En l’espace de deux semaines, le gouvernement issu des élections présidentielles s’est lancé dans une série de règlements de compte visant ses adversaires politiques. Il a commencé par l’épuration des services de la police qui avaient été chargés d’enquêter sur les meurtres de journalistes et sur les affaires de corruption remontant à la période du premier gouvernement Rajapakse (2006-2015). A la suite du départ précipité à Genève, en compagnie de sa famille, et avec ses dossiers, d’un policier menacé, une employée locale du consulat de Suisse à Colombo a été séquestrée plusieurs heures par des inconnus qui ont récupéré de force les données de son téléphone portable, et des membres d’ONG en contact avec la Suisse ont été inquiétés. La reprise en main de l’appareil policier prélude à la reprise en main de l’appareil judiciaire.
Un article du New York Times analyse les implications de l’affaire de l’ambassade suisse:
“Il est l’homme lié à l’un des épisodes les plus violents de l’histoire du Sri Lanka et du début du XXIe siècle. Celui qui fut le stratège militaire de l’anéantissement de la guérilla des Tigres tamouls, en 2009, arbore aujourd’hui un sourire jovial sur les posters de la campagne présidentielle. Moustache fournie et crinière cendrée, Gotabaya Rajapaksa a percé parmi un nombre record de 35 candidats et s’est imposé comme l’un des favoris du scrutin qui se déroulera ce samedi 16 novembre.”
Colombo (AFP) – Le puissant et redouté clan des Rajapaksa a consolidé son emprise sur le Sri Lanka avec la nomination mercredi de l’ex-homme fort Mahinda au poste de Premier ministre, par son frère Gotabya fraîchement élu président.
It is unfair to attribute a “racist” dimension to the Tamil vote in Sri Lanka’s presidential election, according to senior Tamil leader R. Sampanthan.
His remark comes a day after the results of the country’s biggest election were declared. The winner — newly elected President Gotabaya Rajapaksa — garnered his 52.25% vote share almost entirely from areas where the majority Sinhalese community is concentrated.
From New Delhi, the picture on the Rajapaksas is mixed. There is lingering bitterness over friction in bilateral ties during the last few years of his elder brother, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure. But those memories have now been superseded with the difficulty faced with Maithripala Sirisena in pushing flagship Indian projects forward
Meanwhile, the pressures of big electoral victories are such that the new president and his family members, who will constitute the core of the new regime, might find it difficult to resist the temptation of giving into the wishes of their Sinhalese nationalist constituency. This is particularly so in view of the ethnic polarisation of the electoral verdict.
“For nearly ten years the Rajapaksa family ran Sri Lanka. Now, after a five-year hiatus and a bit of a reshuffle, they are back. On November 16th an unprecedented 84% of voters turned out to crown Gotabaya Rajapaksa president, handing him well over half the votes in a crowded field of 35 candidates. Mr Rajapaksa had served as defence chief during the 2005-15 reign of his brother Mahinda. The latter, blocked by the constitution from becoming head of state again, is likely to serve as his younger brother’s prime minister.”
The BBS announces that it is dissolving. After Gota’s election, Gnanasara says, “there will be nothing for us to struggle for. We can get involved in our other work and help to work for the betterment of this Sinhala Buddhist country. Now we have the full assurance after electing the new President. The ‘One country one law concept’ in his manifesto gave an assurance to our country.”
“What the Chinese offered to a regime that was being chastised for its human rights record… was international diplomatic protection as well the funds for development,” analyst Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu told AFP.
With a slightly different outlook towards the days and weeks to follow, Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) Executive Director Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu was of the opinion that instability will not come about if the appointment of a Prime Minister and Cabinet and the dissolution of Parliament can be resolved amicably.
He added that ideally, anyone elected as the Executive President has the power to reconcile the North and the South. “As you know, the Election results have split the country in two, with the minorities going one way and the rest of the country going another,” Dr. Saravanamuttu said, adding that, “If we cannot agree with each other, we will never be able to pursue the path of prosperity that we all say we deserve. We need to have that reconciliation and unity. It cannot become a majoritarian democracy.” Dr. Saravanamuttu added that he hopes President-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa will recognise the need for reconciliation and unity and take necessary steps to ensure he is the President of all Sri Lankans. Echoing his views, Office on Missing Persons (OMP) Chairman Saliya Pieris said: “The President is the President of the entire country, and whether one supported him or opposed him at the Election, he must be constructively supported in the implementation of his vision for the country, as long as he does so in terms of the spirit of the Constitution.”
“Sept mois après les attentats de Pâques, le Sri Lanka a fait le choix du sécuritaire et rappelé au pouvoir le clan Rajapaksa, en élisant à la présidence lors du scrutin de samedi 16 novembre l’un des frères, Gotabaya, ancien secrétaire à la défense qui écrasa dans un bain de sang la guérilla tamoule lorsque son aîné, Mahinda, était chef de l’Etat (2005-2015). Selon la commission électorale, il a recueilli 52,25 % des suffrages, devançant largement son rival Sajith Premadasa (41,99 %). M. Premadasa avait reconnu sa défaite un peu plus tôt dimanche.”
“Rabidly anti-Tamil and Islamophobic Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a man accused of war crimes comes to power in Sri Lanka ’70-year-old former wartime defence secretary, the younger brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, has swept the poll with over 60% margins in most Sinhala majority districts while his 52-year-old rival Premadasa has performed well in the minority Tamil-dominated north and east provinces. Premadasa has garnered over 80% of the vote in Tamil areas, reducing Rajapaksa to less than 5% in some areas in the north….According to observers, with pro-China Rajapaksa in the fray, India is keeping a close watch on the election results as its outcome will have a bearing on the country’s presence in the Indian Ocean region where Beijing is increasingly making its inroads.’
“Armed men have stabbed and injured a Sri Lankan writer in the southern Galle district, a week after he published a book criticising the main opposition candidate in Saturday’s presidential polls, police said.
The attackers stormed the home of Lasantha Wijeratne on Thursday, who released his book Wasteful Development and Corruption last week and gave a copy to the ruling party candidate Sajith Premadasa.”
“Gotabaya “Gota” Rajapaksa of the Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalist SLPP, who served as defence minister under his brother, is one of two frontrunners. Mr Rajapaksa is subject to lawsuits relating to torture, fraud and corruption. He wants Mahinda, unable to run again due to term limits, as his prime minister. The Rajapaksas oversaw the end to the decades-long civil war, but one UN report suggested as many as 40,000 Tamil civilians died in its final months. Tamil politicians were murdered and thousands of Sri Lankans disappeared.”