Chulanee Attanayake

Chulanee Attanayake

Research Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

Dr Chulanee Attanayake is a Sri Lankan researcher who works on China and its policies in South Asia. Her book China in Sri Lanka, a comprehensive analysis of Sino-Sri Lankan bilateral relations, was published in 2013. Prior to joining ISAS, Dr Attanayake served as Director (Research) of the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka, the national security think tank under Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence. She was previously a visiting lecturer at the Bandaranaike Centre for International Studies on Politics in South Asia and Politics in the Indian Ocean, and at the Royal Institute of Colombo. Dr Attanayake obtained her PhD from the Central China Normal University in Wuhan and her master's degree in regional development and planning from the University of Colombo.

A demonstrator throws back a tear gas canister fired by police to disperse students taking part in an anti-government protest demanding the resignation of Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the country's crippling economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on 29 May 2022. (Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP)

Sri Lanka crisis: China's global image at stake

ISAS academic Chulanee Attanayake explains the bind China is in with regards to the Sri Lanka economic and political crisis. On the one hand, China does not want to set a precedent for bailing out cash-strapped partners, but it also needs to maintain its carefully built image as an unwavering friend to small developing nations.