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Wijeweera-induced leftism failed to see SL’s strategic imperative in collaborating with India for sustainable growth

The economic progress of a nation hinges on fostering relationships with external investments, rather than pursuing a path of increased isolation.

In the case of a relatively smaller nation like Sri Lanka, the cultivation of economic ties with a neighbouring economic powerhouse becomes paramount.

In this regard, India emerges as the immediate and geographically proximate candidate, boasting not only regional significance but also representing the world’s largest market.

The utilisation of Sri Lanka’s strategic assets, such as its ports and the Trincomalee oil tanks left by previous investors, for extensive industrialisation necessitates collaboration with neighboring India.

Given the impracticality of linking a remote island like Sri Lanka with the distant Western world, the intervention of a proximal economic giant like India becomes imperative.

Thus, the prudent approach for a diminutive nation like Sri Lanka is to seek investments exclusively from an economic powerhouse where its geographical location holds significance.

Situated in close proximity to India within the Asian continent, Sri Lanka historically served as an outpost for Western nations seeking access to the vast Indian subcontinent. This geopolitical positioning was driven by concerns that the island might pose a threat to established Indian rule if captured by a rival party.

It is crucial to note that Sri Lanka’s appeal did not stem from any inherent resources or intrinsic importance but rather its strategic location. Presently, global powers, including China, accord attention to Sri Lanka based solely on its impact on their regional rival, India.

Consequently, the strategic relevance of Sri Lanka lies in its geographical proximity to the Indian peninsula rather than any other inherent attributes. Therefore, Sri Lanka’s pursuit of economic viability should centre on its close association with India rather than distancing itself from the latter.

India, as the democratic market and industrial capital nearest to Sri Lanka, provides a unique opportunity. The imperative now is not to sever the diplomatic ties with India and succumb to tribal isolation but to engage in diplomatic collaboration with India to discover and enhance its own economic value.

*Adapted from original article “විජේවීර වාමවාදයේ විකාර සහගත ඉන්දියන් විරෝධය අදට වලංගුද?” by Priyashantha Rajapaksa published on 21.12.2023.

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