India-Sri Lanka Relations- Relevance for UPSC Blog
- GS Paper 2: International Relations- India and its neighbourhood- relations.
Chinese Angle in India-Sri Lanka Relations
- Recently, Indian power projects were cleared by Sri Lankan Authorities. Now, India will set up hybrid power projects in three Islands off Jaffna, effectively replacing the Chinese venture cleared by Colombo last year.
- The MoU for the project was among those signed during a recent meeting between visiting External Affairs Minister (EAM) S. Jaishankar and his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L. Peiris.
Background of Chinese Power Projects in Sri Lanka
- In January 2021, Sri Lanka decided to award renewable energy projects in Nainativu, Delft or Neduntheevu, and Analaitivu islands to Chinese company Sinosoar-Etechwin, following an Asia Development Bank-backed competitive bid.
- India was quick to express concern to the Sri Lankan side over the Chinese project coming up in the Palk Bay, barely 50 km off Tamil Nadu.
- New Delhi offered to execute the same project with a grant rather than a loan.
- Unable to pick a side for over a year, Colombo kept the project in suspension, apparently putting off China.
- Recently, the Chinese Ambassador in Colombo voiced rare criticism over the projects being interrupted for “unknown reasons”, and said it sent out the wrong message to potential foreign investors.
Indian Energy Projects in Northern Sri Lanka
- Indian Energy Projects in North-East Sri Lanka: It will be the third Indian energy project coming up in Sri Lanka’s north and east, after the recent agreements for-
- National Thermal Power Corporation’s solar venture in the eastern Sampur town, and
- Adani Group’s renewable energy projects in Mannar and Pooneryn in the north.
Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC)
- India Sri Lanka also agreed to set up a Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC), signaling greater defence sector collaboration between the neighbors.
- Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) initiative involves Bharath Electronics and a $ 6 million Indian grant.
Other Key Agreements approved between India and Sri Lanka
- India will also help develop fisheries harbours in Point Pedro, Pesalai, and Gurunagar in the Northern Province, and Balapitiya, south of capital Colombo,
- India also agreed to support schools in the southern Galle district with computer labs and smart boards, extend a grant for Sri Lanka’s Unique Digital Identity project, and collaborate in diplomatic training.