India Relived?

Relieved at the reinstatement of Ranil Wickremesinghe as Sri Lankan PM, India on Sunday welcomed resolution of the political situation and called it a reflection of the maturity of democratic forces in the island nation.

Despite nursing serious reservations over the manner in which Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena had sacked Wickremesinghe, India had sought to maintain a hands-off approach, not wanting to be seen as taking sides in the political conflict. While Wickremesinghe wanted India to intervene at some stage, India’s message to him was to have faith in the Lankan legal process.

“As a close neighbour and true friend, India welcomes the resolution of the political situation in Sri Lanka. This is a reflection of the maturity demonstrated by all political forces, and also of the resilience of Sri Lankan democracy and its institutions,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. “India remains committed to taking forward its people oriented development projects in Sri Lanka. We are confident that India-Sri Lanka relations will continue to move on an upward trajectory,” he added.

Sirisena had controversially replaced Wickremesinghe with former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as PM following differences over policy issues.

One reason why India didn’t want to be seen as taking sides was a meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Rajapaksa just before the crisis in Sri Lanka broke out. The meeting was arranged by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy and was seen as an attempt by both leaders to make peace and not get bogged down by the bitterness of the past.

Top Comment
And people were asking why modi took time to visit other countries. This is why . You don”t make supporting ground for your country just sitting at home, you have to outreach and plant the seeds for future.mrinesh lal

The Modi government though has still not forgotten how Rajapaksa sought to turn Sri Lanka into a strategic asset for China in the Indian Ocean. After leading Sri Lanka into a debt trap by borrowing from China at high rates of interest, he also allowed the Chinese to twice dock nuclear submarines in Colombo. India had to repeatedly remind Rajapaksa in late 2014 that his government was acting in a manner prejudicial to India’s interests.

Significantly, while China seemed to have initially endorsed Rajapaksa’s return with Chinese ambassador Cheng Xueyuan calling on him, Beijing too distanced itself from the political turmoil later. Chinese officials attributed the “endorsement” to what they described as inexperience of the ambassador and said China was willing to work with any leader and that it had no favourites.. (Times of India)

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