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Sri Lanka Strengthening maritime security vital - Indian don

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Prof . Raju

Attention must be focused on strengthening Sri Lanka’s maritime security since it plays a vital role in the country’s safety and protection, Pondicherry University Associate Professor A Subramanyam Raju said. “Strengthening maritime security is a must since new threats are emerging from the sea. Such threats are more difficult to tackle than those emanating from land,” he said. Professor Raju said the ocean is rich with many resources.

He was in Sri Lanka on a visit organized by the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies, Colombo.

“The resources on land are explored and utilised. Most resources in the ocean are yet to be explored and utilised. Moreover, maritime security is vital to tackle the impact of climatic changes,” he said.

Commenting on the importance of cooperation among SAARC countries, Professor Raju said all SAARC countries have to act as a group to mitigate or solve issues.

“Every country has to cooperate with other countries.

Issues such as terrorism, energy crisis, poverty alleviation, migration, etc can be solved.

No single country is in a position to solve it isolated,” he said. Even India needs cooperation with its South Asian neighbours. Problems within the region have to be solved through regional cooperation, Professor Raju said.

Speaking on the relationship between India and Pakistan, Professor Raju said both countries have realised the need to forge a good relationship between the two countries.

“The two countries have the responsibility of avoiding conflicts since both are nuclear powers.”

Asked about SARC contribution to keep terrorism in South Asia under control, he said all countries are responsible for tackling terrorism.

“The threat of terrorism is not confined to a specific country. Whatever happens in Sri Lanka or Pakistan, will have an impact on India. Similarly something happening in any country will cause problems to other countries. It will also have an impact on SAARC security.”

Professor Raju said SAARC countries have to seek joint solutions for many burning issues such as poverty alleviation, tackling terrorism, energy security, impact of climatic change, human resources development and many more. “These issues have to be addressed after considering them seriously.”

Asked about the future of SAARC, Professor Raju said SAARC countries should go for strong connectivity. “Unless there is a strong connectivity, no country can think of security,” he said.

“It may be national security or energy security. Even issues related to climatic change cannot be mitigated without strong connectivity. On the other hand, it is difficult to look at the growth of South Asia,” the professor said.
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