A few days ago, five important leaders in the Indian subcontinent, and neighbouring nations, were present in one location, Male, the capital of Maldives. The official occasion was the ceremony for the appointment of Maldives’ seventh president, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. India’s PM Narendra Modi, the highest-ranking leader to attend the inauguration, met Solih and the two agreed to maintain peace and security in the Indian Ocean. Modi was seated between two former presidents of Maldives, Maumoon Abdul Gavoom and Mohamed Nasheed. Also present was the Sri Lankan president, Chandrika Kumaratunga. Ironically, India’s relationship with both Maldives and Sri Lanka are at a low ebb these days. Foreign ministry officials are busy working out strategies to correct the situation. Unfortunately, it seems that China has the upper edge, at least at the moment. Sources say that the Red Dragon may drag down Solih over the next few months, and get someone closer to China to become the new president in Maldives. This can happen as early as March 2019. Although Sri Lanka has a love-hate relationship with China at present, the two nations were quite close not too long ago. Therefore, India is cautious and cannot allow China’s continuing interference in the two neighbouring nations. However, both neighbours are not too comfortable with Big Brother India.
VOL. 12 | ISSUE 8 | NOV 2018