Sri Lanka’s erstwhile Prime Minister Mr. Sirisena resigns and has passed on the baton to his predecessor Mr. Rajapakse, who was responsible for China’s strategic construction of Colombo port
The United People’s Freedom Alliance, a coalition headed by Mr. Sirisena, announced its decision to quit the unity government and declared Mr. Rajapakse as the new Prime Minister.
The coalition United People’s Freedom Alliance used to be led by the senior partner, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, from 2004 to 2015, under Chandrika Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapakse. Mahinda Rajapakse was defeated in the Presidential election by Maithripala Sirisena in 2015. When he was Prime Minister, Mr. Rajapakse, Mr. Sirisena’s predecessor, and successor, leased out the Hambantota port to the Chinese, allowing China to build Colombo port. This move has ensured Sri Lanka’s fall into China’s notorious ‘debt trap diplomacy’. According to experts, this was a move on the part of China to draw Sri Lanka away from its neighbor and arch-rival, India. The preceding Prime Minister Mr. Sirisena was also responsible for permitting China to take a 99-year lease on Hambantota port.
The ruling alliance’s Ranil Wickremesinghe has met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and come to India multiple times to win Indian support regarding Sri Lankan projects. He last arrived only last week to meet PM Modi, a few days after Mr. Sirisena accused India’s RAW of hatching a plot to assassinate him. Though the ruling alliance has been on thin ice for a while, this sudden move was not immediately expected. With many experts questioning the constitutionality of this move, it remains to be seen what the incoming Prime Minister has in store for Sri Lanka and the world