Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Choosing which dynasty rules

Sri Lankans will vote in November 16 presidential election. There are 35 candidates.

The real race, however, is between the former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, candidate for SLPP, the Sinhalese-Buddhist nationalist party; and Sajith Premadasa, running for the ruling United National party (UNP). Both come from powerful political families.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is one of seven brothers who have dominated Sri Lankan politics for over a decade: Mahinda was president for 10 years until the 2015 election, with Gotabaya Rajapaksa serving as his defence minister. 

Sajith Premadasa is the son of Ranasinghe Premadasa, who was Sri Lankan prime minister between 1989 and 1993 when he was assassinated by Tamil rebels. A cabinet minister in current Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's government, has been in and out of office since entering into politics in 1994.

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