"Sri Lanka’s war victors vie in election" by Associated Press | January 26, 2010
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - The two architects of Sri Lanka’s civil war victory will face off in a hard-fought election today to determine who will lead this troubled country’s struggle to recover from a devastating quarter-century conflict.
The main candidates, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his former army chief, Sarath Fonseka, were close partners in the campaign to defeat the Tamil Tiger rebels....
So it is basically a SHAM ELECTION and a POWER STRUGGLE, huh?
Whoever wins control of this island off the southern coast of India will inherit a country still deeply divided by the ethnic conflict and mired in an economic malaise....
Ummm, you can have the job.
Though there have been no reliable polls, both candidates appear to command strong Sinhalese followings. The Tamil minority may prove to be kingmakers....
Oh, HOW IRONIC -- and doubtful!!!
Neither man has outlined a detailed plan for resolving the grievances of the marginalized Tamil minority that sparked the conflict in the first place.
And look who counted the votes:
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s president, was reelected by a wide margin, election officials said yesterday, defeating the newly retired army general who had tried to lay claim to Rajapaksa’s biggest political victory, the defeat of the Tamil Tiger insurgency.
Official results gave Rajapaksa an 18-point advantage over Sarath Fonseka, his nearest opponent and the general who carried out the successful military operation against the Tigers. Fonseka rejected the result, saying the electoral campaign had been marred by violence and irregularities in the vote counting. “The enthusiasm of the people we noticed in the campaign is not reflected in the result,’’ Fonseka said at a news conference.
Independent Sri Lankan election monitors said there was no evidence of major fraud in the voting, but left open the possibility of problems in the counting.
More broadly, election observers and advocacy groups have questioned the fundamental fairness of the campaign, accusing Rajapaksa of using state resources to run. State-owned news media all but shut out opposition candidates. The election results illustrate the still-yawning ethnic and religious divides that plunged Sri Lanka into civil war in the first place, and underscore the difficulties Rajapaksa will face trying to reconcile the country after 26 years of conflict.
Fonseka spent the day secluded in a five-star hotel, which the government surrounded with commandos, saying they had been placed there for security reasons. He said he feared for his safety. “They are trying to make me a prisoner,’’ Fonseka said, addressing a conference room packed with journalists. “They have made things very clear today.’’
Wait until tomorrow!
Rajapaksa won a large majority, but Tamil and Muslim voters largely rejected him.
So much for the KINGMAKER ROLE, 'eh?
Hey, what is one more MSM turd, anyway?
He pledged to be a president for all Sri Lankans, an apparent effort to reach out to Tamils....
Yeah, after SLAUGHTERING a bunch of 'em and putting them into CONCENTRATION CAMPS!
Oh, yeah, the general is no longer a threat.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Police raided the office of Sri Lanka’s defeated presidential candidate, Sarath Fonseka, and arrested 15 of its workers yesterday, his lawyer said, after he disputed this week’s election result and the government alleged he was planning a coup.
So they preempted it by doing one of their own.
The government has also said that Fonseka, a former army chief and the opposition’s main candidate in the vote, was planning to assassinate President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
His good buddy?
Police commandos raided Fonseka’s office in the capital, Colombo, saying they were looking for army deserters, said Mano Ganeshan, an opposition lawmaker. A government spokesman confirmed the report, but did not give details. An Associated Press photographer saw members of the police Special Task Force deployed near the office. Fonseka was at his house elsewhere in Colombo at the time of the raid, Ganeshan said.
No longer holed-up in the hotel?
What's going on here?
U.S. Helps Sri Lanka Hold Tamil Tigers By Tail