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Rajapakse clan in good position to return to power in Sri Lanka

2019-11-15T23:25:36.812Z

For the Sri Lankan presidential elections on Saturday, November 16th, 35 candidates are in the running. A favorite stands out: Gotabhaya Rajapakse, former Secretary of State for Defense under the presidency of his brother Mahinda Rajapakse. He...



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Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is the favorite for Sri Lanka's presidential election on November 16, 2019. REUTERS / Dinuka Liyanawatte

For the Sri Lankan presidential elections on Saturday, November 16th, 35 candidates are in the running. A favorite stands out: Gotabhaya Rajapakse, former Secretary of State for Defense under the presidency of his brother Mahinda Rajapakse. He is part of this political clan that reigned over the life of the island between 2005 and 2015.

On this last day of the campaign, Gotabhaya and Mahinda Rajapakse rode together on the platform for a family photo, reports our special envoy to Sri Lanka, Sébastien Farcis . In addition to these two brothers, five members of the Rajapakse clan are in politics and could hold key positions if Gotabhaya is elected president.

Moreover, Gotabhaya Rajapakse does not hide the fact that if elected, he will appoint his elder brother and former president Mahinda as prime minister. The latter who could not constitutionally represent himself can thus return to power by bypassing the official texts.

There is a main candidate who opposes Gotabhaya Rajapaske ...

Eleanor Pavey, political scientist and specialist in Sri Lanka. 15/11/2019 - by Vincent Souriau Play

Security in the heart of the countryside

The return of the Rajapakse to Sri Lanka's head raises fears of a new takeover of this family on the country's budget and a new policy of repression of dissidents. This nepotism displeases Ashok Ginige, but he is ready to vote for this candidate in the name of security reports: " Under the outgoing government, debts have risen and the standard of living has fallen. And above all, he let happen the attacks of Easter Sunday. So today, I want to see the Rajapakse come back. "

This presidential election takes place in a country still recovering from the terrible attacks of Easter. This series of eight attacks on churches and luxury hotels was claimed by the Islamic State group and killed 269 people in April this year. Sri Lanka had not experienced such violence since the war between the government and the Tamil separatists that ended in 2009.

This anxiety-provoking climate benefits the Rajapakse family. Gotabhaya Rajapakse is indeed a former soldier. But many in ethnic and religious minorities fear this political family, as Ruki Fernando, human rights activist in the NGO Inform: " Minorities, human rights activists and journalists are afraid that Gotabhaya applies a policy of violent repression, because that's what he did when he was in power. "

He can not afford to have an ultra-nationalist speech ...

Eleanor Pavey, political scientist and specialist in Sri Lanka. 15/11/2019 - by Vincent Souriau Play

40,000 Tamil civilians killed

Many opponents or journalists were allegedly kidnapped by the army when he was at the State Secretariat for Defense, and some were never found. Gotabhaya Rajapakse is currently accused of torture by 10 victims in a US court.

It was indeed during the presidency of the Rajapakse family that the Tamil Tiger rebellion was crushed in the late 2000s . They won the adoration of part of the population at the cost of more than 40,000 killed Tamil civilians.

►To listen too: Frequency Asia - Presidential in Sri Lanka: " a speech of assembly rather than division "

Source: rfi

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