Still Incomplete

Context: The President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, paid an official visit to India and signed agreements on maritime, air, energy, trade and people-to-people initiatives. However, the Tamil fishermen issue still remained unaddressed between both the countries. India-Sri Lanka vision document:
  • Focus on Renewable energy: to increase the energy connectivity, document includes developing renewable energy wind and solar plants in Sri Lanka.
  • Promoting UPI digital payments: A memorandum of understanding was signed to operationalize UPI digital payments in Sri Lanka and to designate the Indian Rupee as currency for trade.
  • To enhance tourism and Trade: They also agreed to explore ways of enhancing tourism and cultural and religious travel, and educational collaboration.
Hopes from India:
  • Economic support: Both hope to increase trade, and continue Indian support for Sri Lanka’s economy that crashed last year and is slowly working out its debt restructuring process.
  • Developing port infrastructure: New investments in maritime and air connectivity will involve developing ports.
  • Resuming Air connectivity: Resuming ferry services and expanding flight networks to connect Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka’s Northern and Eastern Provinces.
India approach towards Sri Lanka:
  • Dissolve territorial issues: Sri Lanka on honouring the 13th Amendment for devolution of powers to the North and Eastern provinces, and for resolving the long-pending issues over arrest of Indian fishers.
  • Beyond Historical ties: The Indian government is no longer welcome to bring its historical concerns over the Tamil issue into bilateral negotiations.
  • Futuristic approach: Regardless of the strong familial bonds between India and Sri Lanka, history has tripped up ties in the past, and any vision for the future that does not include an amicable resolution of these issues will be considered incomplete.
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