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India-Sri lanka Relationship

India and Sri Lanka have had very good relations in the past. Both of the countries are the closest maritime neighbours just a few nautical miles away. Sri Lanka has two major communities which are the Sinhalese and the Tamils. These communities have always had disputes over political power and the resources available. The country got its independence in 1948, after the independence the Sinhalese community forced the government to frame the constitution in the communities favour.

The constitution thus framed was in the favour of the Sinhalese and Buddhism which led to the agitation and riots throughout the country. The formation of the Sinhalese law led to the discrimination of the Tamil community. All these things led to the formation of the Liberation Tigers of the Tamil Eelam(LTTE) in 1976, they started opposing the government through violent methods, and the civil war started in 1983. This is where the Indian government came in, it offered military help to the Sri Lankan government in order to suppress the LTTE and stop the civil war. This support by the Indian government caused rage in the LTTE, who planned the assassination of the PM of India, Rajeev Gandhi. Further, causing the relationship between the countries to get worse. The nearly three-decade long war ended in May 2009, which gave hope to improve the relations between the countries.

In recent years, the relationship has been marked by close contacts at the highest political level, growing trade and investment, cooperation in the fields of development, education, culture and defence, as well as a broad understanding of major issues of international interest. Bilateral exchanges and significant progress in the implementation of developmental assistance projects for the disadvantaged sections of the population in Sri Lanka have helped further cement the bonds of friendship between the two countries.

The debt on Sri Lanka which has caused an emergency throughout the country has deeply affected the roots of the country. There is a water supply shortage, power cuts and food shortage throughout the country. Citizens are suffering a lot right now. To help with all of this Tamil Nadu decided to extend humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka in the form of rice and other essential commodities, taking into consideration the plight of the people following the economic deterioration of the island nation. This is a marked shift in the stand of political parties in Tamil Nadu, which has in the past demanded a separate Tamil nation in Sri Lanka. It also sets the stage for enhanced interaction between the people of the two regions.

The total aid promised by the Tamil Nadu government is worth Rs.123 crore and consists of 40,000 tons of rice, 100-plus life-saving drugs and 500 tons of milk powder. This is just the first consignment with the consent of the Government of India. The State government has appealed to the people to contribute generously to the relief efforts in Sri Lanka. India is ready to help the country of Sri Lanka and improve the relationship with both countries.


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