Saturday, 30 January 2010

The 2010 Sri Lankan presidential election, and beyond

In this lengthy and detailed article, Brian Senewiratne (pictured right) considers the political background to this weeks’ Sri Lankan presidential election. The article was written just before the election, in which the main contenders were the incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the former army commander, General Sarath Fonseka. According to Senewiratne, who wins the election “is irrelevant since it will be by one of two criminals. More relevant is how it will be won.” He writes that General Fonseka was most likely to win, “Unless the current President, Mahinda Rajapakse indulges in massive election fraud, serious intimidation, disappearances of ballot boxes, etc (all of which are possible).” In the event, Mahinda Rajapakse won, and General Fonseka is indeed alleging fraud, and reportedly preparing to flee the country. The 2010 Sri Lankan presidential election, and beyond By Brian Senewiratne 25 January 2010 In the scores of talks, interviews, and meetings, that I have been involved in over the past four decades, on the problems facing the Sri Lankan Tamils (and the Plantation Tamils) in Sri Lanka, I have rarely been asked absurd questions. This has changed. I have been bombarded with one question, “Whom should the Tamils vote for in the up-coming Election – the current President Mahinda Rajapaksa or the former Army Commander, Sarath Fonseka?” That I have been asked to chose between two mass murderers guilty of Genocide of the Tamil people, crimes against Humanity and the Violation of International Law and Sri Lanka’s own Constitution and Laws, is a manifestation of the widespread confusion and despondency among the expatriate Tamil community, which I, as a Sinhalese, find difficult to comprehend. These two men (and their associates) should be on their way to an International Criminal Court, not to the Presidency.
Rajapaksa Fonseka
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