Sri Lankan opposition MP Shankian Rasamanikam has warned about anti-China protests in the country. He has said that due to the ongoing economic crisis in the country, the campaign of ‘Go back to China’ may start. He said that the way the movement against former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa started a few months ago, in the same way the movement can start once again. According to Rasamanikam, the way the campaign started due to the currency crisis and the former President had to run away, in the same way, problems can increase for China.
Uproar over help from China
Rasamanikam, 32, is one of the few Sri Lankan MPs who can speak English, Tamil and Sinhalese fluently. On Friday, he said in the House, ‘I had demonstrated the sovereignty of the citizens of the country in the Parliament for the last few days. I am speaking on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka and not on behalf of any other country or embassy. But I am being repeatedly tagged on Twitter by the Embassy of China and this is a matter of serious concern for the sovereignty of this country. His statement came after the Tamil National Alliance’s Batticaloa district last week asked China for more help in Sri Lanka’s debt restructuring efforts.
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eyes on imf package
Whether Sri Lanka will get a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund depends on whether the government receives adequate funding assurances from its creditors, including private lenders and bilateral creditors. Sri Lanka’s economy of $ 2 trillion has a Chinese debt of about $ 7.4 billion. Rasmanickam said that if China was a true friend, it would either agree to write off the debt or at least help in its restructuring.
China replied to the tweet
He also said that if the Chinese government and embassy do not look after the interests of our citizens. He then said that soon there would be a ‘China Go Home’ and I would lead it. The Chinese Embassy had replied to Rasamanikam’s tweet. The embassy wrote, “Sorry, Mr. MP, your understanding is wrong and incomplete.” China was Sri Lanka’s ‘biggest partner’ in fighting COVID-19 and in livelihood relief. It was said in the tweet that Chinese President Xi Jinping has reiterated China’s willingness and readiness to help Sri Lanka on several occasions.
China always a priority
Sri Lanka has always preferred close friends from China over its neighboring Maldives, no matter who came to power. Every government has maintained close and cordial relations with China. Although the present government of the country openly follows the ‘India First’ foreign policy. The people of Sri Lanka are divided on financial aid. Last year saw protests against the Colombo Port City.