Trouble in Sri Lanka. Today, the island nation’s president, Maithripala Sirisena, suspended Parliament until mid-November. The decision comes a day after his surprise sacking of Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister — and his even more surprising appointment of former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Wickremesinghe’s replacement. Sirisena ostensibly suspended the Parliament to deny Wickremesinghe, whom the president has accused of supporting an India-backed assassination attempt against him, the opportunity to reclaim his post. It’s juicy political drama with a geopolitical bent. When Rajapaksa was in power, he aggressively courted Chinese military assistance and investment in a pair of strategic port projects, making Sri Lanka a cautionary tale of China’s “debt trap diplomacy.” India is believed to have helped broker the coalition between Sirisena’s and Wickremesinghe’s parties that beat Rajapaksa in the 2015 elections, and Sri Lanka has kept a more balanced
Daily Memo: Sri Lanka, Israel and Oman, China and Japan
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