Sri Lanka Geopolitics

Sri Lanka Geopolitics

According to itypeusa, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is an island state off the Indian subcontinent. Colony of the British crown until 1948, the year of independence, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon until 1972. Legacy of the colonial period is the contrast between the Sinhalese majority and the Tamil minority, which resulted in a war in the mid-1980s civil society which, despite the agreement reached in 2009, continues to bleed the country. Behind the image of stability conveyed for years by the ‘strong’ government of Mahinda Rajapaksa, president in office from 2005 to 2014, the shadows of interethnic violence and the growth of Sinhalese nationalism have long been hidden.

The new course given to the country by the reformist president Maithripala Sirisena, elected in January 2015 also and above all thanks to the votes of the country’s minorities, and by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who has also been in office since January 2015, seems to bode well as regards the prospects for stability and national reconciliation.

A further contribution to the stabilization of the country came from the parliamentary elections in August 2015: although the United National Party (U np), led by Ranil Wickremesinghe (who supports the president) obtained the most seats, this success was not enough. to ensure the party an absolute majority; The U np therefore had to give life to a government of national unity with the rival formation, the United Alliance for the freedom of the people (U pfa), who supports former president Rajapaksa, despite the latter having decided to stay in the opposition. This necessity represented the premise for the creation of a stable government: the coalition enjoys a large majority in parliament, having more than two-thirds of the seats necessary for the approval of changes to the Constitution. The modification of the country’s constitutional structures and the strengthening of its democratic structures represent the main objective of the close- knit tandem Sirisena-Wickremesinghe: a few months after his election, President Sirisena approved the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution, which envisages the reduction of the president’s powers and the consequent devolution of part of him to parliament; Prime Minister Wickremesinghe also expressed his intention to guide the country’s political process in the direction of a further constitutional amendment and a further strengthening of democratic institutions.

The establishment of Sirisena has also seen a change of pace on the international relations front: while the previous president, Rajapaksa, had pushed towards a strengthening of relations with China, to the detriment of relations with Western countries, Sirisena has shown to prefer the West and India to Beijing. However, Western countries, primarily the US, are pressing the country to put an end to inter-ethnic violence definitively and undertake a serious effort of national reconciliation. The United Nations (Un), in particular, urged the country to internationalize the process, relying on international experts, and to establish a tribunal in charge of judging war crimes. On this front, however, there are numerous resistances on the part of Sirisena, which has instead expressed its willingness to resolve the issue with an internal process in the country.

The country’s relations with the European Union (Eu) have also stalled on the thorny issue of human rights: in August 2010, Brussels decided to temporarily suspend the preferential customs regime Gsp + (Generalized Scheme of Preferences plus benefits), leaving however in the standard GSP regime is in force, which is limited to providing preferential access to the European market for the main Sinhalese exports, primarily textile products.

Among the founders of the ‘non-aligned movement’, Sri Lanka pursues a multilateral foreign policy. It participates in the work of the United Nations and takes part in regional integration organizations, such as the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) and the Asian Development Bank (Adb). In July 2015, the country also joined the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (A iib), the international financial institution created by China in October 2014.

Another important direction of the relations of Sri Lanka is constituted by the relations with the Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, important suppliers of hydrocarbons. In the Persian Gulf states, affected by intense migratory flows, the Sinhalese community is one of the most numerous.


The language spoken in the Sri Lanka is Sinhalese, also known as Sinhalese, which belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of the Indo-European family and was formerly imported from northern India, and was then strongly influenced by the indigenous Dravidian languages. The oldest form is eḷu, or pure Sinhala, Prakrit very similar to Pāli. This language is also used in modern works by the purist school. Parallel to eḷu, another linguistic form developed, Sinhalese mixed, characterized by a strong influence of Sanskrit. A distinction between the two forms is however evident only starting from the 11th century. A notable contribution to the uniformity of the literary language in general was made by Sidatsaṅgarāva (“Classical Grammar”, 13th century).

Sri Lanka Geopolitics