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The elections in Sri Lanka result in the return of nationalism by the Rajapaksa family

November 17, 2019

MADRID, Nov. 17 (EUROPE PRESS) –

The former Minister of Defense of Sri Lanka, Gotayaba Rajapaksa, has risen as the direct winner of the presidential elections in Sri Lanka with more than 50 percent of the votes he needed to obtain the direct victory, in what is the return of nationalism to the executive branch in the figure of another member of the family that has guided the country during the last 15 years.

Gotayaba, brother of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, has achieved the victory by appealing to the feeling of insecurity that was felt in the country since the attacks on Easter Sunday this year that cost the lives of more than 250 people, to the misery of the minority Tamil who had placed his trust in the rival candidate and Minister of Housing, Sajith Premadasa.

The Tamils ​​inevitably associate the name of Rajapaksa with the last days of the civil war that ended in 2009 with which it is one of the greatest atrocities of this last quarter century, as numerous humanitarian organizations denounce: the bombing of the last redoubts of the Tamil rebels in the north of the country and the civilian population trying to escape from the area.

The operation resulted, according to estimates, with more than 40,000 dead. The Thai Government denied in its day the accusations of genocide and blamed the rebels for using civilians as human shields. The new president of the country was Minister of Defense at that time.

The president is expected to assign his brothers key positions in power while intensifying relations with China through new infrastructure projects that threaten to further indebt the country.

In his first comments after the victory, Rajapaksa tried to set a tone of conciliation on the principle of “a new journey of which all the Ceilandes are a part”. “Let's join in peace, with dignity and discipline,” he has posted on his Twitter account.

The first results of the counting of votes granted so far to Premadasa 43.5 percent of the votes, while its main rival, the former Minister of Defense, has obtained 50.1 percent, has collected the local newspaper 'Daily Mirror '.

“It is a privilege for me to honor the decision of the people and congratulate Gotabaya Rajapaksa in his election as the seventh president of Sri Lanka,” Premadasa said in a statement he has disseminated through his Twitter account, in which he has also expressed Your “thanks” to your voters.

“In light of today's decision of the electorate, I have decided to resign as leader of the National Unity Party with immediate effect,” Premadasa detailed.

Likewise, the head of Housing has recognized that the country has just witnessed “the most peaceful presidential elections in the history of our republic,” which he has considered as “a result of the democratic gains and institutional reforms that have taken place in the last five years”.

Electoral observers do not fully agree with this assessment. The Electoral Violence Monitoring Center, an independent body, has accounted for at least 196 incidents during the day, including at least three attacks and 61 cases of intimidation.

However, the president of the Electoral Commission, Mahinda Deshapriya, has assured that they have not frightened minorities, who would have come in large numbers to vote. Thus, the Electoral Commission has reported a participation of more than 80 percent, presumably the largest in the country's history.

However, the defeated candidate has summoned the winner of the elections to “ensure that the post-election environment is peaceful and that no citizen or supporter” of his party is “persecuted or harmed” for supporting his candidacy.