How Ranil Wickremesinghe gives new life to India-Sri Lanka relations
He is not an ordinary politician. He was appointed Deputy Foreign Minister at the age of 28 and has been active in Sri Lankan politics ever since. Not only this, he was the Minister of Education at the age of 30, the Minister of Industry at the age of 40, the Minister of Science and Technology, and the leader of the house. He became Prime Minister of Sri Lanka in 1993 at the young age of 44 and has served as Prime Minister four times since then. Career politician for over 45 years, Ranil Wickremesinghe Now regaining control, at a critical time when Sri Lanka’s economy almost collapsed and long dynasty rule shook the country. I have two questions before the Indian community. The first is whether Lanil can regain the glory of Sri Lanka, and the second is how it will affect India’s interests.
Immediately after taking over, Wicklemesinge said that relations between India and Sri Lanka would improve under his prime minister. He also said he wanted a closer relationship with India and thanked India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the support provided to his country. It is certainly a need for time, as India is Sri Lanka’s only neighbor and an integral part of India’s culture, religion, social structure, language and ethnicity. Although the two countries have been in close contact for a long time, the scenario has changed significantly in the last few years since the Rajapaksa family came to power. During this time, I hope that China’s influence over Sri Lanka and the dictatorship of the Rajapaksa family will bring about the current situation of the island nation, and Mr. Wickremesinge will understand it well. The next chapter in the relationship between India and Sri Lanka depends on several factors. Now, Ranil Wickremesinghe is appropriate to prove himself on these issues so that the relationship can flourish.
Tamil Problem-Sri Lankan Fear and Ethnic Reconciliation Promised in 2009
Sri Lanka is always afraid of its rule, which is directed at the Tamil problem. Over the years, some of the leaders of India and its southernmost state, Tamil Nadu, have openly claimed the rights of the ignored Tamils. This led to a 30-year asymmetric war in Sri Lanka, which culminated in 2009 after the annihilation of Tamil’s major rebel group LTTE. .. One of the solutions is a promise of ethnic reconciliation. Immediately after the Tamil conflict was forcibly suppressed by the then Rajapaksa government, an ethnic reconciliation was promised to resolve the sentiment of the Tamil minority community. But the same did not go as expected. Mahinda Rajapaksa wasn’t interested, so the process didn’t go on at all in his time. When his administration changed in 2015, the new president, Mitry Parra Sirisena, did not prioritize it, and due to lack of political will, the problem was hanging until Rajapaksa regained control of the country. box. To gain the trust of India and its Tamils, Wickremesinge also needs to take a step in this direction and start the process immediately.
Sri Lanka has a presidential rule, and most of its power is controlled by the president of the country. Mahinda Rajapaksa has resigned as prime minister of the country, but the main power is still in the hands of his brother Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who is also president. It is arguable whether all power will be integrated into Mr. Wicklemesinge and whether the president’s governance system will be widespread. The Rajapaksa administration is heavily influenced by China, and the future of India-Sri Lanka relations will also depend on this factor. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promised to make changes to governance, but we have to take it with just a little salt and wait for it to actually take effect.
Read | That’s why Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe calls on Indian envoy Gopal Bagley.
China’s influence and India’s concerns
China’s influence in Sri Lanka has increased significantly over the last decade or so. Sri Lanka has emerged as an important partner in China’s Ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is part of the Maritime Silk Road (MSR). This has serious implications for India’s security. China has made significant investments in Sri Lanka, which currently has US $ 8 billion in debt to China, which accounts for the majority of the debt and is the reason for the economic collapse. After the 99-year lease provides US $ 1.6 billion in Hambantota Harbor and the Colombo Port City Project, India’s interests will be hampered in all scenarios. The tendency of the Sri Lankan government, especially the Rajapaksa family, towards China was not uncommon. Maria Abihabib, entitled “How China Raised a Port in Sri Lanka,” a New York Times survey published June 25, 2018, shows how China helped China win the Rajapaksa election. I explained in detail about. The research report details the bank account in China Harbor (Hambantota Harbor), which has “distributed” at least US $ 7.6 million to Rajapaksa’s affiliates. This included a check (Sally’s Sally) to buy a gift, printed matter, and a $ 38,000 payment to a prominent monk who later made a statement in favor of Rajapaksa.
The relationship between India and Sri Lanka depends heavily on how the new government reacts to Chinese responders. India’s interests have been badly hit in the last decade, and the same is true again, especially when New Delhi is making every possible effort to resolve the current economic situation in the land of Ravana and Vibhishana. I don’t want to be repeated.
Since India is Sri Lanka’s only direct neighbor, our trade relations take precedence over any other country. By the way, the port of Colombo is India’s only transshipment hub, and the importance of trade relations is even more important. In recent years, the influence of China has hurt trade relations, making the dragon the largest trading partner and occupying the largest share of the country’s imports. India’s interests were pushed back while the Rajapaksa dynasty government continued to benefit. India recently announced a US $ 2 billion credit line to Sri Lanka during times of crisis. Now is the time for the Sri Lankan government to repay. One of the milestones is the East Container Terminal (ECT) planned at the Port of Colombo, where Japan, India and Sri Lanka are working together to grow Sri Lanka’s economy.
Footprints of terrorism and the role of Pakistan
One of the most prominent reasons for Sri Lanka’s economic collapse is terrorism, especially the National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), a member of nine local Islamic militants, exploding in three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. It was an Easter bombing that went on. On Easter Day (April 21, 2019), 253 people were killed and more than 500 were injured. India played an important role in passing information to Sri Lanka 12 days ago, but the ruling government, including then Prime Minister Ranilwicremesinge, ignored it. Cause a catastrophe. Not only this, but after the blast, President Maithripala Sirisena sees a warning about possible threats to Islamic states in India, the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other countries, instead of seeing a warning about the joint security of China and Sri Lanka. He was called to Beijing to attend the security conference. The explosion was claimed by an Islamic State with roots in Pakistan, the facts were blatantly ignored while Sri Lanka was proceeding to sign an information sharing agreement with Beijing.
India is at the forefront of counter-terrorism initiatives, and experts around the world are crying out for efforts in this direction. Terrorism is a common problem not only in India but also in Sri Lanka, but the island nation should have come to India instead of ignoring us and going to China’s lap. Nonetheless, the current economic situation gives Mr. Wicklemesinge the opportunity to take the first step towards establishing a joint security protocol for a counterterrorism initiative with India.
Ranil Wickremesinghe has a rough pitch to play. He has more challenges than any other prime minister in the past and needs to not only recover the country from the current economic crisis, but also project Sri Lanka into the best books in the world. The next few months are important when he completes his government’s key directives and chooses his team. I hope that the suffering of the Sri Lankan people will end.
https://www.dnaindia.com/world/report-how-ranil-wickremesinghe-can-give-india-sri-lanka-relationship-a-new-life-2952987 How Ranil Wickremesinghe gives new life to India-Sri Lanka relations