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Sri Lankan Elections

Anyone who two months back bet on Maithripala Sirisena winning the presidential election in Sri Lanka would be a millionaire. Most international experts expected former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to win and strengthen his family rule.

 

There were many firsts in the election of President Maithripala Sirisena in Sri Lanka: An incumbent president was defeated; parties specifically representing different races and religious groups —  the Jathika Hela Urumaya for the Sinhalese, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress along with the All Ceylon Muslim Congress — came together on a common political platform;

 

The script is familiar. A strongman pummels all his opponents into submission. Then, from a position of political strength, he calls elections.

 

At a time when pollsters are beginning to restore their reputation through accurate calls on election results, such as in India, the fall of Sri Lanka's Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken most by surprise. 

 

Sri Lanka just concluded its sixth presidential election, which was as dramatic as it was landmark. The elections were held in a country with an authoritarian regime that had abolished all independent commissions, including the election commission.

 

Born on September 3rd, 1951to a farming family at Laksha Uyana, in Polonnaruwa Maithripala Sirisena is the first President produced from historic Rajarata

 
All of Sri Lanka and all Sri Lankans can congratulate themselves for the smooth power transfer  writes N. Sathiyamoorthy  
 

When Mahinda Rajapaksa won the Sri Lankan civil war, New Delhi quietly cheered him on. By the time the Lankan president was defeated in the polls this week, India was privately relieved. 

 
New Delhi though would have preferred to deal with just about anybody other than Rajapaksa when it came to relations with Sri Lanka and developing geopolitics in the region, not least because of the manner in which the Lankan strongman was threatening to turn his country into a strategic asset for China. 
 

Prime minister Narendra Modi was the first to congratulate Maithripala Sirisena on Friday. After an early morning phonecall to the winner of the Lankan Presidential polls, he tweeted, "I spoke to Shri Maithripala Sirisena & congratulated him."

 


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