Sri Lankan President Vows to Finish Term

    Photo: Bloomberg [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • Sri Lankan Pres. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has vowed to finish the remaining two years of his term in office despite mounting challenges and new defections from within his government.

    • The latest defection came on Thurs., as Basil Rajapaksa, the president's brother and - until April - his finance minister, announced his resignation from Parliament.

    The Spin

    Anti-China narrative

    Sri Lanka's crisis is a product of Chinese foreign policy, specifically its practice of "debt-trap diplomacy." China offers to build sparkling new infrastructure based on unsustainable amounts of debt, then host countries default and China gets a new link in its "Belt and Road Initiative."

    Pro-China narrative

    India is responsible for the "debt trap" allegations. It is an effort to interfere with China's friendly and productive economic ties with its neighbors. India should commit to joining in with regional economic cooperation efforts instead of hampering them.

    Narrative C

    The Rajapaksa's reign in Sri Lanka has been marked by nepotism and persistent allegations of corruption on top of atrocities committed against civilians during the civil war. The clan has invited outsized and opaque Chinese investments so that they themselves could personally profit at the expense of the nation. Sri Lankans are justifiably angry.

    Establishment split



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