INDIA - SRI LANKA RELATIONS PRESENTED BY- AKASH AGRAWAL
INTRODUCTION India is Sri Lanka's closest neighbour that has ethnic links to its most significant minority. India has a huge influence in the island nation's political, economic, social and cultural consciousness, and its world view. Contentious Issues between India-Sri Lanka Fishermen Issue The fishermen issue continues to be a major irritant in the Indo- Lanka ties. Devolution of power: .Reconciliation process and war crimes The UNHRC resolution on war crimes is another important issue on which both the countries have to reach an understanding.
India has advocated for speedy rehabilitation and resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Pro-china tilt Sri Lanka is part of China's Maritime Silk Road. China is also modernizing Hambantota port in Sri Lanka. . China also attaches centrality to Sri Lanka to amplify its Maritime Silk Road. .Sri Lanka has decided to clear the stalled $1.4 billion Colombo Port City, which had .China as a partner. China and Sri Lanka have decided to redefine the Colombo Port City project by making it an international financial outpost in the Indian Ocean
FISHERMAN ISSUE .The historic waters between India and Sri Lanka have become a battleground between the Tamil fishermen on both sides. Sri Lanka accuses Indian fishermen of straying into its territorial waters, while the latter maintain they are only fishing in their traditional areas, especially around Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Colombo in 1974. The issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters has been an ongoing conflict, with Sri Lanka's northern fishermen repeatedly raising concerns over their falling catch and the serious environmental damage caused by trawlers originating from India. Both countries are separated by the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). Often, fishermen from both sides cross over to the other side for bottom trawling fishing expeditions and that results in arrests and, on many occasions, shootings. -
Katchatheevu Island One of the major reasons complicatingthe issue is of Katchatheevu Island. India ceded the uninhabited island to its southern neighbour in 1974 under a conditional accord. In 2009, the Sri Lankan government declared Katchatheevu Island as sacred land owing to a Catholic shrine's presence on the piece of land.
India Tamll Nadu aritime Boundary Line 10 CS 1 amanathapuram GKatchatheevu Rameswaram
Way forward to end conflict Sustainable fishing and alternate livelihood . The solution cannot be extra deployment of Navy and Coast Guard. The underlying cause needs to be addressed. There is a glaring need for institutionalization of fishing in Indian waters by the government of India so that alternative means of livelihood are provided. - Government will have to mark up a comprehensive plan to reduce the dependence of Indian fishermen on catch from Palk Bay. Without arriving at a settlement on sustainable exploitation of the marine resources that would end the use of bottom trawlers from Tamil Nadu, India and Sri Lanka will not be able to ensure incident-free fishing in the strait. Indianfishermen, who invoke traditional rights to justify their incursions, want a three- year phase-out period before they end trawling.
But unless they take to deep-sea fishing, and inland alternatives, India's fishermen will be locked in a conflict with their Sri Lankan counterparts as well as with a hostile Sri Lankan Navy. Institutional mechanism The two countries agreed on establishing a Joint Working Group (JWG) on fisheries to help resolve the dispute. A hotline between the Coast Guards of India and Sri Lanka, convening of the JWG once in three months, and meetings of the fisheries ministers every half-year were the components of the mechanism to be put in place. Indian Navy or Coast Guard should join the Sri Lankan Navy in jointly patrolling the international boundary to prevent trespassing.
TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATIONS India is Sri Lanka's largest trading partner globally, while Sri Lanka is India's second largest trading partner in the SAARC. Indian exports to Sri Lanka were US$ 4,268 million while Lankan exports to India stood at just US$ 643 million in 2015. The India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement of 1998 was followed by efforts towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) to liberalise trade in services and investment starting in the mid-2000s. However, the CEPA negotiations dragged on for nearly a decade in the face of increasing opposition within Sri Lanka, particularly by the business community and certain interest groups such as the medical lobby. With the new momentum in closer bilateral ties, India is pushing for a new trade pact called the Economic and Technological Cooperation Agreement (ETCA). New Delhi is keen to enter the services sector in Sri Lanka, but there are apprehensions in the country that the strong Indian companies could uproot local businesses. Sri Lanka's opposition has criticised the proposed trade deal with India as an attempt to "foreignise" the country's economy and demanded that the shortcomings in the existing FTA should be sorted out before concluding the deal
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