Lanka most militarised in South Asia
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Lanka most militarised in South Asia

A think tank says Lanka will continue to hold this position between 2006 and 2010, reports PK Balachandran.

india Updated: Sep 22, 2006 03:58 IST

The twenty-five year long military conflict between the Tamil insurgents and successive Sri Lankan governments has made Sri Lanka the most militarised country in South Asia.

In this respect, Sri Lanka has dwarfed the much larger India and military-ruled Pakistan, says a study conducted by the Mumbai-based Strategic Foresight Group (SFG).

Published in January 2006, the SFG monograph says that Sri Lanka will continue to hold this "dubious" position between now and 2010, given the absence of any clear signs that the military conflict is going to taper off, say the researchers, Semu Bhatt and Devika Mistry.

Successive governments and the LTTE are both to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs, as both sides have continually raised the scale and technological sophistication of the war.

A major contributory factor in the high militarisation of Sri Lanka has been the nature of the LTTE.

In military terms, the LTTE is unmatched in the South Asian region. No other insurgent group here has, or has ever had, the equipment and military capabilities that the LTTE has.

No other country has faced the kind of challenges that the LTTE has posed to the Sri Lankan government.

Presenting comparative data for 2004, the SFG's report says that Sri Lanka was the most militarised among the South Asian countries with 8,000 military personnel per one million population.

First Published: Sep 21, 2006 17:06 IST