India Continues Secret Military Ties with Sri Lanka - The New Indian Express

India Continues Secret Military Ties with Sri Lanka

Published: 01st Dec 2013 09:46:48 AM

India’s diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka may face rough weather due to pressure from political groups in Tamil Nadu, but its defence ties would continue as usual through joint training, sharing of warfare expertise and military exchanges.

Indian Defence Ministry sources say that “political diplomacy with Sri Lanka may go through its pulls and pressures from political parties in Tamil Nadu, but military ties would not get tied down by such considerations” and would go on as usual.

“Political issues won’t affect military ties. There is an Indian security consideration involved in defence ties with Colombo. Sri Lanka is a very important nation in the maritime domain in the Indian Ocean Region,” a senior Defence Ministry official said.

There was also a clear signal in this regard in the form of Indian Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi’s five-day visit to the island nation this week, where he met the Sri Lankan political and military top brass to share critical inputs on military matters concerning the Indian Ocean region.

The Navy chief’s visit, though, was down played by the Indian defence establishment, whose members refused to talk about it till the visit was over, just as the External Affairs Ministry played down Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse’s two-day stay in New Delhi on Thursday and Friday.

Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s brother Gotabaya met with senior officials in the Indian External Affairs and Defence Ministries, but the meetings were kept under wraps till he left for Colombo on Friday.

In the case of Admiral Joshi, while Colombo went public about his visit and participation in the Galle Maritime dialogue that focused on Indian Ocean Region, New Delhi preferred to maintain a stoic silence about his visit.

Only earlier this month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had skipped the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet in Colombo, where India was represented by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid. The Indian government took this decision under pressure from political groups in Tamil Nadu who are opposed to any diplomatic ties with Sri Lanka over the ethnic Lankan Tamils’ rights issue.

Indian Navy chief, during his stay, attended the Galle dialogue earlier in the week where he pitched for regulation of private maritime security forces, against the backdrop of the recent Indian experience in detaining an American-owned cargo ship off the Tamil Nadu coast.

Joshi was joined at the meet by naval leadership from 35 other maritime powers from the region. He also interacted with Gotabaya there. During his stay, Joshi met Sri Lankan Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya and Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, where the two sides discussed various military cooperation topics, particularly in the maritime domain such as anti-piracy operations and maritime crimes.

On the last day of his visit, Joshi met President Mahinda Rajapakse, where the two discussed the Indian offer to train Lankan Navy officers in the B.Tech course at the Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala, Kerala.

The Indian Navy chief assured priority to Sri Lankan officers at the INA from among the foreign applicants. Sri Lankan foreign minister professor G L Peiris was present during those discussions, in which bilateral cooperation in anti-piracy operations was a key topic, say sources.

The two sides also talked about curbing the attacks on Indian fishermen at the high seas by the Lankan naval forces.

Indian Navy chief travelled around the island nation to several major maritime locations, including Trincomalee and Mannar.

Power Play

After the PM skipped the commonwealth summit, India is believed to be going through a phase of having lowest leverages with Sri Lanka in recent years. But there is an opportunity to up the leverage with Sri Lanka interested in ensuring the UNHRC reprimand in March next year is not that harsh. India hopes this allows it to play a role, so that it regains strategic space in Sri Lanka. It requires this ‘leverage’ to be able to extract commitments from Colombo on fishermen issues, keep the lid on inclination in the ruling regime to dilute 13th amendment and that the northern provincial government is allowed to function.

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Comments(24)

Why India continue to harras Sri Lanka. India should take its citizens Tamils back to Tamil Nadu. They were brought in by Britishers to work in tea estates

Eastern part Srilankan tamils are indian by origin. They settled there a century ago but whereas, northern srilankan tamils have their origin there itself. Even Colonial empires records also show that there 2 kingdoms one Tamil & other was Sinhala when they entered the island.

Tamils were in Sri Lanka long time ago was a myth created by tamils. There are no archaeological evidence waht so ever that tamils were in Sri Lanka before British times

Archeological evidence is plenty considering that the Chola empire conquered Sri Lanka and held it for nearly a 100 years nearly 1000 years ago. Following that the Jaffna Kingdoms, the Madurai Nayak Dynasty, the Kotte Kingdoms etc all had Tamils influences dating back for nearly a 1000 years. The greatest lie told by the Sinhala nationalists is the that Tamils are foreigners to Sri Lanka, when there is clear historical proof of numerous tamils kingdoms, kings and empire invading, conquering and establishing their own kingdoms in Sri Lanka. The spread of Hindu temples, the spread of Tamil itself is evidence of this.

Why are Sinhala so stupid ? How can tamils brought by the British to Sri Lanka be Indian citizens ? Even Sri Lanka itself didn't exist before India achieved freedom, so there is no such thing as "Indian tamils" in Sri Lanka. Sri lankan sinhala should stop barking and educate themselves. If you can't live with Tamils, that is your problem, not India's. Learn to live with your own people before asking others to take care of your problems. India doesn't exist to help you solve your problems.

Even Sri Lanka itself didn't exist before India achieved freedom, so there is no such thing as "Indian tamils" in Sri Lanka. What the hell are you talking about, 1. Sri lanka existed way before India achieved independance, go back and check your history. 2. There is such a thing as "Indian Tamils" in Sri Lanka. because they are the ones brought to Sri lanka from India during the British rule to work in the tea estates.

Please read my comment first before trying to educate me about the "facts". British Ceylon gained independence in 1948 and even then was a military vassal state of Britain till the 1970s. Thus in 1947 when India became Independent there were no "Sri Lankans" or Ceylon. There was only the British empire. Second, it was the British who deposited Tamils from Madras state to Ceylon - not India. The Republic of India has no responsibility towards taking back anybody. Ask the British to repatriate the Tamils. And these tamils whom the British deposited were not Indian citizens and therefore cannot be taken back by Indian even if India wanted to. Understand ?

"If you can't live with Tamils, that is your problem, not India's" If India did not form ,train and arm terrorists there won't be a problem don't you agree. So India is very much a part of the problem, you can't run away. A small section of the Tamils that were brought by the By the British were sent back to India under 'Sirima-Shasthri Pact but most of those who agreed to go later changed their mind probably after what they heard from those who went. Those stayed are now Sri Lankan citizens.

The present Indian central government does not seem to understand the emotions of the Tamil people or it acts and pretend not to.Anyway the Chinese are at your back so please watch your back..Just simply very disgusting.

India will ask for trouble if it tries to save Sri Lanka from censure during UNHRC session in Geneva next March. Sri Lanka has not done any independent investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It faces a strong resolution against it next March. Tamil Nadu will boil if India sides with Sri Lanka. India can decide if it wants Tamil Nadu or Sri Lanka first.

As Asitha pointed out please dont harrass Sri Lanka. take back the tamils to Tamil Nadu.

Asista is ignorant and so are you. Please educate yourself and solve your own issues. India is not responsible for depositing any Tamils in Ceylon. Ask the British about that. Also, Tamils have been residents of Ceylon for nearly 1000 years continuously. The fact that Sinhala now believe fairy tales about "sinhala only" sri lanka is not India's problem. Stop harassing Indian fishermen, stop persecuting tamils and stop blaming others for your problems. Even the West, East and everybody else is sick of hearing your excuses.

@Nash Listen SOB, the only inbred back birthed savages are you Sinhala mongrels who have been humping your cousins for 4 millenia because you are too fugly for anybody else! What Indian Tamil nadu politicians says or do is none of your concern and no business of yours. They have every right to make any statement they want, if you don’t like it you are free to F-off and die, nobody in India gives a crap anyway and guess what ? Neither does anybody else in the world!! The only reason India has been concerned is because your banana republic cesspool is spilling over into India and bringing in a large number of refugees and other problems. Clean up your own country or we will be forced to do it for you whether you like it or not! Sinhala monkeys talk a big game but all over the world they are pansies who get owned by Tamils globally and then they come begging to Indian migrants to protect them and claim they are Indians when ever Tamils come to bash their heads in LOL! Talking tough here?

Nash - Tamil nadu politicians have every right to speak up about fellow tamils not only because they share a common cultural heritage but also because they have the rights in India that can't be denied to them. If you don't like it that's your problem - not India's. Further India is not responsible for the Tamils in Sri Lanka, sri lankans need to solve their own problems and do so properly without affecting other regions or countries. The fact that India choose to support you during the civil war was so that the sinhala can start treating the Tamils with respect and solve your problems peacefully. Sri Lanka wouldn't have won without India's extensive support and you have already gotten your "butts kicked" plenty during the last 30 years of civil war. As to fishermen, Sri lankan fishermen have been caught and in the last 13 days nearly 100+ sri lankan fisherman have been caught poaching in Indian waters. The narrow seas have no markers and fishermen can quite easily cross over.

War crimes what do you mean Dr Sammy, if you think SL army committed war crimes in 2009, please check what did IPKF did in Jaffna during their occupation. The massacre in the Jaffna hospital (including doctors and other staff) and various other crimes during the occupation. Indian government training the educated tamil youth to become terrorist to kill and get killed rather than educating them to engage politically with SL government with the backing of India. we never committed war crimes instead we conducted the largest hostage rescue mission in the world.Getting the tamil civilians out of the LTTE terrorists which people like you do not want to accept, please come and see what is happening in SL. well there are problems every where but at least all the Tamil familys in SL do have a toilet belongs to the house they live, they do not get raped in the morning going to do NO 01 or 02 or coming back after doing 01 or 02

Actually Dr.Sammy, we have got quite used to this Geneva tiger. We know now that this is a paper tiger and that it can cause no real harm. The worst that can happen is slapping of sanctions by US,EU and India. If that is what they want they would have done so anyway,there is no one stopping them even now. The Tamils or so called human rights are not that important to them, you see. Harper and Cameron were in China and Indonesia recently did you hear them reprimanding the Chinese for violations in Tibet and Uygur or Indonesians for East Timor .

Vijaya, a criminal and his gang who came from Bangladesh, are the first Singhalese illicit immigrants to come into Sri Lanka, where Tamils were already living. The Singhalese married Tamil women, and played havoc in the country. Singhalese are guilty of crimes against minority Tamils, ever since Britain gave the Singhalese independence in 1948. India should impose a Cypriot like solution on Sri Lanka to save the Tamils.

Tamils are all parasites! Just as France belongs to the French, Sri Lanka belongs to Sinhalese. The world Ceylon means the land of the Sinhalese. These tamil slaves were brought down by the British, because the sinhalese refused to work on plantations under the British! We were brave enough to put up a fight. If India should meddle with SL, both pakistan and china, will teach you a grave lesson. Indians are smart people! Therefore they consider tamils as second class citizens even in India. They are unhygenic, they are like gypsies in Europe. Don't let toilet nadu destroy the great, and historical Indu-Lanka ties.

The Sinhala capacity to say silly things and make silly assumptions about India is always amusing. Pakistan and China won't lift a finger if tomorrow India decides to nukes Sri Lanka into a parking lot and even if they did try to help they would fail miserably because Pakistan is bankrupt and muslim and China is 2000 kms away . Remember the example of Bangladesh - China and the USA tried to intervene but failed. So please don't make idle threats that are meaningless. India respects all its citizens equally, tamils particularly. The Sinhala small brain cannot comprehend that to New Delhi, Tamil Nadu is more important than 1000 Sri Lanka's put together and New Delhi will always choose Indian citizens and Indian interests before Sri Lanka. Try to get this through your brains!

Just because a few Sinhalese say a silly thing don't paint the whole nation with same brush. If that were to happen, we'll have to call all the Tamils silly for the things you say! For example, India can not nuke Sri Lanka for the simple reason it will be like nuking the whole of south India. When you talk of small brains, think of your self first.

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