Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris yesterday alleged the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government had caused irreparable damage to Sri Lanka’s relations with China and Russia.
Russia had been accused of helping MP Namal Rajapaksa run a special propaganda operation targeting the government.
Prof. Peiris, who is also the Chairman of Mahinda led Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) said that now Russia had been accused of helping MP Namal Rajapaksa run a special propaganda operation targeting the government. Prof. Peiris said so at a media briefing at the Nelum Mawatha Office of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Battaramulla. Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who previously held the foreign ministry portfolio recently alleged that the government was aware of clandestine Russian operation involving Namal Rajapaksa.
His name was likely on a travel watch list as a result of the money laundering charges he faces back home. Namal Rajapaksa and a sibling have been charged with money-laundering. Other family members face corruption allegations.
Prof. Peiris said that allegations had been in respect of China funding President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s re-election bid in January 2015. This funding was exposed by a article in The New York Times How China Got Sri Lanka to Cough Up a Port – The New York Times.
China spent millions in 2015 trying to re-elect the Sri Lankan president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, who signed off on many of those debts, lost his office, and is now plotting a return to power. A New York Times investigation elaborates on the story of how the port at Hambantota came to be, despite the fact that there was little apparent need for a new working harbor on the small island nation. Instead, the site was chosen because it was the political base of Rajapaksa, who sought a symbolic project to celebrate his greatness.
Rajapaksa’s regime had grown close to China as Sri Lanka faced international isolation at the tail end of a brutal civil war between the government and Tamil insurgents. China continued to provide funds and support for Rajapaksa, and in turn he supported Chinese foreign-policy objectives in the region.
Sri Lanka isn’t the only country now fretting about debt to China. The Center for Global Development, a nonprofit research firm, analyzed debt to China that will be incurred while participating in the planned Belt and Road infrastructure investment scheme. It concluded that eight nations could find themselves vulnerable to above-average debt: Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, and Tajikistan.
Prof. Peiris asserted that the government is destabilising relations with UN Security Council members Russia and China, who had always stood by Sri Lanka especially at UN, when others were trying to target the country with Human rights abuses on minority and various resolutions.
22 Mar 2018 – Namal Rajapakse, son of former strongman president Mahinda … to do with my name, being part of #lka opposition or my travel from #Russia.