Sri lanka News:Will election results change its relationship with India?

Sri lanka News
Credit: Asian Tribune

The presidential elections are due to be held in Sri Lanka on November 16. Will these elections also affect India's and China's relations with Sri Lanka?

This time there are 30 candidates in the race for the presidential election. But the main battle is believed to be between the United National Party's Sajit Premadasa and Sri Lankan Podujana Peramuna's Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

The incumbent President Matiripala Sirisena's tenure has been very controversial. They are not contesting elections. There is no candidate from this Sri Lanka Freedom Party in this election.

Their party is ideologically divided into two factions. On one side, a faction Gotabaya is supporting Rajapaksa and on the other hand, supporters of former President Chandrika Kumaratunga are supporting Sajit.

In the 2015 presidential elections, Maitripala Sirisena alleged that his opponent and then President Mahinda Rajapaksa had close relations with China.
Sri lanka News
Credit: the atatesman.com

At that time, there was also the question of whether the Sri Lankan government's decisions on China would change if Mahinda lost the elections.

However, despite the fact that Mahinda lost in these elections, Chinese investment in Sri Lanka and close ties with it remained intact.

At that time, supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa had alleged that India played a major role in their unprecedented defeat.
Sri lanka News
Credit: mfa.gov.lk

The occupation of China

Looking at this backdrop, the question that arises is how will the presidential election this month affect Sri Lanka's relations with India and China?

Jayadev Uyanggode, a professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Policy at Colombo University, says, "A few days ago, Rajapaksa tried to make Ranil Wickramasinghe's party a supporter of US and Western powers. Now there is a slight decrease. Foreign policy does not play a big role in elections. "

For more than ten years, China has been helping Sri Lanka financially. It has now taken control of the Mahinda Rajapaksa port at Ambathottai, near the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka.

This acquisition is of strategic importance. This port was built during the reign of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

This port is located in a very accessible place in the Indian Ocean for the transportation of Chinese warships from which they can supply oil.

China has also played a major role in developing Colombo port.

India has entered into an agreement with Sri Lanka on the construction of the Eastern Container Terminal at Colombo Port.

But Sri Lanka has expressed its interest in very few such projects. Even the Colombo Container Agreement could have been made after a very long time.

Maitripala Sirisena did not show much interest in reaching an agreement with India, on which Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and the President raised questions at a meeting last October.