Speaking Of Asia

Chinese 'spy ship' visit shows Rajapaksas still run Sri Lanka

Anyone who believes their power and influence on the island is over only needs to examine the circumstances of the visit by the Chinese tracking ship to the southernmost port of Hambantota – seat of the family’s political base.

Workers wave China's and Sri Lanka's national flags upon the arrival of Chinese research and survey vessel Yuan Wang 5 at Hambantota port, on Aug 16, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

In the minds of most of the world, and indeed for millions of Sri Lankans, the Rajapaksa clan's grasp over the teardrop-shaped island nation ended with Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa's flight to the Maldives, then to Singapore, from where he resigned from the presidency. He is currently said to be in Thailand.

So unpopular is the family as a result of the current economic morass in Sri Lanka that it looks certain that no Rajapaksa - not even the victorious civil war president Mahinda, Mr Gotabaya's elder brother - can possibly dream of retaking power, at least for a while.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and straitstimes.com

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.