Sri Lanka president-elect Rajapaksa a war hero to some, a polarizing figure for others

in News

Published November 17, 2019, 5:59 PM

By Reuters

For Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese Buddhists, president-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa is best-placed to take on the hard challenge of defeating enemies of the state such as those who carried out deadly Easter Sunday attacks early this year.

Supporters of Sri Lanka People’s Front party presidential election candidate and former wartime defence chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa celebrate after he won the presidential election in Colombo, Sri Lanka November 17, 2019. (REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte/MANILA BULLETIN)

For others, he is a leader who should be tried for war crimes over allegations of killings, torture and disappearances of scores of people during the final stages of the war against Tamil Tigers in 2009 that he led as defense secretary.

Rajapaksa is the younger brother of

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