The Sri Lanka government had been able to foster a new strand of Tamil nationalism which advocates for economic and developmental rights as opposed to their political rights, said Sri Lankan political scientist and expert professor Jayadeva Uyangoda. He was speaking at a webinar on ‘India-Sri Lanka Relations: Changing dynamics in the Indian Ocean region’, organised by the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) on Friday. The discussion was moderated by Gazi Hassan, CPPR senior research associate.

On China’s growing influence on India-Sri Lanka relations, Uyangoda said China has been the more reliable source of developmental loans for Sri Lanka with its no-strings-attached policy than India. “The landslide victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa in the recent elections is not going to drastically alter India-Sri Lanka relations.

However, the maximalist and anti-devolutionary position taken by Rajapaksa have ensured that India is at a disadvantage in persuading Sri Lanka on Tamil issues,” he said. India’s decisions like revoking of Article 370 and the CAA have also not helped in building relations with Sri Lanka. He said stronger economic and technology-based cooperation was the way forward to strengthen the ties between the two countries.

This news report on the webinar hosted by CPPR on ‘India-Sri Lanka Relations: Changing dynamics in the Indian Ocean region’ was published in The New Indian Express on September 19, 2020. Click here to read

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