The next Sri Lankan parliamentary elections are scheduled for 17th August, after the efforts to carry out the constitutional changes the newly elected president Sirisena had promised slowed down due to a lack of majority in parliament. The most debated issue in the upcoming election campaign is not that reform agenda but the possible comeback of the former president Rajapaksa, who was defeated by Sirisena in January and is now contesting for the office of prime minister.
It’s an open race, since Rajapaksa’s support in rural areas and among Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese Buddhist majority (two thirds of the electorate) is still high and he is the candidate of the by far largest party in parliament. However, the new president Sirisena is popular, because it left behind the impression of being far less corrupt than the previous Rajapaksa-led government.
Rajapaksa’s campaign is again focused on issues related to the civil war, which he won in 2009 by totally crushing the guerilla army of the separatist LTTE, a terrorist group not only fighting against the government army but killing political opponents within their own ethnic group. If Mr. Rajapaksa wins next month’s parliamentary elections, his provlaimed target is to tighten internal security and restore stronger ties with China. Rajapakse is mainly focused on preventing an international war crime tribunal against himself, claiming it would devide the nation again, he said: "Are you going to vote to divide this country and take us to court in Geneva?" Rajapaksa and his brothers are also under investigation for suspected misuse of public funds.
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