India-China-Sri Lanka: The triangular story!

Despite being the closest neighbors, these three Asian countries have been holding each side of the triangle with the view of strengthening their respective sides on becoming the epicentric power in the region and one of the powerful tools to enhance its presence is to win the stronghold of the water bodies and with the view of that, India has strongly been backing Sri Lanka through financially and politically even after the throne was taken by the Rajapaksa dynasty, which unleashed the unprecedented war crimes a decade ago that had claimed the lives of over lakhs of Sri Lankan Tamils and the recent financial aid to the island's defense hold the testament on how India has been worrying about the dominance of China on the waters of Indian ocean and across India's neighbors.

On January 18th, India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval had met with incumbent Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa during which, on behalf of the Indian government, Doval agreed to release Rs 360 crore as India's financial aid to Lanka's defense forces to procure advanced mechanisms for its intelligence wing. During the meet, the duo had largely discussed on laying down the work towards enhancing the cooperation between the defense of both countries and to strongly engage in maritime security. 

(L-R) Ajit Doval and Gotabaya Rajapaksa during the bilateral meet in Colombo - Jan 18, 2020


Our sources had brought to the picture that the meet also had discussions on carpeting the joint work on barricading the smuggling of arms and drugs between two nations during which Ajit Doval reiterated India's commitment on working closely in the areas of border and maritime securities to forgo the threats including illegal movements and fishing on the shores of their respective countries following which Gotabaya Rajapaksa had asked India's financial aid to enhance the intelligence of country's military. Ajit Doval asserted that India would aid Rs 360 crore to Sri Lanka and along with that Ajit Doval also held talks to establish a Maritime research institute in Sri Lanka.

Our sources had revealed the fact behind the Doval's visit to Colombo. They stated that Doval's visit had constituted the base of China's recent decisions towards getting closer to Sri Lanka as Beijing has been very keen to sail around the Indian waters and in 2017, China had taken Sri Lanka's Hambantota port into the lease for 99 years. After Gotabaya had assumed to the throne in the last quarter of 2019, his government had proposed to include components in Hambantota pact that would lessen the dominance of China in the country and after Beijing had come to the awareness, it furiously sent its top official in the foreign ministry to Colombo and that was one of the important meetings India kept its drone on.

Chinese Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Wang Yi meeting Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo - Jan 14, 2020


On January 14th, exactly four days before Doval-Gotabaya meet, the incumbent Sri Lankan President met with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi during which the Foreign Minister carried the voice of Beijing and stated that China won't allow other countries to involve in Sri Lanka's internal affairs and he asserted that China would be backing Sri Lanka in the International stage and more importantly, Wang Yi said that Beijing will stand with Sri Lanka during the UN Human Rights Council assembly in Geneva in February and March that would likely to investigate the war crimes committed by Sri Lanka during the last stages of civil war.

The sources have indicated that this meet would portray how Beijing has been committed to strengthening its ties with Colombo and it was this meeting that made Doval embark on the plane towards Colombo and the discussions between Gotabaya and Doval had highlighted how Sri Lanka resides with India on the maritime security and that's why meeting with Doval was inevitable for Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

(L-R) Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during India- China second informal summit held in Chennai, India on October 11th and 12th, 2019


China has certainly been extending its hands across Asia particularly in the South China Sea and Indian Subcontinent through which it can lower the rise of India which is next in line of succeeding China as Asia's powerful country and India has been one of the main rivals for China in Asia which has a nuclear arsenal. Beijing has been installing its naval fleets around India and its neighbors including Sri Lanka's Hambantota port, Pakistan's Gwadar port, Myanmar, Bangladesh's Chittagong port and all of these ports have very close borders with India. 

However, on the other hand, MDMK Chief and Rajya Sabha MP Vaiko had accused the BJP ruling Central government of releasing the financial aid to Sri Lanka through the tax paid by Tamil people and he added that the BJP has betrayed Sri Lankan Tamils and Tamil people over being a part of enhancing Lanka's army.