Business Times

Sri Lankans favour Indian Govt. over USA, China

Recent analysis by international researcher Gallup suggests that Sri Lankans are more approving of the job performance of the ‘leadership’ (political leaders) of India over those of China or USA. This was indicated by 44% approval for India out of 1,000 face-to-face interviews conducted between April and August 2010 with respondents aged 15 years and over, whereas only 10% disapproved of the job performance of India. 46% of the Sri Lankans interviewed either refused to answer or said they did not know.

In comparison, the same sample of Sri Lankans indicated 34% approval of China's performance, with 7% answering in the negative. However, the majority (59%) said they either did not know or refused to comment. At the same time, only 30% approved of USA's performance with 17% disapproving. The balance bein unwilling to comment.

Gallup has also surmised that, overall, its analysis shows USA's leadership to be more popular in Asia than either China's or India's, demonstrable by more that half of countries surveyed indicating approval for it. This also closely follows previous findings, again by Gallup, encompassing 2008, 2009 and 2010 which point to approval gains for USA in Asia in 10 of 18 countries surveyed. Sri Lanka was one of those where approval had dropped to 30% in 2010, from 36% in 2008 and 2009. These older results were also the first to reveal that Pakistan and Afghanistan were the only countries surveyed where the majority expressed disapproval of USA's politics.

Also emerging was that India's establishment enjoyed a 57% job performance approval according to the 6,000 adults surveyed in India, a number which has a + or - 1.7% sampling error applicable to it. On the other hand, 33% of Indians accessed for their comments expressed disapproval, while the balance did not comment.

Indians polled were also shown to be the least approving of the job performance of the governments of both China (8%) and USA (18%). However, this sentiment was somewhat tempered by the fact that 72%, for USA, and 77%, for China, of those surveyed were unwilling to comment. Comparably, Sri Lankans fared little better with 54%, 59% and 46% not commenting on USA, China and India, respectively.

Referencing a Gallup survey conducted in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Hong Kong to determine the approval for USA's government in Asia; findings also showed Sri Lanka's sentiments of India to be shared by both Afghanistan and Nepal. On the other hand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Pakistan were seen to favour China's political leadership.

In fact, the Gallup's results seemed to suggest that proximity to China and India correlated with the degree of approval for each country. An exception to this was the case of Pakistan, where approval for both India and USA was low.

Pakistan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mongolia, Taiwan and the Philippines, in that order, had the highest approvals for the job performance of China's leadership in terms of percentage while India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, respectively, ranked the highest in their favouring India's leadership. Meanwhile, USA's leadership performance approval in order of rankings showed Singapore as the highest followed by Australia, the Philippines and New Zealand.

Overall, Gallup's findings also indicated that fully one-third of Asians surveyed did not have an opinion about China's leaders, while almost half did not wish to comment on India's; all of which tends underscore Gallup's contention that many Asians do not have opinions about China or India.

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