Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse landed in China yesterday in search of support against an aggressive Western push for a probe into war crimes allegations and tighter economic ties in a stormy financial world.
Rajapakse was due to attend the Universiade sporting event in Shenzhen and will later meet President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in Beijing. The Sri Lankan leader on Monday said economic cooperation was his focus.
China is Sri Lanka's largest bilateral donor and in June committed $1.5 billion (Dh5.50 billion) to Sri Lanka's $6 billion post-war rebuilding plan, having already financed a power plant and new port in Rajapakse's southern Hambantota electorate.
"They want to make sure the same magnitude of money flows in, in times of insecurity," said a Colombo-based diplomat on condition of anonymity, referring to the global debt turmoil that has hit world markets. That, however, is not likely to be at the top of his list.
"The fact is he is awfully disturbed by the pressures he is getting from the Western hemisphere on the war crimes issue," said Kusal Perera, a political analyst at The Centre for Social Democracy.
But ethno-political reconciliation is still distant and the island nation is facing an aggressive campaign to probe civilian deaths at the end of the quarter-century conflict in May 2009, when China, Russia and neighbouring India stood by Rajapakse's prosecution over the war.
Washington has told Colombo it wants the findings of Sri Lanka's internal probe, the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, to be submitted to UN Human Rights Council session after they are given to the government on November 15.
That would open up a host of material critical of Sri Lanka's handling of the war that could end up before the rights council at its March session, and give momentum to calls for an external probe to which Sri Lanka has refused to submit.
so you think the west are not pursuing their own interest? they genuinely care about us? If you say yes then you also have to believe in Santa Claus.
Ado Wednesday, 10 August 2011 09:06 AM
Chinese are the most selfish people on the earth. So better be careful when you are dealing with them.
UK TAMIL BOY Wednesday, 10 August 2011 09:14 AM
H R W AND WESTERN ALSO CRITICIZE TO CHINA ........!
sparks Wednesday, 10 August 2011 09:50 AM
Their is nothing called a "free meal" from any nation, whether West or China or India. However, amount of Santa Claus and Ali Baba qualities in these nations need to be logically analysed. As much as their are successful prosperous western colonies around the world, it is rather difficult to find any nation that has prospered with China.
yagmur Thursday, 11 August 2011 06:31 AM
this was fight against terrorism... why are ppl complaining about war crimes??
ASFAR Wednesday, 10 August 2011 10:23 AM
china and russia, will not help when needed. specially with the UN.
LoneRanger Wednesday, 10 August 2011 04:44 AM
Western push, what about India?
Imran Hussein Wednesday, 10 August 2011 06:15 AM
On the night of June 3rd, 1989, troops of China’s People’s Liberation Army moved into Beijing to crush the pro-democracy demonstrations in which thet massacred several thousand men women and children. China is ruthless wehen its comes to their own interest. Depending on China is hopeless, as they dont veto security council resolutions they only abstain. Better mend sour relations with the west.
Banda Wednesday, 10 August 2011 06:45 AM
one million% correct
Nimal Wednesday, 10 August 2011 06:49 AM
Hi Imran, I cannot disagree with you.
faqi Wednesday, 10 August 2011 06:49 AM
At the present time China seems a a good ally of Sri Lanka, but in fact China in reality only looks after her interests first. Its best we deal with the matter with negotiations with our western allies.
bernard Wednesday, 10 August 2011 06:53 AM
Too proud to do that.
mewan Wednesday, 10 August 2011 07:17 AM
Brother, what about the atrocities committed and still being by USA in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan. Every major power is the same.
malkanthi Wednesday, 10 August 2011 07:13 AM
As at present, China seem the most favourable country specially development work which is beneficial for both and an investment for them. As usual we are mixing politics into this.
LoneRanger Wednesday, 10 August 2011 07:26 AM
Just ask any Chinese who you meet on the road and who can speak English. There is still a lot of poverty and no one can complain.
Guru Wednesday, 10 August 2011 07:33 AM
At the nick of time China will drop you. China can't afford to loose the west, where they sell their products.
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