Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksha are all set to visit China and India in February with the aim of further strengthening regional cooperation and enhancing relations with the two Asian powers, according to report on Friday.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa will visit China on an invitation extended by the Chinese government, the Colombo Page newspaper reported.
Earlier this week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Sri Lanka formally invited President Rajapaksa to Beijing.
During the visit, Gotabaya is expected to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and other top government officials and business leaders.
He is also expected to speak with representatives of the technology, tourism, infrastructure and other sectors.
The date of the visit is yet to be announced.
Last year, in November, Gotabaya was on a three-day visit to India in his first foreign visit after taking reins of power in the island nation.
As Rajpaksas come to power winning the votes of the majority group in the country, Delhi would assess Gotabaya’s stance on Tamil minority group in Sri Lanka. Having a history of accusations of human rights violation against the Tamil minority group in the island nation India has expressed its concern on multiple occasions.
Given the Rajpaksas pro-Chinese policies, it would be interesting how India deals with Sri Lanka’s foreign policies under Gotabaya.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first foreign leaders who congratulated Gotabaya, a former Defence Secretary and the younger brother of controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, on his electoral victory.
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa stormed to victory in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections, the result of which was declared on Sunday.
Rajapaksa conducted a nationalist campaign with a promise of security and a vow to crush religious extremism in the Buddhist-majority country following the April 21 suicide bomb attacks blamed on a homegrown terror group.