India Sri Lanka Relations

India Sri Lanka Relations

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “India Sri Lanka Relations”. The topic “India Sri Lanka Relations” has relevance in the “International Relations” section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

Map of Sri Lanka, New initiatives in Sri Lanka 

For Mains:

GS2: India and its neighbourhood 

Why in the news?

Ranil Wickremesinghe, the President of Sri Lanka, arrived in India on July 20 for a formal visit.

Bilateral Talks Highlights 

MoUs exchanged and documents handed over:

  • The aim of the MoU on Trincomalee is to transform the port and its surrounding regions into a prominent “regional hub” for industry, energy, and renewable energy.
  • An important agreement on digital transactions was signed between Lanka Pay and ECI International, facilitating the acceptance of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) in Sri Lanka.


Major Points: India-Sri Lanka Economic Partnership Vision

  • Opportunity for Bilateral Economic Partnership: The rapid economic growth and technological advancement in India, along with Sri Lanka’s current phase of stabilisation and economic recovery, create an opportunity for a deeper economic partnership between the two countries.
  • Strengthening Connectivity: The leaders recognized connectivity as a key enabler and agreed to promote and strengthen it in various dimensions:
  • Maritime Connectivity:India and Sri Lanka will cooperate in developing ports and logistics infrastructure at Colombo, Trincomalee, and Kankesanthurai to improve regional logistics and shipping. Passenger ferry services between India and Sri Lanka are also planned to be resumed.
  • Land Connectivity: A feasibility study will be conducted to establish land connectivity between Sri Lanka and India, providing access to the ports of Trincomalee and Colombo, fostering economic growth and strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
  • Air Connectivity: Efforts to expand flights between Jaffna and Chennai to Colombo and explore connectivity to other destinations in Sri Lanka. Focus on investment and cooperation in civil aviation.
  • Energy and Power Connectivity: Cooperation in developing renewable energy to achieve Sri Lanka’s target of 70% power generation from renewable sources by 2030. Establishment of a high capacity power grid interconnection between India and Sri Lanka for bidirectional electricity trade. Joint exploration and production of hydrocarbons in Sri Lanka’s offshore basins.
  • Trade, Economic, and Financial Connectivity: Facilitating mutual investments, enhancing bilateral trade and investments through agreements, and promoting digital payments for trade transactions.
  • People-to-People Connectivity: Promotion of India’s Buddhist circuit, Ramayana trail, and religious places in Sri Lanka for tourism. Cooperation in education, research, and academic institutes in various fields.

13th Amendment Issue

  • Indian PM urges Sri Lanka to implement 13th Amendment, announce development assistance for Tamils of Indian origin, and hopes for provincial council elections.
  • The Indian Prime Minister urged Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment, which grants greater autonomy to provinces, in order to ensure a “life of respect and dignity” for the Tamil population in the country. The PM also announced a development assistance package for the Tamils of Indian origin who are commemorating the 200th anniversary of their arrival in Sri Lanka.
  •  Finally, the PM expressed hope that Sri Lanka will hold provincial council elections in the country.

About 13th Amendment:

  • The 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka was passed in 1987 as part of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord. It created a system of provincial councils with substantial powers over land, police, education, health, agriculture, housing, and finances. The amendment also made Tamil an official language of Sri Lanka, along with Sinhala.
  • However, the 13th Amendment has never been fully implemented. The Sri Lankan government has resisted devolving power to the provinces, particularly in the areas of land and police. This has led to resentment among the Tamil community, who feel that they have been denied their rightful share of power and resources.

  • India and Sri Lanka share a 2500-year-old relationship with cultural, religious, and linguistic interactions. 
  • Trade, investment, and cooperation in development, education, culture, and defence have strengthened their friendship. 
  • India supported Sri Lanka during the conflict with the LTTE, and developmental assistance projects have further solidified their bonds.
Commercial Partnership
  • Both countries have a vibrant economic partnership with bilateral merchandise trade reaching around USD 3.6 billion in 2020. 
  • India is a significant contributor to Sri Lanka’s Foreign Direct Investment.
Projects under LOCs
  • Export-Import Bank of India has extended 11 Lines of Credit to Sri Lanka in various sectors like railway, transport, connectivity, defense, and solar. 
  • A USD 100 million LoC for solar projects was signed in June 2021.
People-to-people ties
  • Buddhism is a strong connection between the two nations, dating back to Emperor Ashoka’s era. 
  • India offers numerous scholarships and training programs to Sri Lankan students and government officials to enhance human resource development.
  • India and Sri Lanka conduct joint military exercises named ‘Mitra Shakti’ and a naval exercise named SLINEX.
Support during crisis
  • India provided a $2.4 billion financial assistance package, appointed experts to aid economic recovery, and extended currency swap and credit line for fuel purchases during the recent Sri Lankan crisis. 
  • Additionally, several bilateral agreements were signed, including joint development projects and maritime security pacts.


India and Sri Lanka share a close and stable partnership, and India’s role in addressing Sri Lanka’s current economic challenges has been significant. Through various forms of support, cooperation, and connectivity initiatives, India continues to play a vital role in promoting sustainable and inclusive growth in Sri Lanka.



Focus on joint projects during Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s India visit  – The Hindu 

Yojna daily current affairs eng med 25th July 2023


Q1. With reference to major international ports, consider the following pairs: 

  1. Hambantota Sri Lanka
  2. Chabahar Iran
  3. Trincomalee Myanmar 
  4. Bandar Abbas Pakistan

Which of the pairs given above is/are correctly matched?

(a) Only one

(b) Only two

(c) Only three

(d) All four 

Answer: (b) 


Q2. Which of the following countries is frequently in news due to the “13th Amendment”? 

(a) South Korea 

(b) Sri Lanka

(c) United States 

(d) France 

Answer: (b)

Q3. Analyse India’s support, cooperation, and connectivity initiatives in fostering sustainable and inclusive growth in Sri Lanka.

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