Is Rajapaksa regime's inclination towards Beijing a challenge to India?

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 18, 2019, 04.26 PM(IST) Edited By: Nikhil Pandey

File photo: Sri Lanka's President-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa addresses the nation, at the presidential swearing-in ceremony in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka November 18, 2019. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first leaders to congratulate Gotabaya on his victory.

Pro-china Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been sworn in as the 7th President of Sri Lanka.

The oath-taking ceremony took place in Anuradhapura. With Gotabaya's swearing-in, the powerful Rajapaksa family has made a comeback.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among the first leaders to congratulate Gotabaya on his victory.

Modi said that he looked forward to deepening ties between India and Sri Lanka.

Replying to Modi, Gotabaya thanked the people of India and said that he looked forward to meeting the Indian Prime Minister.

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Now, a pro-Beijing government in a neighbouring nation is going to impact India in a major way.

Watch: Gotabaya Rajapaksa's victory in Sri Lanka: What does it mean for India?

 

China became Sri Lanka's largest donor under Gotabaya's brother Mahinda Rajapaksa's presidency.

In fact, it was his party that leased the Hambantota port to Beijing for 99 years. Critics have dubbed the port deal as a 'Chinese debt trap'.

Last year, Gotabaya said that India unnecessarily interfered in Sri Lanka's internal affairs.

Now, a pro-China govt is also going to be a regional challenge for India. 

Remember, Sri Lanka is central to India's maritime security as the two nations share a maritime boundary.

Meanwhile, ahead of his swearing-in ceremony, Gotabaya hinted that his brother Mahinda might make a comeback as the prime minister.

Remember, Mahinda Rajapaksa served as the de facto Prime Minister of the country for a short time, last year.

In his message to Mahinda, Gotabaya said.

"It is time for this land to demand your services again. May you join us in fulfilling people's demands."