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Published by: Shivanand Dathe on Aug 31, 2011
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India is Sri Lanka's closest neighbour. The relationship between the two countries is more than 2,500 years old and both sides have built upon a legacy of intellectual, cultural, religious and linguistic intercourse. Starting with the early settlers and the spread of Buddhism during the ancient period to the migr -ation of plantation workers from southern india during the british rule. The com -mon ethnicity of tamils in southern india and in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka has far long determined india s relation with the island nation.strategic Issues have been a key determinant of India- Sri lanka relations. Two countries have also matured and diversified with the passage of time encompassing all areas of contemporary relevance. The shared cultural and civilizational heritage of the two countries and the extensive people to people interaction of their citizens provide the foundation to build a multi-faceted partnership. In recent years, the relationship has been marked by close contacts at the highest political level, growing trade and investment, cooperation in the fields of development, education, culture and defence, as well as a broad understanding on major issues of international interest. The nearly three-decade long armed conflict between Sri Lankan forces

It also established an emergency medical unit in the IDP camps. Prime Minister Dr. In the immediate aftermath of the end of armed conflict.and the LTTE came to an end in May 2009. The conclusion of the armed conflict saw the emergence of a major humanitarian challenge. it conveyed at the highest levels its deep concern at the plight of the mostly Tamil civilian population.If we will look The history of india sri-lanka relation then we will found that india sri-lanka Relation always show positive effect. During the course of the conflict. The Government of India put in place a robust programme of assistance to help these IDPs return to normal life as quickly as possible. Medicines worth SLR 225 million were also supplied to Sri Lankan authorities. Basically india sri-lanka relation started When 1927 Mahatama Gandhi visited cylon to paplorise khadi and promote . Manmohan Singh announced a grant of Indian Rupees 5 billion for relief and rehabilitation in Sri Lanka.000 Tamil civilians housed in camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). India provided a total of 250. emphasizing that their rights and welfare should not get enmeshed in hostilities against the LTTE. India supported the right of the Government of Sri Lanka to act against terrorist forces. In June 2009. India sri-lanka relation is not starting in contemparary erra .000 family relief packs for the IDPs. At the same time.000 IDPs and carried out over 3000 surgeries from March to September 2009. with nearly 300. which treated over 50. HISTORICAL CANTEXT.

India has provided shelter assistance by way of supplying more than 7. which are now engaged in various sectors in northern Sri Lanka to help expedite resettlement. The Government of India also supplied 400. Addressing a public meeting .000 of these packs will be provided in the coming weeks and months. the Government of India has fully financed seven Indian de-mining teams.800 tonnes of galvanized iron (GI) sheets for constructing temporary housing for IDPs.Gandhi Ji referred To cylon as india s daughter state the geographical cantigaity . In order to help with this. During the visit of President Mahinda Rajapaksa to . another 20.000 starter packs of agricultural implements have been supplied to help resettling families begin livelihood generating activities. With the shift from relief and rehabilitation to reconstruction and development. In addition.000 bags of cement to help IDPs rebuild their shelters. India has also consistently advocated the need for IDPs to be resettled to their original habitations as early as possible. 4.Prohaibition. the Government of India turned its attention to the housing requirements of the IDPs. 70. He was struck by the abiding and seminal influences of india on All aspects of sri-lankan life. 3.coupled with Constant movement of peoples . Since the requirement of de-mining is a major constraint on the speed of resettlement. Another consignment of 2600 tonnes of GI sheets is in transit for further supply in Sri Lanka.led to began india sri-lanka interaction.

6. India's consistent position is in favour of a negotiated political settlement. the groundbreaking ceremony of which was held during the visit of the Minister of External Affairs of India to Sri Lanka in November 2010. The total cost of the project is SLR 600 million. Since agriculture is the primary means of livelihood in the areas affected by the conflict. The proposed project will cover the Northern.India from 8-11 June 2010. The proposals that have been taken up for urgent implementation include supply of seeds for the Maha and Yala seasons in Sri Lanka in 2010-11 and supply of tractors and other machinery to farmer organizations in northern Sri Lanka. Work has already commenced on a Pilot Project of one thousand houses at Ariyalai near Jaffna. an announcement was made by Prime Minister Singh that India would support a programme to reconstruct 50. 500 tractors with four implements each (rotovator. The need for national reconciliation through a political settlement of ethnic issues has been reiterated by India at the highest levels.000 houses in Sri Lanka. cage-wheel and disk plough) have been supplied to farmer organizations and agrarian service centres in the Northern Province. 5. tiller. Government of India has focused its attention on supporting this sector with a view to jumpstart the revival of the local economy through a wideranging programme for agricultural renewal. Eastern and Central Provinces in terms of its spatial spread and involve construction of new dwelling units and repairs of existing houses. which is acceptable to all communities within the framework of a united Sri Lanka and .

4 million for repair and upgradation of the tsunami-damaged Colombo-Matara rail link is already fully operational. In this context.M. Another line of credit of $800 million for track laying and supply of rolling stock for the northern railway line was announced during the visit of the President of Sri Lanka to India in June 2010. A ground breaking ceremony for commencement of reconstruction of the Northern railway line was carried out during the visit to Sri Lanka of External Affairs Minister Mr. 7. an agreement for a credit line of $416. S. Of this amount. The Government of Sri Lanka has conveyed its assurance that political proposals building on the 13 th Amendment to the Constitution will be discussed with the Tamil leadership of the country.which is consistent with democracy. Madhu to Talaimannar and Omanthai to Pallai railway lines in Northern Sri Lanka. A line of credit of $167. the commencement of a structured dialogue on pursuing a political solution for national reconciliation as well as reconstruction and development is a laudable development. Sri Lanka is one of the major recipients of development credit given by the Government of India. Other important infrastructure-related projects that are currently being discussed between the two governments include the 500MW coal-based power plant in Trincomalee and inter-connectivity of the .39 million was signed in November 2010 to support construction of Medawachchiya to Madhu. Krishna in November 2010. pluralism and respect for human rights.

work is expected to start on setting up a cultural centre in Jaffna and renovating the famous Duraiappah Stadium. In the coming months. bilateral trade during the period January-August 2010 reached $1. according to Sri Lankan statistics.Indian and Sri Lankan electricity grids. Over the next eight years. bilateral trade multiplied nearly five-fold. Trade between the two countries grew particularly rapidly after the entry into force of the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement in March 2000. Sri Lanka is India's largest trade partner in SAARC. India and Sri Lanka enjoy a robust trade and investment relationship. supply of buses for assisting transportation in hilly and remote locations and a variety of small development projects in areas like education. 8. with bilateral trade growing rapidly in the last decade and a number of leading Indian private sector companies investing in Sri Lanka and establishing a presence in this country. provision of fishing equipment to cooperatives. These include setting up e-learning centres (Nenasalas). Following a downturn in 2009 on account of the global economic recession. India is also assisting with the restoration of the Kankesanthurai Harbour and the development of the Palaly airfield as a civil airport. in order to boost domestic and regional travel and commerce and restore the traditional links of connectivity between the two countries. trade has rebounded and. India also continues to assist a larger number of development projects through its grant funding. Preparatory work on both projects is underway.83 . health and training in many parts of the country. India in turn is Sri Lanka's largest trade partner globally. Further.

the two countries have also resumed discussions on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and steps to finalize the Agreement are expected to be taken in the near future. archives & cultural documentation.billion compared to $1. 1977 at New Delhi forms the basis on which the periodic Cultural Exchange Programmes (CEPs) between the two countries are signed and implemented. libraries. Indian exports to Sri Lanka stood at $1.54 billion in this period. archaeology. LIC. L&T and Taj Hotels are present in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan exports to India were $293 million compared to $193. 9.95%. registering a growth of 51. Bharti Airtel.07 million in the corresponding period in 2009. museums. visual arts. Tatas. handicrafts. Ashok Leyland. compared to $1. sports and youth affairs. In recent months.10 billion in the corresponding period in 2009. The PCC seeks to enhance the level of cooperation in a wide variety of fields such as performing arts. registering a growth of 39.29 billion in the corresponding period in 2009. Cultural cooperation is a very important aspect of the bilateral relationship and the Cultural Cooperation Agreement signed by the Government of India and the Government of Sri Lanka on 29 November. India is the fourth largest investor in Sri Lanka and prominent Indian names such as IOC.87%. A Programme of Cultural Cooperation (PCC) for 2010-2013 was signed during the June 2010 State visit of President Rajapaksa. publications and professional exchanges . Indian companies have also established a strong investment presence in Sri Lanka with FDI approvals of nearly $500 million. Piramal Glass.

and mass media. A significant number of scholarships are also offered by India in Sri Lanka itself to support needy and deserving students pursue A Level as well as university education. More than 125. 11. India is also committed to the restoration of important icons of cultural heritage of Sri Lanka and is setting up an Indian Gallery at the International Buddhist Museum in Kandy and working on the restoration of the Thirukeeteswaram Temple in Mannar. 10. Sri Lankan tourists too are among the top ten . dance. Education is a core area of cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. The Indian Cultural Centre in Colombo actively promotes awareness of Indian culture by offering classes in Indian music. Under this programme. Both countries agreed to launch an India Sri Lanka Knowledge Initiative during the visit of President Rajapaksa to India in June 2010.000 Indian tourists visited Sri Lanka in 2010. Every year. making up nearly 20% of the total tourist inflow into Sri Lanka. Tourism also forms an important link between India and Sri Lanka and India is the largest source market for Sri Lankan tourism. Hindi and Yoga. India offers nearly 200 slots annually to Sri Lankan nationals for short and medium term training courses in a wide variety of technical and professional disciplines. In addition. under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation Scheme and the Colombo Plan. cultural troupes from both countries exchange visits. India proposes to double its programme of scholarships offered to Sri Lankan students for undergraduate studies in Indian universities.

especially in the Palk Straits and the Gulf of Mannar. also promotes greater understanding between the peoples of the two countries. Given the proximity of the territorial waters of both countries. an agreement on which has been signed recently between the two countries. set up in December 1998 as an intergovernmental initiative. Both countries have agreed on certain practical arrangements to deal with the issue of bonafide fishermen of either side crossing the IMBL. In 2010. educational and cultural cooperation. besides supporting a variety of cultural performances and programmes. 13. It is expected that two-way tourism and connectivity will get a further fillip with the commencement of ferry services between Colombo and Tuticorin. Through these arrangements. it has been possible to deal with the issue of detention of fishermen in a humane manner. The India-Sri Lanka Foundation.sources for the Indian tourism market. It has also promoted the pursuit of higher studies as well as research in both countries. nearly 200. technical. . The Foundation focuses especially on the promotion of civil society cooperation and enhancing contact between the younger generations of the two countries. the Foundation has supported a number of student exchange programmes and activities at the school and university levels. as well as Talaimannar and Rameswaram.000 visas were issued by the High Commission in Colombo to facilitate travel between Indian and Sri Lanka. including through enhancement of scientific. With a view to this. incidents of straying of fishermen and poaching are common. 12.

The two countries will hold an Annual Defence Dialogue starting in 2011. President Rajapaksa visited India for a State Visit in June 2010 and again for the Closing Ceremony of the 19th Commonwealth Games in October 2010. including with respect to the safety and security of their sea lanes of communication. as well as Staff Talks between the two armies and navies in addition to the Air Staff Talks that are already in place. Petroleum Minister Susil Premajayantha. informs their bilateral exchanges in this field. Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen. Power & Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka. The Sri Lankan Navy Commander too participated in the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the National Defence College in New Delhi in 2010. including issue of visas. The Defence Secretary of India as well as the Chiefs of Staff of the Indian Navy and Indian Army visited Sri Lanka in 2010.M. 15. External Affairs Minister Shri S. Dissanayake. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa visited India in 2010. The year 2010 saw frequent high level exchanges of visits on both sides. Higher Education Minister S. Senior Sri Lankan dignitaries including Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.B. The commonality of concerns of both countries. Krishna visited Sri Lanka in November 2010 to co-chair the 7th meeting of the bilateral Joint Commission and inaugurate the Consulates General of India in Jaffna and Hambantota. Livestock and Rural Community Development . India and Sri Lanka also enjoy a growing defence relationship built on extensive training and Service-to-Service linkages. both of which have started their consular functions.14.

16.Minister Arumugan Thondaman and Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga also visited New Delhi in 2010. . Today. the India-Sri Lanka relationship is strong and poised for a quantum jump by building on the rich legacy of historical linkages and strong economic and development partnerships that have been forged in recent years.

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