Colombo to have centre to monitor India

india-sri-lankaIndia’s ongoing diplomatic tussle with Nepal has been noted by Sri Lanka, prompting prevention plans to avoid confrontation with a more assertive India.

Colombo’s civil society figures have revived the proposal to build the India Studies Centre (ISC), which was championed by the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar to understand and correctly anticipate Indian policy behaviour to avoid any bilateral tensions, The Hindu newspaper reported.

“It’s now more than ever necessary to understand what India plans for South Asia as the world seems to be making space for India in the high tables of international diplomacy. As India finds a new and more intense international role, smaller neighbours of India too will have to understand New Delhi’s behaviour in order to avoid any confrontation with the regional superpower as cooperation is in mutual interest,” said former Ambassador Kalyananda Godage, the driving force behind the proposal.

Godage, a veteran diplomat, told The Hindu that Asoka Milinda Moragoda, politician and founder of the Pathfinder Institute in Colombo had also been taken on board to push the idea of a more sophisticated centre for India studies in Colombo.

Moragoda, former Minister of Justice, launched the Sri Lanka-China Studies Centre on October 21 in Colombo.

“The latest tussle between India and Nepal has shown that misunderstandings can happen even among close South Asian neighbours. That is why we have revived the project of the late Kadirgamar,” Godage said.

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