serve as a guarantor of the agreement. In an exchange of letters following the accord, Jayewardene assured Gandhi that specific aspects of Sri Lanka's foreign policy would be modified to accommodate Indian regional security concerns.
The accord set out a tight schedule for the completion of commitments by the various sides but ran into trouble almost immediately, and soon became derailed. Only several small parties on the left, members of the progressive intelligentsia, and several of the Tamil militant groups supported the agreement.
The surrender of arms was rejected by the LTTE. This and other deliberate actions by the LTTE compelled the IPKF to engage in open armed conflict with them, while the Sri Lankan government withdrew its own armed forces from the northeast. After Premadasa came to power as president inhe called for a cease-fire with the Tigers, began talks with them, summarily asked the IPKF to leave Sri Lanka before the accord had been fully implementedand even clandestinely supplied the LTTE with arms to fight the IPKF, which had already lost 1, soldiers.
New Delhi began to withdraw all its troops in December This changed sharply after the LTTE's assassination of Rajiv Gandhi by a suicide bomber in the midst of his campaign to come back to power in India's midterm elections in mid, as demonstrated by popular opinion in Tamil Nadu.
SRI LANKA, RELATIONS WITH
India proceeded to try those charged with conspiracy to murder Rajiv Gandhi. It indicted Velupillai Prabhakaran, leader of the Tigers, and three of his closest associates to stand trial for the murder.
Request for Prabhakaran's extradition continued to be pending over a decade after conclusion of the trial, given the inability of the Sri Lankan government to catch him in his jungle strongholds in the island's northeast. Post-accord relations After withdrawing the IPKF, India continued to stand by the accord, asserting the need for all parties in Sri Lanka to work out a solution among themselves, within the parameters of a united sovereign democratic and pluralistic Sri Lanka.