Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa goes back to China


Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa landed in China on Tuesday 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. Rajapaksa 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 to Sri Lanka’s $6 billion post-war rebuilding plan, having already financed a power plant and new port in Rajapaksa’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.