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Home  > Tamil Eelam Struggle for Freedom > International Frame of  the Tamil Struggle  > The Indian Ocean Region - A  Story Told with Pictures > Indian Ocean Region a strategic heartland > International Relations in the Age of Empire

The Indian Ocean Region

Indian Ocean Region a strategic heartland
'Advent of a less Western-centric and multi-polar world'

 Hindu Report, 13 December 2006

KOTTAYAM: The centrality of the Indian Ocean Region in the emerging political scenario of 21st century was stressed by Donald L. Berlin, Head of Security Studies, Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii.

He was speaking on "Indian Ocean and Second Nuclear Age" at School of International Relations and Politics (SIRP), Mahatma Gandhi University on Monday.

Indian ocean region had become the strategic heartland of the 21st century, dislodging Europe and North East Asia which adorned this position in the 20th century, he said and added that the developments in the Indian Ocean region were contributing to the advent of a less Western centric and a more multi-polar world. The Indian and Pakistan nuclear tests and the nuclear programmes of Iran and North Korea were milestones in the evolution of these developments, he said. This growing nuclearisation of the Indian Ocean region would play a key role in evolving the strategic rivalries of the 21st century, he observed.

In addition to the nuclear programmes of the Asian powers, the Indian Ocean would also witness the presence of nuclear vessels, as more powers would use the region as a zone for patrolling, he said.

The causes for the intensifying strategic rivalries were not the ones the prevailed in the 1970s or 80s, Dr. Berlin said and added that one of the new factors was the growing importance of oil, energy and other vital resources. One of the more important factor could be the rise of India.

As India evolves, New Delhi's interests in Indian Ocean would increase, so also would the interest of other powers either to check India or to align with the rising power.

In addition to the nuclearisation, the positioning of Indian Ocean as a frontline in the fight against terrorism would also bring it to the central position in the evolving political scenario, Dr. Berlin said. Ratna Mukherjee, Cultural Advisor, U.S. Consulate, Chennai; G.P. Ramchandra and Raju K. Thadikkaran director, SIRP, spoke.



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