Getting Reconciliation Right in Sri Lanka After Rajapaksa

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena addresses the media in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Oct. 2, 2015 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena addresses the media in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Oct. 2, 2015 (AP photo by Eranga Jayawardena).

It has been a bad year for former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his nationalist support base, which comes predominantly from the country’s majority Sinhalese ethnic group. Rajapaksa’s rout in January’s presidential election, followed by his August defeat in parliamentary elections, can be seen as nothing short of a mandate from the Sri Lankan people to distance themselves from his authoritarian tendencies and divisive policies and move toward political reform and reconciliation. Rajapaksa managed to secure a parliamentary seat in Kurunegala district, a stronghold of the United People’s Freedom Alliance in the Sinhalese heartland. But his dissident faction of […]

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