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What is the News?
The Indian Foreign Minister is on a visit to Sri Lanka. During this visit, several agreements have been signed.
What are the agreements signed by India and Sri Lanka?
Hybrid Power Projects in Three Islands of Sri Lanka
India will set up hybrid power projects in three Islands off Jaffna in Sri Lanka.This will be the third Indian energy project coming up in Sri Lanka’s north and east.
These projects effectively replaced the Chinese venture cleared by Sri Lanka in 2021.
Note: In 2021, Sri Lanka decided to award renewable energy projects in Nainativu, Delft or Neduntheevu and Analaitivu islands to China.
– India was quick to express concern to the Sri Lankan side over these Chinese projects coming up in the Palk Bay, barely 50 km off Tamil Nadu. India offered to execute the same project with a grant rather than a loan. Unable to pick a side, Sri Lanka kept the project in suspension, apparently putting off China.
Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre
Bharat Electronics Limited(BEL) based in Bengaluru will build a Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre at the headquarters of the Sri Lankan Navy in Colombo.
The Centre will coordinate the operations of the Sri Lankan Navy and the Coast Guard in the vast Search and Rescue Region of the island nation.
About the Sri Lankan Tamil Issue
India welcomed the talks between the Sri Lankan President and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)
Note: Recently, Sri Lankan Government made fresh assurances to address long-pending Tamil concerns such as the release of long-detained suspects arrested under Sri Lanka’s terrorism law, land grabs by state agencies and enforced disappearances. However, the government did not mention anything about the 13th amendment.
13th Amendment: It is an outcome of the Indo- Sri Lanka Accord of 1987 signed by then Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayawardene. It is an attempt to resolve Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict. The amendment led to the creation of Provincial Councils, assured a power-sharing arrangement to enable all nine provinces in the country, including Sinhala majority areas, to self-govern.
Source: This post is based on an article “Indian power projects replace Chinese ventures in Sri Lanka” published in The Hindu on 30th March 2022.