Sri Lanka's foreign policy under close watch in India

Rajapaksa pledges neutrality, but Delhi frets over Chinese influence

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa inspecting a guard of honour at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on Tuesday.
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa inspecting a guard of honour at the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo on Tuesday.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Sri Lanka's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said he would maintain an "equi-distant" with all countries and "remain neutral in the power struggles among nations".

Yet, as Mr Rajapaksa takes over the reins of a country that is strategically located in the Indian Ocean and firmly wooed by China, there is some trepidation in northern neighbour India over whether Chinese influence will increase.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 21, 2019, with the headline 'Sri Lanka's foreign policy under close watch in India'. Print Edition | Subscribe