Sri Lanka strongman Rajapaksa wins presidency by big margin
November 17, 2019 05:50 PM NPT
COLOMBO, Nov 17: Sri Lanka’s former civil wartime defense chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared the winner in the presidential election on Sunday, after promising to secure the country against militant threats following Easter bombings this year.
Rajapaksa, who will be sworn into office in an ancient Buddhist temple on Monday, is the latest nationalist leader to sweep to election victory, tapping into the anger and fears of majority communities.
In his first comments after defeating Sajith Premadasa, a housing minister in the current government, Rajapaksa struck a conciliatory note, suggesting he would be leader of all Sri Lankans, regardless of their ethnic and religious identities.
“As we usher in a new journey for Sri Lanka, we must remember that all Sri Lankans are part of this journey. Let us rejoice peacefully, with dignity and discipline in the same manner in which we campaigned,” Rajapaksa said in a tweet.