The ties between Delhi and Colombo are on track | Editorial HT – editorials
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa sent a message by choosing India as the destination of his first trip abroad after taking office, and also took the right notes in New Delhi by saying that the changes made by the government Indian in Jammu and Kashmir last year were the country’s internal affair. Rajapaksa also discussed cooperation in counterterrorism with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, and ways to carry out the use of two lines of credit for a total of $ 450 million offered by India last year. However, Rajapaksa sought to strike a balance between Sri Lankan ties with India and those with other regional actors, such as China and Pakistan, describing India as a “relationship” and others as friends. He also highlighted Pakistan’s help in the war with the Tamil rebel rebels and China’s help in rebuilding Sri Lanka after the war, which ended when the Sri Lankan Army launched a massive offensive under Rajapaksa’s leadership.
Modi used Rajapaksa’s visit to express India’s concerns about the incomplete process of reconciliation and the return of powers to the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka, saying that the government in Colombo must live up to the expectations of the Tamil people of equality, justice, peace and respect through the implementation of the 13th amendment to the constitution, which envisages granting more powers to the areas inhabited by the Tamils of the island nation. However, Rajapaksa and his brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, have avoided committing to the full implementation of the 13th amendment. The president of Sri Lanka has even said that there could not be a full return of powers against the wishes of the Sinhalese majority and Rajapaksa, while speaking with a section of the Indian media, he also ruled out any resolution in the areas inhabited by the Tamils which is not acceptable to the majority community of Sri Lanka. Clearly, both parties will have to do some maneuvering to ensure they reach common ground on this sensitive issue.