India – Sri Lanka defence pact

The government’s must now quickly sign on the dotted line

Government officials have finalised a draft defence cooperation agreement (via Kautilya) between India and Sri Lanka.

The idea of a defence cooperation agreement was first discussed in October 2003 when Ranil Wickremesinghe was Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and the National Democratic Alliance was in power in New Delhi. There are new governments in place in both capitals but the seamless finalisation of the draft agreement reflects a shared perception of security issues on both sides of the Palk Straits. It is no secret that this convergence arises mainly from the threat posed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and its goal of a separate Tamil state in the North-East…

At the same time the draft defence cooperation agreement, which is likely to be signed by the end of the year, is not meant to encourage the Sri Lankan Government to go for a military solution to the Tamil question. From available details of the draft, it is clear that the agreement will seek to regularise the existing cooperation between the defence establishments of the two countries, and will not in any way work against India’s commitment to a peaceful, political solution to the Sri Lankan conflict. [Hindu]

3 thoughts on “India – Sri Lanka defence pact”

  1. As i mentioned in my blog this is quite significant. India’s relationship with srilanka both political and economic has improved. It is the only neighbouring country where political parties does not raise the boogey of anti Indian feeling. The only country in SAARC beside Bhutan with which a free trade zone seems a distinct possibility.

  2. Indeed a very, very positive development. Nothing new that I can add except that we must in future ensure that we do not trample Sri Lankan toes like we have done in the past (whatever our justification). Right now we do not have one blooming strategic friend in the neighborhood. Everyone hates us, and by default “loves” the Pakis.

  3. Totally agree. The LTTE, tragically an Indian creation has turned Frankwenstein and we must assist in bringing them to heel. The FTA with Ceylon is doing well besides. Whats more, hajaar desis can put phoren holiday on the shiores of the emerald island as well. Its a win-win both sides.

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