“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.
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 But those memories have now been superseded with the difficulty faced with Maithripala Sirisena in pushing flagship Indian projects forward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.
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.’
“Dans un pays meurtri par des attentats en avril dernier le jour de Pâques, et qui ont coûté la vie à 269 personnes, deux hommes s’affrontent aujourd’hui pour le poste de président: un candidat proche du pouvoir et un candidat du puissant clan Rajapaksa.”
“If Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins the presidency, he and his family will have two priorities: secure the premiership for Mahinda Rajapaksa and obtain a two-thirds majority in the next parliament for the SLPP. Reaching the first goal would be a necessary condition for reaching the second. If the SLPP can go for the next election under a SLPP president and a SLPP premier, a landslide victory would be possible…”
“In a matter of days Sri Lanka will elect a new President and it is imperative that no doubt remains as to the eligibility of the person elected to the office of first citizen in Sri Lanka. It is also paramount that the Election Commission and other officials are independent and impartial and take all necessary steps to protect the integrity of elections”
“The election circus has come to town once more. This time, an election that should not have happened in the first place has been thrusted upon the people. In February this year, speaking at a meeting jointly organised by two Leftist parties in Jaffna, I said we should stop the Presidential Election of 2019 which was against the mandate given by the majority of the people in 2015 (this was one of the reforms over which there was an island-wide consensus in 2015).
I said stop, not boycott. Boycott is not an option for me as the country is continuing to pay the price of the LTTE’s call to the Tamils in the North and East to boycott the 2005 Presidential Election. I was a first-time voter in 2005 and had come to my hometown in Jaffna from the University of Peradeniya, where I was a first-year undergraduate, to cast my vote for Ranil Wickremesinghe as a way of showing my support to the peace talks that he had started with the LTTE. Like thousands of Northern Tamils, I did not cast my vote out of fear of the LTTE. What happened after the 2005 Presidential Election is now history.”
As many as 35 candidates are running for President in Sri Lanka’s November 16 election, but northern Tamils view it as a two-cornered fight between Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa. And they know who they don’t want in power.
Defeated in 2015 by a coalition led by Maithripala Sirisena, who promised to reform the economy and break with Sri Lanka’s history of human rights abuses, nepotism and corruption, the Rajapaksas are set to fight this election on the populist staples of security, ethnicity and religion. It is a vote that could profoundly shape the direction of Sri Lanka’s politics, as the clan works to establish an immovable political dynasty, threatening to unwind more than four years of democratic progress.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The front-runner in Sri Lanka’s presidential campaign promised that he will rehabilitate and release all military personnel accused of abuses in the country’s civil war, according to a campaign manifesto released Friday.