Think-tanks say right time to reset Indo-Lanka relations
Printer-friendly versionSend to friend

The Pathfinder Foundation in Sri Lanka and the Vivekananda International Foundation in India have recently signed a Memorandum of Intent to cooperate on issues of bilateral interests, a joint release by the two think-tanks states.

Under the heading ‘Resetting Indo-Lanka Relations – Irreversible Excellence is the Goal’, the release states, “with a new government about to assume office in India, this is an opportune occasion to consider how Indo-Sri Lankan relations can be reset”.

The release adds that “there can be no denying the fact that the current bilateral relationship between the two countries is less than optimal and marred by irritants. With a view to restoring ties between the two countries to a state of “irreversible excellence”, a term coined by a former Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka, it is imperative that a structured and meaningful dialogue, based on mutual respect and sovereign equality, is put in place as soon as the new Indian Government assumes office”.

The release states that post-conflict resolution in Sri Lanka is one of the key factors in the re-setting of these relations with the expeditious implementation of the 13th Amendment and the recommendations of the LLRC (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission). “Action in this direction will create the space for the Indian Government to take a more forthright position in international forums against outside interference in Sri Lanka through intrusive proposals.

It also calls for a deeper engagement in defence cooperation, economic agreement, regional integration and a joint mechanism for a settlement over the frequent tensions over fishing in the Palk Bay.

The two think-tanks call for a 20-Year Vision and Road Map for Indo-Lanka economic and business relations, trade, investment, tourism and energy.

They call for annual summits between the President of Sri Lanka and the Prime Minister of India and more informal contact between the leaders of both countries “without protocol, so that the emphasis is on the implementation of agreements reached and fulfillment of commitments by both parties”.

Published in The Sunday Times 20th April 2014

Contact Us