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
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.
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."
Title: Bollywood Boom; Author: Roopa Swaminathan; Publisher: Penguin; Price: Rs 399; Pages: 221
Title: Defeat is an Orphan: How Pakistan Lost the Great South Asian War; Author: Myra Macdonald; Publisher: Penguin Random House India; Pages: 328; Price: Rs 599
The story of Afghanistan -- of the war against the Soviets and of terrorism that has gripped the landlocked country ever since -- is in many ways also the story of diplomat Masood Khalili, who motivated his people and led them...
Title: The Golden Legend; Author: Nadeem Aslam; Publisher: Penguin Random House; Pages: 376; Price: Rs 599
Over the Years, a collection of 106 short articles, offers us interesting sidelights on the currents and cross- currents in the public life of India during two distinctive periods: (I) 1987 to 1991 and (II ) 2010 to the present.