2016 has been marked by unprecedented geopolitical dislocations and dispersals. In January 2016, Gateway House, identified the major emerging global trends. As the year comes to an end, several developments have confirmed these forecasted trends
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Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe visited New Delhi on his first state visit abroad. During his meeting with Prime Minister Modi, they discussed the bilateral trade and investment between the nations, as well as reaffirming their interest in strengthening ties on aspects of security.
After losing power in January, Mahinda Rajapaksa, former president of Sri Lanka, is trying to re-enter politics by contesting for the prime minister’s seat in the elections on August 17. If he wins, it could destabilise Sri Lanka’s politics and impact relations with India, which had been hit under Rajapaksa’s rule. The future scenario will become clearer by next week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s completion of the South Asia circuit demonstrates the importance of the neighbourhood in his government’s foreign policy. The improved perception of India in the neighbourhood, especially in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, is a positive, but the neighbours must recognise that India’s federal structure makes decision-making slower and more difficult on issues that affect neighbouring Indian states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
The SAARC Yatra to be undertaken by foreign secretary S. Jaishankar from March 1 is an opportunity for India to improve relations, resurrect stalled projects and create new synergies with its neighbourhood. An initiative like this could hold the key to India shedding the ‘hegemon’ tag and pursuing mutually beneficial policies with its neighbours
Incumbent Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa lost to his opponent Maithripala Sirisena in the recent elections. The reasons have been attributed to nepotism and dwindling support from the Sinhala community. With considerable challenges awaiting the new government, it would be wise to not rule out a return of Mahinda
The 18th SAARC Summit held in Nepal concluded on November 27 with the release of the Kathmandu Declaration. Did the summit live up to its expectations? Was concrete progress made, and if so in which areas? Where is SAARC heading now? Gateway House asks and answers five questions on the outcome of the summit
Though the thirty year long civil war in Sri Lanka is over, Tamils still live in an uneasy peace. Their political demands for autonomy have not yet been met, and the possibility of violence re-emerging continues to linger in military-occupied Tamil territories.
Sri Lanka and China are establishing relations based on diplomacy, economics and infrastructure based. Though India cannot stop Sri Lanka from doing this, it needs to heavily involve itself in the troubled island nation and help aid its recovery to normalcy
India's support to Colombo is integral to demolish the LTTE movement and allow stable governance. But India's interests because of the Tamil community also pose a problem to better bilateral relations