Maritime Security Trilateralism: India, Sri Lanka and Maldives
India perceives the entire Indian Ocean region (IOR) as its strategic backyard and regards itself as a “security provider” in the region. This view, of course, is not shared by many, mainly by the Chinese who often state “the Indian Ocean is not India’s backyard.” To reinforce its own perceptions and stem its eroding influence in the region - India has stepped up its efforts in enhancing its relations in general and on maritime security in particular with its island neighbours, an aspect that is being extended to the entire South Asian neighbourhood incrementally. The importance of the Mahanian concept of utilising Sea Power for the achievement of national objectives has led to the realisation amongst a normally ‘sea blind’ Indian bureaucracy to become more proactive. This article explores the maritime policy of India with regard to its neighbouring littoral states in the Indian Ocean.