Daily News Analysis


stylish lining



Why in the News?

Recently, 50 people boarded a ferry, Cheriyapani, from Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu to cross the Palk Strait and travel to Kankesanthurai in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

The ferry from Tamil Nadu to Jaffna:

  1. The maritime service which was begun in the early 1900s, was discontinued in the 1980s due to ethnic strife in Sri Lanka.
  2. Both the countries planned for reactivating the sea route for more than 12 years. 
  3. India and Sri Lanka signed an MoU for sea connectivity in 2011 and a ferry service between Tuticorin and Colombo began the same year, however, it was discontinued because of logistical reasons in less than 6 months.
  4. The new ferry service shall take about 3.5 hours to travel 110 km from Cheriyapani to Jaffna.
  5. The sea-route rejuvenation shall also provide robust commerce between India and Sri Lanka, and encourage people-to-people contact between the two neighbours.
  6. India’s Neighbourhood First policy has located India-Sri Lanka ties that emphasised maritime connectivity, including the development of ports at Colombo, Kankesanthurai and Trincomalee and the revival of sea routes.
  7. Cheriyapani is also likely to bring pilgrims to religious centres in southern Sri Lanka and temple towns in south India.
  8. The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) will operate the ferry service

Combating China’s influence:

  1. China is Sri Lanka’s biggest bilateral creditor and has roped in the country in its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 
  2. Delhi has sought to counter Beijing’s influence in the island natio through initiatives such as:
    1. Providing $4-billion aid package
    2. Enhancing civilisational aspects of its ties with Colombo in terms of movement of people and ideas over centuries.
    3. Launch of ferry services between Nagapattinam and SrilLanka’s Kankesanthurai.
    4. Direct flights between Delhi and Colombo were launched in 2015.
    5. The direct flight between Chennai and Jaffna began in 2019