Sri Lanka and India, although separated only by a channel, have never gotten along well. It is like the UK and France being at war with each other, centuries ago. Both Colombo and New Delhi are really distant neighbours. Their mistrust is so deep that one attributes all types of motives to the other. Yet, all their enmity is not over territory or policies but on the discriminatory treatment meted out to Tamils living in Sri Lanka.
Over the years, Colombo has given New Delhi the impression that Sri Lanka is working out an arrangement whereby the Tamils would enjoy autonomy within the country. This hope got a fillip when the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was eliminated lock, stock, and barrel in a war which lasted for decades, and ended four years ago. But President Mahinda Rajapaksa dashed all hopes, during the Independence Day address last month, when he ruled out any kind of political autonomy to the Tamils who are concentrated in the north-eastern province.