China hopes for social stability in Sri Lanka

08:31, January 29, 2010      

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China hopes Sri Lanka will maintain social stability, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu, commenting Sri Lanka's presidential election.

Ma made the remarks at a regular press conference Thursday.

"China and Sri Lanka have friendly ties. We believe the government and people of Sri Lanka can handle their domestic affairs and realize long-lasting peace and stability in the country," Ma said.

The country's incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa was declared winner in the presidential poll on Wednesday, but the defeated candidate, former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka vowed to go to court against the final result.

Rajapaksa and Fonseka were revered for their respective roles in the less than three-year-old military campaign which crushed the over-three- decade old separatist campaign waged by Tamil Tiger rebels.

However, Rajapaksa accused Fonseka of entering a secret deal with the Tamil National Alliance, a party regarded as a proxy of the defeated Tamil Tiger rebels.

Most political observers agree that after nearly three decades of war, terrorism and economic underperformance, Sri Lankans are looking to a new era of peace and economic prosperity.

As the campaign period was marred by more than 800 cases of violence including five deaths, the opposition might challenge the fairness of the election and use this as a focal point for unity to face the general elections together as well.

Such a scenario would ensure that instability, uncertainty and confrontation will not end with the presidential election but will continue at least until the parliamentary election, analysts say.

Source: Xinhua
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