Increased international interest in the Indian Ocean comes at a convenient time for Sri Lanka, as the country continues to recoup after the end of its decades-long civil war which ended in 2009. The island nation is being courted (and courting in turn) by various major powers, each seeking a stake in developing Sri Lanka’s strategic location midway between the Middle East and the Straits of Malacca. While opportunities present themselves, all this attention also comes with its own set of complications.Read more..
HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka — The answer to why a state-of-the-art port exists in a remote part of one of Asia’s smallest nations lies a short distance out in the Indian Ocean.
A critical sea lane is a reason China built the little-used Hambantota port in the first place, and why — besides a long-standing regional humanitarian mission — the U.S. military was keen to visit for nearly two weeks this month.Read more..
Analysts specialized in predicting the course relations between India and China may take, have recently followed a scenario unravelling around the small town of Hambantota, located in the south of the Republic of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon).Read more..
India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has been relatively quiet when it comes to Tamil issues in Sri Lanka, although now would be a good time for the prime minister to reconsider his low-key approach. Modi visited Sri Lanka in March 2015, the first time an Indian prime minister had travelled to the island nation in nearly thirty years. He even went to Jaffna in the country’s north, a symbolically significant move.Read more..
It would not necessarily be a bad thing if healthy competition between China and India in the Sri Lankan market could be further stirred up. While China and Sri Lanka ramp up efforts to finalize a free trade agreement (FTA) this year, India is pushing for the signing of the Economic Technology Cooperation Agreement with Sri Lanka to broaden the scope of its existing FTA. It seems that neither China or India wants to be left behind in boosting its presence in the island nation.
After a few timid signs of warming, Sino-Indian relations seem to be headed for the freezer. While Beijing refuses to take Indian security concerns seriously, New Delhi may have decided to take the Chinese challenge head-on. To complicate matters for India, its erstwhile ally Russia, which has become a close friend of China, is showing interest in establishing closer ties with Pakistan.Read more..