The Sri Lankan economy is showing signs of stabilizing after experiencing the worst contraction in its history in 2022. Decisive policies by President Ranil Wickremasinghe, timely Indian aid, and an IMF Programme have laid the groundwork for a return to growth. India and Sri Lanka must now shift from an aid relationship to one which deepens bilateral trade and investment flows.
The recently concluded BIMSTEC summit is now a regional intergovernmental organization with a formal charter, giving it a clear mission and legality and a destiny linked to South and South East Asia. It is now better equipped to accelerate economic development for the fifth of the world’s population, which contributes only 4% of global GDP.
2022 marks 35 years since the Indian Peace Keeping Forces were deployed to oversee the Indo-Sri Lankan Peace Accord. An attempt to diffuse civil unrest, this engagement eventually turned into war. The incident serves as a reminder that India can learn more from its errors than its victories.
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.
India has welcomed President Sirisena’s recent electoral victory largely because he is willing to check China’s rise in Sri Lanka. His visit to India next week is an opportunity for New Delhi to overcome its difficult relationship with former president Rajapaksa and offer its unconditional partnership to Colombo
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 recent elections in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province may not ensure the much-anticipated devolution of powers. Rajeshwari Krishnamurthy blogs about why the Indian government must ensure that domestic pressures do not adversely impact the New Delhi-Colombo equation or the internal politics of Sri Lanka