Swaraj in Sri Lanka: Transforming ties and China factor

The ongoing two-day visit of India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is the third bilateral high-level exchange in two months, and underlines a new vitality in multifarious relations between the two neighbours.
India’s foreign minister’s visit is aimed at setting the stage for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to the island nation next week. The visit is the first by any Indian prime minister since Rajiv Gandhi’s trip in 1987. Mr Modi will be on a multi- city tour in Sri Lanka, visiting the Jaffna province as well as addressing the Sri Lankan parliament.
In the days to come, Sri Lanka shall have to do some tightrope walking to keep the investment flowing in from China, while tilting towards India. Amid the shifting geopolitics of the region, one can safely say that the new government in Colombo has begun course correction by underlining the centrality of New Delhi to Colombo’s national interests even as it pursues its economic ties with Beijing, albeit in a possibly attenuated manner.

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