« Showdown in Sri Lanka: PM’s sacking sparks constitutional crisis » France 24 Debate

Regional players China and India are keeping close tabs on the Sri Lankan president’s decision to sack Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and replace him with the country’s longtime strongman, Mahinda Rajapaksa. But Sri Lanka continues to have duelling prime ministers. We look into the cause and the legality of the recall, a test for the nation’s democracy. It was on Rajapaksa’s watch that a civil war ended with the crushing of Tamil Tiger rebels. Could the turmoil in Colombo reopen wounds?

Guest

Mohan WIJEWICKRAMA

Former Governor of the Eastern Province

Bharath GOPALASWAMY

Director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center

Delon MADAVAN

Research Associate, Centre for Studies on India and South Asia

Alan KEENAN

Sri Lanka Project Director, Crisis Group

https://www.france24.com/en/20181102-debate-sri-lanka-constitutional-crisis-india-china-rival-prime-ministers-test-democracy?fbclid=IwAR2p9ORonEMmPe-b0r-dzpsFnduatK-I5w5aRltFbP-LEZ36ImDU4Ty81RM

« CBK demands suspension of multimillion dollar Chinese water project » by Namini Wijedasa

A multimillion dollar Chinese-funded water supply project has run into controversy with former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga openly demanding its suspension and an inquiry on the grounds that it is overpriced. In August 2016, the National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) awarded a contract to China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for the Gampaha, Attanagalla and Minuwangoda Integrated Water Supply Scheme. The project cost is US$ 229.5mn (Rs 35.8bn). It is 85 percent funded by a China Development Bank (CDB) loan while the Bank of Ceylon will lend the Government 15 percent of the contract price or US$ 34mn (Rs 5.3bn) as local funding.

via: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/180325/news/cbk-demands-suspension-of-multimillion-dollar-chinese-water-project-287633.html

« Comeback Hopes Dim for Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s Ex-President » by David Barstow

“It is very difficult to keep Rajapaksa out, I would think,” said Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, who runs an election monitoring group and a policy research organization in Sri Lanka. On the other hand, he noted, every recent poll shows Mr. Rajapaksa trailing, and there is “no demonstrable evidence of any kind of swing or shift to him.”

see: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/17/world/asia/comeback-hopes-dim-for-mahinda-rajapaksa-sri-lankas-ex-president.html

« China’s man-made island takes shape in Sri Lanka » by Channel NewsAsia

« The Ocean seafood restaurant at Colombo’s five-star The Kingsbury was once famous for its magnificent view of the Indian Ocean. Its open-air wooden terrace that runs along the hotel’s western façade used to be so close to the beautiful coastline that waves lapped the rocks, sending sprays of sea foam into the air. Not anymore »

see: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/china-s-man-made-island/2051350.html

« Ousted Sri Lankan Leader Angles for a Comeback » by Gordon Fairclough

For the ex-president, the election battle “is a fight for political survival,” said Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo. “Rajapaksa Inc., the dynastic project, can’t stay out of power too long or it risks destruction.”

see: http://www.wsj.com/…/divisive-sri-lanka-leader-angles-for-a…

« Ousted Sri Lankan Leader Angles for a Comeback » by Gordon Fairclough

For the ex-president, the election battle “is a fight for political survival,” said Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo. “Rajapaksa Inc., the dynastic project, can’t stay out of power too long or it risks destruction.”

http://www.wsj.com/…/divisive-sri-lanka-leader-angles-for-a…

« India v. China in Sri Lanka: Lessons for Rising Powers » by Kadira Pethiyagoda

John Kerry’s visit to Sri Lanka, the first by a U.S. Secretary of State in 11 years, recognizes country’s geopolitical importance. It also highlights the outcome of the recent tussle over the island state by two emerging global powers. This is a contest in which India has now gained the upper hand over China, offering important lessons for rising powers as they begin a “Great Game” in Asia.

via: http://thediplomat.com/2015/05/india-v-china-in-sri-lanka-lessons-for-rising-powers/

 » Sri Lanka balances its ties with two Asian giants » by Barrister Harun ur Rashid

“Sri Lanka needs good relations with both China and India but Rajapaksa turned it into a zero sum game, which made him a liability for India,” said Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Sri Lanka.

via: http://www.thedailystar.net/op-ed/politics/sri-lanka-balances-its-ties-two-asian-giants-75269

« Sri Lankan doubts on loans, submarines seen as rebuff to Beijing » by Megha Rajagopalan

If last week’s visit to Beijing by Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera was meant to allay fears that the island nation’s new government was distancing itself from China, it failed.

via: http://news.yahoo.com/sri-lankan-doubts-loans-submarines-seen-rebuff-beijing-141625354.html;_ylt=AwrBJR78B_VUzVsAnYHQtDMD

« Sri Lanka’s new leaders seek $4bn IMF bail-out » by brecorder.com

Sri Lanka’s new government will seek to borrow more than $4.0 billion from the IMF and other international lenders as it « restructures » expensive Chinese debt, the finance minister

via: http://www.brecorder.com/top-news/1-front-top-news/224306-sri-lankas-new-leaders-seek-$4bn-imf-bail-out.html

« Sri Lanka approves Chinese port project to avoid ‘misunderstanding’ with Beijing » by The Guardian

Sri Lanka’s new government will go ahead with a $1.5 bn Chinese-funded port city project planned by the previous president to avoid misunderstandings with Beijing, an official said Thursday.

via: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/06/sri-lanka-approves-chinese-port-project-to-avoid-misunderstanding-with-beijing

« What Sri Lanka’s Presidential Election Means for Foreign Policy » by Frederic Grare

The international community could also play a positive role in Sri Lanka’s progress toward reconciliation. Sri Lanka’s relations with the United States and Europe were notoriously bad during the Rajapaksa regime, but the election creates the opportunity for a revision of U.S. and European policies vis-à-vis Sri Lanka.

To help control corruption and promote reconciliation, it may be time to consider relieving some of the pressures on Sri Lanka applied by the United States and Europe. Gradually unfreezing development aid and giving Sri Lanka enhanced trade benefits under the GSP+ trade agreements if Sri Lanka works toward achieving genuine reconciliation and fighting corruption could be steps in the right direction.

via: http://carnegieendowment.org/2015/01/16/what-sri-lanka-s-presidential-election-means-for-foreign-policy/hzh0

« Charting a New Course: Sri Lankan Foreign Policy » by Yohan Senarath

Adopting an antagonistic approach towards the West only further strengthened their resolve and the resolve of other regional powers to tighten the noose against us. It is critical that if we are to tread delicately and get the best of what the game of international politics has in store for us, that we are at our best behavior at home.

Via http://groundviews.org/…/charting-a-new-course-sri-lankan-…/

« Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Electoral Defeat is Seen by New Delhi as a Defeat for China and Victory for India » by Upul Joseph Fernando

« When the Chinese naval submarine ‘Great Wall 329′ arrived at the Colombo Port, Mahinda Rajapaksa may have not dreamt that even his royal astrologer, Sumanadasa Abeygunawardene’s prediction may prove wrong about his victory. Also, having declared a presidential election and when he travelled to Lord Venkateswara Temple, India, Mahinda may not have felt that the correct Temple to worship was the Temple at South Block, New Delhi. Be that as it may, Mahinda’s destiny was not changed by Maithripala who had hoppers and left him, but by the Chinese submarine ‘Great Wall 329′. »

via: http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/37286

« Sri lanka: After the Election Upset – What Next? » by Teresita Schaffer

« The new Sri Lankan president, Maithripala Sirisena, has a chance to make some changes, but only if he can keep an uncertain coalition together. Resetting relations with Delhi and Washington will be an important part of this – and his country’s friends need to give him some space. »

via: http://southasiahand.com/regional/sri-lanka-after-the-election-upset-what-next/