Sri Lankan external affairs minister to visit China

Colombo, Feb 8: Sri Lankan external affairs minister will undertake an official visit to China next week to strengthen bilateral relations, the government said here Friday.

G.L. Peiris will make an official visit to China as a special envoy of President Mahinda Rajapaksa from Feb. 10-13 2014, Xinhua quoted the Sri Lankan foreign ministry in a statement as saying.

The visit is to be undertaken at the invitation of Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi.

Political analysts believe the visit could be aimed at drumming up support for the Rajapaksa government ahead of a third resolution spearheaded by the US on Sri Lanka’s poor human rights record that will be presented before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in March.

The Sri Lankan government has consistently denied allegations of war crimes that surfaced after a three decade war ended in 2009 and have insisted it needs more time to implement reconciliation measures.