Observing, Not Interfering In Sri Lanka's Political Crisis, Says China

Sri Lanka had plunged into crisis since President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinge and appointed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as his successor.

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Observing, Not Interfering In Sri Lanka's Political Crisis, Says China

Ousted Sri Lanka prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says he commands the majority in Parliament.


Beijing: 

China on Monday said it was closely monitoring "the political turmoil" in Sri Lanka but maintained that it is the internal affairs of the country and hoped that the relevant political parties can resolve their differences through dialogue and consultations.

Sri Lanka had plunged into political crisis since President Maithripala Sirisena sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinge and appointed pro-China former president Mahinda Rajapaksa as his successor.

Asked about China's stand on the current political crisis in Sri Lanka considering that Beijing has made huge investments in the island nation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China is following the crisis closely.

"China and Sri Lanka are friendly neighbours. We are closely following the changes in the situation in Sri Lanka," he said.

China, he said will always follow the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of other countries.

"The changes in Sri Lankan are internal affairs. We believe the Sri Lankan government political parties and people have enough wisdom to deal with the internal situation," he said.

On question about the Chinese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Cheng Xueyuan meeting both Mr Rajapaksa and Wickramasinghe, Mr Lu said "we have maintained communication with relevant political parties in Sri Lanka. Chinese Ambassador met respectively Wickramasinghe and the new Prime Minister and exchanged views on bilateral relations with the two".

The reference Mr Rajapaksa as "new Prime Minister" by the spokesman was seen as significant by the observers considering that Mr Wickramasinghe maintains that he is still the Prime Minister.

China has developed high stakes in Sri Lanka since it made over $8 billion Chinese investments, including the Hambantota port and the Colombo port project during the tenure of Mr Rajapaksa who is widely regarded as pro-China.

China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure and developments in Sri Lanka since Mr Rajapaksa's rule. The government led by Mr Wickremesinghe has tried to re-balance Sri Lanka's foreign relations away from China and towards India and Japan.



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