James Crabtree outlines the significance of Maithripala Sirisena's surprise election win in Sri Lanka
James Crabtree, Mumbai Bureau Chief of the Financial Times, has commented on the significance of Maithripala Sirisena’s surprise election win in Sri Lanka, warning that the new president faces the daunting task of repairing Sri Lanka’s image.
After being sworn into office last Friday, Mr Sirisena has vowed to curtail the powers amassed by his predecessor, who was swept aside in a stunning election upset. James notes that this has made Sri Lanka the latest in a series of south Asian democracies to witness significant transfers of power in recent years — including the defeat in India of the ruling Nehru-Gandhi family dynasty by challenger Narendra Modi in May.
James believes that “Mr Sirisena must now grapple with how to form a workable new government while repairing the global image of a country tarnished by his predecessor’s unwillingness to investigate allegations of war crimes committed during more than two decades of bloody conflict.” James goes onto say that this challenge begins by trying to sustain the disparate coalition that backed Mr Sirisena’s campaign, “so they can achieve political reforms, ending the atmosphere of fear under the previous regime.”
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