The Editors of Bloomberg, in where the title is “Is Sri Lanka the next Myanmar?”…..
After the stunning ouster of strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa in last week’s elections, another small, strategically vital Asian nation would appear to have rejected China’s embrace. Whether the U.S. and India can exploit this opportunity, however, will depend on whether they recognize what’s unique about Sri Lanka.
The first thing to appreciate is that voters weren’t necessarily driven by resentment of China. They elected Maithripala Sirisena as president because they had tired of the opacity and perceived cronyism of Rajapaksa’s administration, symbolized in part by multibillion-dollar projects handed out to Chinese companies with little oversight. Elites had begun to fear that Beijing would soon demand more political and military influence as part of its largesse. Yet, unlike Myanmar, which shares a land border with China, such concerns remain somewhat theoretical. Sri Lanka has vast infrastructure…
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