Books and MonographsPublished on Dec 25, 2008
ballistic missiles,Defense,Doctrine,North Korea,Nuclear,PLA,SLBM,Submarines

India, Sri Lanka and the Ethnic War

The relationship between the two democracies—Sri Lanka and India– has been largely defined in the recent past by domestic political compulsions, and a peculiar lack of understanding of each other’s priorities and positions on specific issues leading to misgivings and dilemmas. The emergence of coalition politics at the national level, and the increasing influence of local interest groups on foreign policy formulations, in both the countries over the past two decades have infused extra dimensions to the relationship. Thus it has become imperative to study issues of bilateral concern in a broader regional framework without ignoring the trials and tribulations of domestic politics in both the countries.

Written by a seasoned analyst, the book makes a modest attempt to sift through complexities of relationships in the region that are undergoing swift and sweeping changes. It documents the evolving dynamics of India-Sri Lanka relationship to draw valuable lessons for South Asia as a whole. The India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement, for instance, is a model worthy of emulation for India’s economic relationship with other countries in the region.

The book explores several other issues of common interest. India can provide a workable solution to ethnic strife while Sri Lanka can offer lessons in health care delivery and education. Early Sri Lankan engagement with market economy and globalization can benefit India’s journey towards inclusive growth.

More critical, the book argues, is the shared vision of a secure Indian Ocean neighbourhood. Sri Lanka has become the first line of defence for India. Security of Indian Ocean is as important to India as the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the island nation.

There has never been such an urgency to work together for the common good of the people of the region as the present. Understanding the India-Sri Lankan relations  in its entirety is only a beginning in that direction.

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N. Sathiya Moorthy

N. Sathiya Moorthy

N. Sathiya Moorthy is a policy analyst and commentator based in Chennai.

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