Gotabaya Rajapaksa elected Sri Lankan president: Narendra Modi congratulates ex-defence secretary, says he looks forward to deepening 'fraternal ties'
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense official revered by Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority for his role in ending a bloody civil war but feared by minorities for his brutal approach, was declared victorious on Sunday in the nation’s presidential election
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a former defense official, was declared victorious on Sunday in Sri Lankaâ��s presidential election
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended wishes to the newly-elected president, expressing the wish to deepen fraternal ties
Another Indian leader to convey his wishes to Gotabaya Rajapksa was Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy
After former Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa was declared victorious in Sri Lanka's presidential election on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated him and the people of Sri Lanka and expressed a wish to deepen "fraternal ties".
I also congratulate the people of Sri Lanka for the successful conduct of the elections.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) November 17, 2019
Gotabaya responded, "I thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the people of India for your warm wishes. Our two nations are bound by history and common beliefs and I look forward to strengthening our friendship and meeting you in the near future."
Sri Lanka’s ruling party presidential candidate, Housing Minister Sajith Premadasa, earlier conceded defeat to Gotabaya, saying he would honor the decision of the people.
Gotabaya, a former defense official revered by Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority for his role in ending a bloody civil war but feared by minorities for his brutal approach, is the brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Gotabaya has pledged to restore security to the Indian Ocean island nation still recovering from Islamic State-inspired attacks last Easter.
Gotabaya's victory marks the return of a family ousted from power in 2015 elections amid constant reports of nepotism, skimming off development deals with China and alleged human rights violations during the end of the decades-long war with the Tamil Tiger rebels in 2009.
Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy. and Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesperson Mohammed Faisal also congratulated Gotabaya:
Its was a pleasure to receive a call from Mahinda Rajapaksa informing me of the successful presidential campaign of his brother Gotabaya. Oath ceremony is on 20th. Tamil media told me a good number of Tamils have voted for him.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) November 17, 2019
Pakistan looks forward to working with the new President and his team to further strengthen the already strong relationship between the two countries. Pakistan expresses the resolve to further fortify the fraternal ties and to take this vital partnership to a new level.
— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) November 17, 2019
Gotabaya will inherit a tourism-dependent economy still recovering from the blasts, the first attack in Sri Lankan history targeting foreigners.
Maldives' president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and former president Mohamed Nasheed hailed his resounding election victory and vowed to build a prosperous future.
Warm congratulations to President-elect @GotabayaR for a resounding election victory in Sri Lanka. I look forward to working with your new administration to further the already close and fraternal ties between Maldives and Sri Lanka.
— Ibrahim Mohamed Solih (@ibusolih) November 17, 2019
A hearty congratulations to @GotabayaR for winning Sri Lanka’s presidential election. The relationship between Maldives and Sri Lanka is so important for both countries. I very much look forward to working with you to create prosperity for both our peoples. 🇱🇰 🇲🇻
— Mohamed Nasheed (@MohamedNasheed) November 17, 2019
It is my privilege to honour the people's decision and congratulate Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa on his election. I am grateful to our citizens who voted for me. I am humbled that you placed your faith in me. Your support has been a fountain of strength throughout my political career. pic.twitter.com/CGYy1NCth2
— Sajith Premadasa (@sajithpremadasa) November 17, 2019
Mangala Samaraweera, resigning from his position as Sri Lankan finance minister, said on Twitter that he "weeps for his beloved country".
I weep for my beloved country. May the blessings of the double gem, Buddha and Dharma, be with Sri Lanka.
— Mangala Samaraweera (@MangalaLK) November 17, 2019
Gotabaya accepted support from Buddhist nationalist clerics who demanded the resignation of Muslim Cabinet members and governors they claimed were interfering with the investigation of the Easter attacks.
Flanked by Buddhist monks at campaign events, Gotabaya focused his message on Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhala Buddhist population, who comprise about 70 percent of the island’s citizens.
Gotabaya's victory will also be a blow to the post-civil war reconciliation process and truth-seeking on alleged wartime abuses by both government troops and the Tamil Tiger rebels. In the lead up to the election, Gotabaya said that he would not honor a United Nations human rights resolution to investigate alleged abuses.
Gotabaya pledged to appoint as prime minister his brother Mahinda, who was briefly installed as prime minister last year, when outgoing President Maithripala Sirisena fired the sitting prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe over political differences.
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