Monday, December 16, 2019 | ePaper

Be a president of all Sri Lankan, not only for the Sinhalese

  • Print
A significant change has been made in Sri Lankan politics while former wartime defence chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa won a presidential election on Saturday defeating his rival Sajith Premadasa with a huge margin of vote. We do congratulate Mr Rajapaksa for this victory. Media reports said that Mr Rajapaksa was the clear victor in Sinhalese majority areas while Mr Premadasa scored better in the Tamil-dominated north. Mr Rajapaksa, who spearheaded the brutal crushing of Tamil Tigers a decade ago, however, promised to be a president for all Sri Lanka's races and religions. What's true is that he confirmed his election victory on the back of nationalist campaign in the wake of deadly Easter Sunday attacks allegedly by Islamic State groups in April that killed more than 250 people. Another factor was -- the new president is younger brother of veteran politician and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
There is a bitter side of politics in Sri Lanka, which is based on splitting ethnic communities.  The Muslim community, after the IS attacks in April last, has been passing their days in severe anxiety, though there was no revenge attack on them. It is speculated that triumph of Rajapaksa, who commands passionate support among many in the Buddhist Sinhalese majority, will alarm Tamil and Muslim minorities as well as human rights activists and journalists. The human rights groups and some journalists could be targeted for expressing concern about accountability for wartime abuses. However, after victory, Mr Rajapaksa made a call for national unity.  
Regaining public trust will be the main task of the new president. As a wartime commander Mr Rajapaksa was credited by many of his countrymen for bringing an end to the decade-old civil war. But what's unfortunate is that the fragile communal relation could be strengthened by none of the political party in the meantime. We hope the new president will show liberal attitudes to the minority communities. He will be the president of all.

More News For this Category

Hope turns to despair

THOUSANDS of undocumented Bangladeshi workers are now facing multiple problems in Malaysia as the Amnesty for them ends on December 31. Many of them became undocumented being victims of trafficking

We must ensure safety and unity

TODAY we celebrate our 49th Victory Day. On this day in December 1971 we achieved final victory in the war against Pakistan when Indian army became directly involved in the

Identity And Our Inspiration

Rezaul Islam :Unlike many other  nations across the world, the Bengalis were successful to achieve their Independence waging a crucial as well as eventful war against the occupation forces of

Victory How It Was Achieved

Dr. Forqan Uddin Ahmed :For centuries, this land of Bengal has been ruled and exploited by many kings and emperors. After the death of Nawab Alivardi Khan, his grandson Siraj-ud-Daula

In other countries fight against corruption begins with heads of govt

WHEN all the initiatives to stop corruption seems to be a futile and fruitless exercise, at this time a group of cartoonists have come forward to portray the extent and

Absence of market monitoring main reason behind price hike

The prices of edible oil, red lentil and sugar went up in the city's kitchen markets over the week end. Prices of sugar and the unpacked and bottled soya bean

Face-to-Face Talks Needed To End US-Iran Impasse

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir :Even a cursory review of the turmoil sweeping the Middle East points to Iran as one of the main culprits behind most of the conflicts that have

Unconstitutional India's New Citizenship Act

Debarati Guha :Indian citizenship has always been firmly rooted in the country's Constitution, which emphasizes equality, regardless of gender, caste, religion, class, community or language.  The recently approved Citizenship Amendment

Delay in issuing e-passport would invite unnecessary trouble

Due to the delay in introducing electronic passports, the government is going to purchase another 20 lakh Machine Readable Passport (MRP) books to meet the immediate requirement. The cabinet

Import coal but close those brick kilns which are using coals

Coal imports are soaring day by day. Hundreds of brick kilns are now using  an increasing quantity of coal to meet the growing demand of both public and private