Prime Minister Narendra Modi is planning to visit Sri Lanka's ancient capital Anuradhapura during his trip to the island nation next month, a move aimed at pushing India's soft power and projecting the country's Buddhist links in the region.
The new Sri Lankan government will find that it has its work cut out just containing Chinese influence in the country, let alone fulfilling the Indian dream of eliminating it altogether. The growth of Chinese influence in Sri Lanka may slow, but Beijing is in the region for the long haul.
With the stunning election victory of President Maithripala Sirisena, on a platform of change for good governance, the potential for brand Sri Lanka to strengthen itself has grown exponentially.
From Narendra Modi’s landslide victory in India to a one-sided and violent election in Bangladesh, from mass demonstrations in Islamabad to campaigning for an early presidential poll in Sri Lanka, 2014 was a year of fast and furious politics for the fifth of the world’s population who live in south Asia.
China has started a major water supply project in Sri Lanka, using its “soft power” to deepen its relationship with Colombo. Once completed, the new project will yield clean drinking water that would benefit 600,000 people, spread in 42 villages, in an area not far from Colombo.
President Xi Jinping wason Tuesday due in Sri Lanka where he will launch construction of a Chinese-backed $1.4 billion port city as he promotes his vision of a "maritime silk road" in the face of growing competition from Japan and India.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa said he welcomes the initiative taken by the BRICS leaders to set up a new international development bank. The President said in a twitter message the new bank will be a helping hand to developing nations.
The Sri Lankan government through diplomatic channels has protested the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funding a project supposedly aimed at enlightening the Sri Lankan public on election systems and voting rights.