2.Objectives of the Paper
Tamils of Srilanka are belong to two categories.The Ceylon Tamils whose forefathers had gone to Srilanka centuries ago. The second categories is of Indian Tamils whose forefathers were taken by the Britishers for plantation work in the nineteenth century.(V.N.Khana2012)It is the fear of Srilanka towards the Tamil domination in various aspects including trade, profession, administrative structure is the main reason behind the conflicts. As after the independence of Srilanka, tensions began between the Sinhalese and Tamils and Tamils became the minority section in Srilanka and a huge number of Tamils in Srilanka faced discrimination in various aspects including education, job, settlement and most importantly in terms of getting citizenship. India as a neighbouring nation have made a serious efforts for finding a solution to the ethnic problem. Signing of different agreements in different in different phase of time like Neheru-Kotelawala agreement of 1953, Shastri-Srimavo agreement of 1964,which were sought to provide a peaceful solution to the issue of STATELESS Persons in Srilanka. Inspite of that the ethnic problem of Srilanka was not solved and as a result it lead to the formation of militant organisation like LTTE(Liberation of Tigers of Tami Eel am)whose basic demand was to create a separate homeland for Tamils,(the Tamil Eelam )The violence during 1938-86 in Srilanka has the serious effect not only in the life and property of the state but also the bilateral relation between India and Srilanka was also suffered.Infact several steps were initiated by both the government to restore normalcacy. A serious attempt was also made by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to help Srilanka to find a solution to the ethnic violence. Signing of Rajiv –Jayewardene Agreement ,1987 to provide for India Peace Keeping (IPKF) to restore normalcy in trouble torn areas of Srilanka is considered to be the India 's one of bold step towards its neighbour. The sending of IPKF proved to be very costly for India. As India not only lost its several solders in Srilanka but the assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was allegedly the result of a conspiracy by certain elements involved in the Srilankan ethnic conflict.(V.N.Khanna2012)The separatist movement in Srilanka had an adverse effect on India-Srilankan relation although India had taken all positive steps to maintain a cordial relation and a few number of development also took place to reduce the tensions in the relationship in due course of time. The nearly three decade long armed conflict between Srilankan forces and the LTTE which came to an end in May 2009.During these phase of conflict India has supported Srilankan government to act against terrorist forces.
Recognizing India the first foreign destination for Sri Lankan President will always be acknowledged as significant for India. And, the larger implication of these agreement is certainly the message that it gives to China and the rest of the world countries like China and Pakistan need to recalibrate their Sri Lankan strategy.
The recent visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka has again brought a new thrust in Indo-Sri Lanka ties. It is significant for Sri Lanka too. Because the visit of Narendra Modi to Sri Lanka, the first by an Indian head of government in 28 years, seems extremely positive and path breaking for both the nation. The Indian prime minister has emphasized to invoke the ancient ethnic, linguistic and religious ties with Sri Lanka that bind the two nation together. He is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the war torn Northern Province Jaffna which clearly struck a chord with the Sri Lankan Tamil community there. Mr. Modi has also shown interest to go beyond the thirteenth Amendment in terms of political empowerment of the Tamil minority. (Suhasini Haider,2015).Making a strong ties with Sri Lanka also beneficial for India to straighten India’s positive approach towards reducing the tension with Sri Lanka and limiting the Chinese String of Pearls policy also popularly known as Encirclement Policy. Therefore Modi’s visit has started a new chapter in Indo-Sri Lanka relations.
4.2Influence of China over Indo-Srilanka relation
- S. Bhattacharjee (2015). “India’s Visit- A Game Changer”. The Assam Tribune, Feb 15, p.4.
- S. Haider, (2015). “Knitting the India- Sri Lanka Relation Closer”. The Hindu, March 13, p. 6.
- V.N. Khanna. Foreign Policy of India, Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 2012, p. 167, 173.
- V.P. Dutt. India’s Foreign Policy in a Changing World, Delhi: Vikas Publishing House, 2010, p. 158.