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Updated: April 8, 2013 00:45 IST

India needs a federal foreign policy

Manoj Joshi
Comment (37)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Since most States share an international boundary, they need to be involved and consulted on external affairs that affect them

The competitive populism in Tamil Nadu over the situation of Tamils in Sri Lanka has generated a great deal of alarm in New Delhi over the manner in which political issues relating to a State have begun impinging on India’s foreign and security policies. Though somewhat over the top, the Dravidian parties have a point, but a general one rather than the specific case they are advocating.

The general point is that in any country, the people have a right to advocate and push for a particular foreign and security policy. Given our linguistic, ethnic, religious and ideological divisions, these views often come across as those belonging to this or that section. That, too, is legitimate. But at the end of the day, this diverse country must have a single policy and its execution must be the responsibility of its federal government.

Sectional interests

The government structure as such does not cater to these sectional interests; in other words, there are no constitutional or institutional mechanisms to relay those interests. So, with Union governments taking the form of coalitions, they have become vulnerable to party or sectional pressure which often takes the form of pure blackmail.

The withdrawal of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam from the United Progressive Alliance government could be seen as being part of the rough and tumble of coalition politics. Actually, it is more likely that the party has used the Sri Lankan crisis to push for a separation from the UPA, because it is politically expedient for it to do so. After all, what is happening in 2013 — or even what happened in 2012 — is not the worst that has befallen the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

But with general elections looming, competitive populism seems to be ruling the roost. The DMK wanted the UPA government to pilot a resolution in the United Nations demanding an international probe into alleged war crimes tantamount to “genocide” in Sri Lanka. Then with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa joining the fray, the demands escalated — a boycott of the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit to be held later this year in Colombo, a ban on Sri Lankan players in the Indian Premier League matches in Tamil Nadu and an Assembly resolution asking the Union government to get the U.N. to create a separate Eelam in Sri Lanka.

The DMK and the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam are only a more extreme manifestation of a trend we have been witnessing recently in India where coalition constituents and States are bringing foreign and security issues to the bargaining table. Actually, the leader of this pack has been the Indian Left for which the United States is a permanent anathema. This is what led to the crisis in UPA-I in 2008 when the Left pulled out of the coalition because it opposed the India-U.S. civil nuclear deal. This move of the Left was also pitched as much on its belief that nothing good could come out of an agreement with “imperialist” America, as its attempt to cloak the decision in the garb of attacking America for its anti-Muslim policies.

The next instance of this “State-first” approach occurred when West Bengal Chief Minister and then UPA coalition partner, Mamata Banerjee, opposed the river waters agreement with Bangladesh. In September 2011, on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka, the Union government was forced to call off the signing of a pact that would have ratified a formula for sharing the waters of the Teesta with Bangladesh.

The surprise entrant into this club was Narendra Modi who suddenly jumped into the Sir Creek issue on the eve of the Gujarat elections. In a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Modi said that not only should India not hand over the Creek to Pakistan, it should stop any dialogue with Islamabad on the issue. Any concession by New Delhi would affect Gujarat negatively.

In all four instances, it is possible to argue for a “Union of India” stand rather than that of the State or party in question. In Sri Lanka, the Government of India has had to balance its policies to ensure that Colombo does not drift towards Beijing and Islamabad. There also is the question of pushing resolutions on the territorial issues of other countries, having burnt our hands on the Kashmir issue once. Equally, resolutions on human rights in international bodies are a double-edged sword, especially given our own shoddy record in dealing with internal insurgency.

As for the Teesta issue, there were expectations that in exchange for the river waters treaty, Bangladesh would sign an agreement giving India transit rights to its land-locked north-east. Clearly, while West Bengal may have notionally given up something, there was the advantage of the greater good that would accrue, not only for the north-eastern states but West Bengal as well, through the increased commerce that would have resulted from a transit agreement.

In the case of the nuclear deal, too, the net gainer was India. It was the U.S. which had to abandon its sanctions regime against us and agree to allow civil nuclear commerce to resume with India. Given the balance of power in the international system, it was a deal only the U.S. could pilot — not France, China or Russia — though all of them had to finally put their stamp on it through the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

In Gujarat, the boundary between India and Pakistan on Sir Creek remains disputed and, as a result, the maritime boundary between the two countries has yet to be finalised. In this sense, India and Pakistan are both losers, not only because no one will invest in exploiting the natural resources from a disputed area, but also because they will lose out on the extended exclusive economic zone they can get under the U.N. convention on the laws of the seas.

Intersection of issues

Yet, there is a case for institutionalising the process of consultation and involvement of States which are affected by a particular foreign or security policy measure. Barring Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, all Indian States share borders with other countries, or with the international waters of the sea. In that sense, they have interests or issues that may intersect with the foreign and security policies of the country.

In recent times, we have seen how the politics of Kerala has impinged on a foreign affairs issue relating to two Italian marines. There is Jammu and Kashmir which still complains about the short shrift it got on the matter of river waters when the Union government signed the Indus Waters treaty with Pakistan. As for waters, the Chief Ministers of Bihar and Assam too have important issues which impinge on our relations with Nepal and China.

Among the various governmental systems, the U.S. is one in which the interests of its federal constituents are taken into account in the formulation and exercise of foreign and security policies. This was part of the large and small States compromise that resulted in its constitution. This enables its upper chamber, the Senate, to be the lead house on foreign policy issues — ratifying international agreements, approving appointments of envoys and so on. The Senate, as is well known, has a membership which is not based on population — each State, large and small, populous and otherwise, has the same number of Senators.

It would be difficult to graft something like the U.S. system on to the Indian system. Yet, clearly the time has come when Mizoram and Nagaland also have a say in India’s Myanmar policy, instead of merely having to bear its consequences.

(The writer is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi)

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2/2
India started off by training Tamil fighters then trying to thrash them and
eventually getting thrashed by them.

The DMK & AIADMK stance on the Sri Lankan Tamil issues may be dismissed by
the Centre as posturing & shedding of crocodile tears. But that ignores substantive
issues such as the groundswell of support in Tamilnadu for their kinsmen in Sri
Lanka, gross human rights violations by Lankan forces against the Hindus & Tamil
minority and the continuation of ethnic cleansing by the Rajapaksa government.
Viewed against the backdrop of anti Hindi agitations, incoherent Indian policy
towards the Tamil struggle in Sri Lanka, the lack of concern shown by the Centre
when Tamilnadu fisherman are arrested and tortured by the Sri Lankan navy makes
me wonder if there is continuity in policy making at the Centre.

I second the view of Mr Ashfaq who succinctly writes:

“As long as India thinks that the Hindi heartland is India, it is bound fail its federal
structure”

from:  V. Suresh
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 15:50 IST

1/2

Some readers here assert that the US has a mature, federally motivated foreign
policy, unlike India. Fact is that in many countries corporate interests, parochial
interests of specific religious or ethnic groups, military considerations etc. dictate
foreign policy. US relations with Cuba is dictated by the exile Cuban community;
interactions with Ireland are influenced by Irish diaspora in the US. Likewise, CIA
sponsored coups in several countries were driven by the corporate considerations
of firms like ITT, the United Fruit company, oil companies etc. France has backed
separatism in the French speaking province of Quebec in Canada.

India is no exception although some of its foreign policy entanglements border on
the bizarre cf. the Bhagavad Gita row with Russia. India raises hackles when coups
in the Fiji affect Fijians of Indian origin or when Hindus get victimised in Pakistan
or Bangladesh. But the policy towards the Tamil cause in Sri Lanka is truly boggles
the mind.

from:  V. Suresh
Posted on: Apr 10, 2013 at 15:50 IST

Just think of Chandy or Karunanidhi or Mayavati or Mulayam Sing becoming a Minister for External Affairs. Mamata or Modi or Karunanidhi or Chandy are all playing to the galleries in their own state to get votes.

from:  Guptan Veemboor
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 08:40 IST

well defined article. i agree with the author, we need more federal system now that may save the state people deprivation.

from:  gopal
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 00:30 IST

Foreign policy is one of the converging points of domestic politics and international order. Every union-state tries to pursue its own interest in the international arena and therefore, maximalist approach to security and strategic interests is the general maxim. However, in a federal polity there can be a situation of the many elucidated above that a constituent-state within union would try to be a maximalist in its outlook without looking at the larger federal order. Hitherto, it was an unnoticed fact due to exclusivity of the domain of foreign policy lying with the union government.
The question remains how far these constituent state units can influence centre's approach towards international order. The price are two-fold. In the persuasive international relations only centre can provide the security based on its sovereign rights. On the other, inter-state relations among constituent units can get severely exposed to international law, weakening the federal structure.

from:  ambijat
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 00:27 IST

Migration from one state to another not damaged any culture ,but that
enrich the human knowledge and form a new culture that is more inclusive
and open ,that is metros are more adaptive ,cry of locality is a problem
created by lake of opportunities .Yes Indian states should have there
say in dealing or framing policies regarding SriLanka or China,or Myanmar

from:  Nand Kashyap
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 22:26 IST

States should have a say in foreign policy when their political
ambitions are not narrow. In India all the regional parties do pity
vote bank politics. Take example of Jharkhand in which the political
class is not mature and unable to provide a stable government for the
last 12 years.
Foreign policy is a very delicate issue and should be handled with
utmost integrity, in the era of globalization. There was a reason why
India was declared union of states not federation of states and that
reason persists today as well. Our political system has not matured
yet and giving the states say in foreign policy may threaten national
integration as well.

from:  Divya Prakash
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 20:53 IST

Where does this end? Next, do we want to take inputs from districts?

Foreign policy is a strategic endeavor directed towards broad economic
interests and spheres of influence. Good economy helps strengthen
foreign policy. Sound policy helps economic growth and expand speheres
of influence. Narrow sectarian or parochial issues SHOULD never be
factors in directing foreign policy. Best of brains need to be involved.
There cannot be "open discussion" and "vote based dictates".

from:  Venkat K
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 20:53 IST

I agree with the author. It may appear that this will lead to less choice for Delhi to determine the course and regional interests might play a role. But this is what exactly required. The final say should be left to Delhi after hearing the opinions and taking into consideration of affected states.

I feel this way India will become a mature democracy and will have less chance of a break-up of the country. If Delhi takes a unilateral decision then it is likely that some of our states might feel unhappy.

from:  vishwanath
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 20:40 IST

It is complicated matter but time has come to discuss and make opinion
upon this.It is true,Indian peoples are not so matured politically as
American especially concerning foreign issues.It is also the need of
the time to discuss right of the states(provinces)which are having
different socio-cultural and economic(financial)requirements that is
shaded in the name of unity-integration.Communication and information
technology,migration of peoples from one state to another state are
great danger to local ethnic culture and natives.States should
provides more and more rights and autonomous.

from:  Iftekhar Hussain Syed
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 19:03 IST

A very good article!! Due to partition, makers of the constitution gave prime importance to unitary features than federal features. It is long since partition has happened. So it is high time that these features are liberalised and all states should be taken into confidence while making any policy which effects them.

from:  Madhav
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 18:11 IST

Central Govt. is juggling between unitary-cum-federal based Indian
Constitution in the sense of union, state and concurrent lists
matters.
>> Our constitution was drafted perfectly well keeping in mind to
come-up with the best one to avoid any confrontation ahead and that
can't be denied.
>>But inevitably now time has changed so the generation, we are on the
eve of 3rd generation-runway that's quite different from past leaders,
who were much savvy,came out of colonialism after a long struggle and
much sacrifices then and were highly proficient and real witness of
fraternity and patriotism benefits. Currently we are on 'My way or the
Highway' principle which is just the cynical ploy by some of the new
politicians for their own advantage, So, by and large, fixing our mind
on alert, in pursuant of sensitivity of constitution amendment
pragmatic approach must come under consideration.

from:  Shivam
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 17:25 IST

The author's suggestion is good , but it does not apply to a developing
country like India. In India, the state politics are so dented by
regionalism that it can change the future relations of India with the
neighbours , which are still not mature.
The author has made a blunder , by taking the America as example
because their politics are entirely different , mature and value-based
which is not the case with India. If adopted now , it will lead to anarchy , undermining the Union control which is the main objective of Article 1 of Inidan
Constitution.

from:  Tharun
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 16:59 IST

Considering Indian History of foreign policy since independence one can be so assured that international sphere is just like african savanna region i.e game country.Stronger YOU are better it is.Respected Chacha Nehru tried to infuse idealism in this area and miserably failed and CHINA again shown it to the world action speaks louder.So in INDIAN context whether you involve constituent states in foreign policy making or not what actually required is to leave behind rubber spine attitude of politicians.For further inquest the book by former bureaucrat is helpfull.(Words, Words, Words: Adventures in Diplomacy by T.P.SREENIVASAN)

from:  SNEHA KHARAT
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 16:11 IST

I strongly oppose author's views. Foreign policies are related to the country with broader interests rather than sectorial or regional or sub regional interests pay at the cost of India as a country. At the same time central ministers who just act as representatives to their constituencies or respective states should change their behaviour. We are aleardy fragmented and if we follow the above recommendations India will be divided into more folds.

from:  Annaji Sekhar
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 14:22 IST

It is advisable to take the views of a state into cognisance while
dealing with foreign countries, especially if the issue affects the
people of the particular state for e.g., the teesta river which is
shared by westbengal and bangladesh. But in a case where the issue
doesnt directly affect people of the state and state political parties
are acting only in their own political interest ignoring the rest of
the nation for e.g., the srilankan tamil issue it is imperative for
the union to step in and take control of the situation so that
dealings with a neighbouring country are done in the best interests of
the entire nation rather than a particular state.

from:  tej lohit reddy
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 14:18 IST

The article rightly points out the need of states' representation and say in foreign and security policies.
But Indian democracy and constitution is not usually used in manner it is meant to be. It's always bent by our representatives for naive issues.
So, even if we do change our system to resemble that of US, there's no surety that it will work.
The need of the moment is the change of mindset, which should be populism rather than short-sighted and vote bank politics.

from:  Aditya Abhinav
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 14:02 IST

No, not at all otherwise India would start to suffer with new kind of dirty politics. Mindset of Indian State politics is not as good as that of America(in america situations are different) If they are given any sort of autonomy in dealing with their neighbouring countries; they will certainly bring something hazardous to national security. The few prudent moves which country could have taken in the past is due to powerful secular government in the centre. States like Bengal and Tamil-Nadu are able to ruin whatever we have achieved in the name of foreign policy in the last 65 years.The move would certainly lead to the domolition of the nation.

from:  Ashish Sharma
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 13:46 IST

Nice suggestion by the author. Even though foreign relations belong to the Union
List, the central government always needs to figure in concerns of different states
while deciding upon foreign policies. So, it is quite natural if an institutional
mechanism allowing for the same exists. For this to happen, the Central government
needs to adopt an accommodative tenor which the current dispensation is accused of
not having.
However, a flip side to this is that foreign policy can be held hostage to petty
political interests of state parties which often look at short-term perspectives. So,
there must be debate as to what should be the ole of such institutions. Should they
be just advisory in nature or should their recommendations be binding upon the
Union government. But, there must be such mechanism otherwise foreign policy gets
subjected to arbitrary interference of state politics.

from:  Mukut Ray
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 13:06 IST

The author has addressed an important question viz the party in
power at the Centre should take into consideration the will of the
people in various parts to arrive at a foreign policy. But there is
an even more fundamental issue. India does not appear to have a
consistent foreign policy. Our attitude to Pakistan is quite
different from that towards Sri Lanka and Bangla Desh. Somehow,
Pakistan has become our enemy, while Sri Lanka and Bangla Desh are
our friends. In international interests there are no friends or
enemies, no one is a saint or sinner. Our relations should be based
on how they respond to our needs, how they react to issues relating
to those of Indian origin. On this latter issue both Bangla Desh and
Sri Lanka fail as badly as Pakistan.

from:  DR.R.VENKATARAMAN
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 12:29 IST

As long as India thinks that the Hindi heartland is India, it is bound fail its federal structure.

from:  Ashfaq
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 12:07 IST

I beg to differ with the author about federal structure of the constitution. It will lead to communal politics and political aspirations of all parties are well known to us.
Border issues are very important as it implicitly ir explicitly affect the economic as well as social development of a state & eventually India as a whole. For maritime boundry and border disputes of a concerned states,Centre can take an advice or recommendation of the concerned state but these should not be binding on the centre.

from:  Ankita
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 11:52 IST

It is because the public representatives, especially who join the lower
house of the parliament, do not act in the spirits of the "Republic of
India" anymore. The cause for which over 200 rulers gave up their right
to rule seems to have lost now.

Delhi is not a capital anymore. It's a departmental store which has just
too many customers with discount coupons.

from:  Deepak Singh
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 10:03 IST

I fully concur to the author.As India moves forward as a mature
democracy it is only logical that states should have a greater say in
foreign policy.Today barring a few places India is not in the danger of
breaking up anymore.Hence its important that now the states are made
stakeholders in the process of foreign policy as well.

from:  Ibu Sanjeeb Garg
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 09:48 IST

I do agree with the writer's contention, but only to the extent of it
being and remaining an ideology and a theory. Consulting every state in
any and all matter of international policies viv-a-vis a foreign
country with which it shares boundary with is counterproductive.
Because the particular state is represented by the political parties
there. And these parties can't act without political calculations.
Rarely will they take any sane decision at the cost of compromising
their political standings- as has been made clear in the article too.
A "State's Committee on International Affairs" can be an answer. Every
state should have the permanent committee with members independent of
any political allegiances. This committee should represent the state at
the time of any international policy formulation that directly or
indirectly affects the state. Thus the state will get the say and also
political consideration could be kept at bay.

from:  Ajeet Tiwari
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 09:47 IST

Good article.There has to be consultations with all the political
parties from the concerned State when the GOI takes important decision
with a countries like Srilanka, Bangladesh etc.
Not all the Singalese are anti Tamil.We must openly support UNP, TNA
and the Muslim parties in Island and forge a stong alliance and remove
Rajapakse and family from power.

from:  Mani
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 09:47 IST

What is being meant by the author will help only to balkanise India.Actually we are in the midst of jingoism under the mythological background where we are being portrayed as the most cultured nation.Basically we have evolved into a huge landmass where the ruling class is more bothered about their loot without caring of basic necessities of the people.

from:  atis
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 06:09 IST

Very well said on How the Central Government should prepare itself for shaping an acceptable foreign policy for Indian People rather than for India.Staying at the far end of the Nation, General Public may not appreciate much about nuances of our Policy on Pakistan and similarly people at North may not be aware of the issues involved drafting the right policy on Sri Lanka.

from:  T Sivasankaran
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 04:31 IST

The basic issue here is not what Tamilnadu wants, but what is good for India. Do we endlessly support an ultra-nationalistic approach by a small country to suppress and subjugate a minority who was defeated by arms supplied to it by another country that wants to get a foothold in South Asia using the fault lines and divisions that unfortunately exist in this region. Do we continue to keep silent on the failures of Sri Lanka to meet the commitments it made to get our support when they were fighting against LTTE? If we kept quiet during the war, it was because we were supportive of an undivided Sri Lanka within a tolerant society. That is not what we saw after war. If India can not speak up against atrocities in Sri Lanka, where else can we speak up? Why did we interfere in Bangladesh when Pakistani army was brutalizing innocent citizens of Bangladesh? Do we have a coherent and consistent policy? I am afraid that those who want to shield Sri Lanka are tearing up the bonds within India.

from:  Nathan
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 04:06 IST

India is a federal State with a
national government and a government of
each constituent state. The government follows strong central bias. In recent years we have witnessed strong agitation from the states over foreign affairs , one of the reasons for it is the lack of complete majority at the centre by a single.political party . It acted as a boon at times for the federal structure of our politics otherwise their demands were completely neglected.Foreign affairs comes under union list of the constitution.A strong federal foreign policy can cater the needs of the states and will make them flourish socially and economically , moreover it will remove the sense of alienation among the neglected states .

from:  Veeraj Punjabi
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 04:06 IST

Sir, can the setup of federal foreign policy be envisaged as per the
current framework of the constitution of India?

from:  guest
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 03:05 IST

I beg to differ. We need to look at basics first.
1. What was the reason for inclusion of Foreign Affairs in the Union List?
2. Why is it that Sardar Patel initially approached Princely states asking them to hand over only three domains - defence, communication and FOREIGN POLICY?
3. Does the Creek issue or Tista issue have implications only for Gujarat or West Bengal? Aren't these issues transcend the regions and have larger implications on the national interest? And if it has notion of national interest, why allow these states to influence the national issue, disproportionately?
4. Don't we have Rajya Sabha representating States interest at National Level?
5. Why create one more federal institution while already regional parties are disproportionately influencing national policies?

Giving say to states in foreign policy will undermine Indian National Interests. People of affected states always have voting weapon in National Elections. Why increase complications?

from:  Mahesh J
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 03:04 IST

The demand for greater autonomy for states has been an ever existing issue on Indian political platform. but founding fathers of our constitution were well aware of the need for a strong center to counter regional and secessionist tendencies. Moreover, in present era of narrow minded vote bank politics where leaders try to cash on some issue by misguiding local population to ensure security for their political thrown, keeping aside national interests, a 'union' is preferable over a 'federation'.
India is still a nation in making and it is evident from the very debate of 'state vs union' as union is nothing but a sum of all states and it would be incorrect to assume it as something 'anti-state'. It is actually sad that recent coalition politics is turning out to be an opposition within rather than a support. Otherwise on international issues, even opposition parties have been inline with the government.

from:  pradeep
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 03:00 IST

Why do want our foreign policy to be a hostage to domestic and
regional political calculations? Shouldn't foreign policy be conducted
in a patient and even-handed manner than in a hot-headed myopic way if
regional political bosses dictated foreign policy? The Senators of US
don't represent states which are so diverse in Nature. In the US, the
two party system is very entrenched. If your idea is implemented in
India, every regional party would make conducting international
relations an infinitely difficult task, and every country would be a
friend and foe for India. This would be worse than non-alignment.

from:  Samir Jaju
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 02:26 IST

Why limit federal approach to foreign policy decision-making. We need to adopt such approach in all aspects of governance in the country. In all policy decisions, many stakeholders are involved, why not take maximum or all stakeholders into confidence while making policy decisions at the district, state, and national levels. Currently, the policy decisions are taken by bureaucrats at district level, elected governments guided by their political motives, at the state levels, and a clique of powerful politicians at the national level, followed by a sham discussion in the parliament. Why not involve people at the block and sub division levels through a system of proposed actions becoming local laws through voting in conjuction with local, state and national elections. People's participation is needed to decide before an illegeal building comes into being in the middle of polpulated areas, rather than letting it rise and fall at the behest of some self-serving interests at whatever level.

from:  surinder
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 02:25 IST

Federal foreign policy or any policy for that matter must be refelctive of the interest of the nation's people. It cannot stand aloof without taking into account of the views and interest of the federal states that make up the federation. It is the ethno linguistic diversity that led to the creation of the federation, and not refelcting the interest of these states in the formulation of the 'Central' foreign policy would lead to the collapse of the federation itself. One more flaw in the author's arugument is that we should do nothing that would take Sri Lanka in China's fold is a foolish one to say the least. When the war was at the peak and Sri Lankan not able to finance the war it was Inida which gave a soft rolling credit facility of USD 100mn, this is not all Inida has helped logistically and even provided advisors to shore up the Sri Lankan army in its fight against the Tigers, and the result is that Sri Lanka is firmly in the fold of China.

from:  rakavan
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 01:57 IST

Yes. This diverse country must have a single foreign policy and its
execution must be Federal Government's task. But, as a corollary, there
should be some limitations on direct loans to and help for development
projects in states. They should be negotiated by and routed through the
Federal government. The problem is old when it was insisted foreign
assistance should not be discussed directly with chief minister B.C. Roy
and a foreign power.

from:  Govind Mudholkar
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 01:26 IST
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