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Gotabaya Rajapaksa Newly elected president of  Sri Lanka

By Srimal  Fernando

17 November 2019

Former Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared victorious in Sri Lanka after a closely fought election, as his main opponent Sajith Premadasa of the ruling United National Party (UNP) conceded defeat.

Rajapaksa’s victory, gaining 6,924,255 votes with 52.25% of total votes cast appears to bring new hope to the South Asian nation.

His father, DA Rajapaksa was a prominent politician in the 1960s in the Wijeyananda Dahanayake government and also a founding member of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. In 2005, he was appointed to the post of defence secretary by his brother Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defence secretary and brother of two-time former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is credited for ending Sri Lanka's nearly 30-year civil war with the Tamil Tigers separatist group in 2009. Following the war, as Secretary of the Ministry of Urban Development,  Rajapaksa initiated many urban development projects.

With the victory of Gotabaya Rajapaksa there is great confidence among Sri Lankans that the new leader will transform economic, welfare and foreign policies of the new government into effective action, while also addressing policy gaps to bring new hope to the South Asian nation.

Srimal Fernando is a Doctoral Fellow at Jindal School of International Affairs (JSIA), India and Global Editor of Diplomatic Society for South Africa. He won the 2018/2019 Best Journalist of the year award in South Africa.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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February/March 2020

 
 
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