Saturday, May 29, 2010

A year after War Rajapaksa Resetting Compass in Sri Lanka

by Maj-Gen Ashok K. Mehta (retd)

One year after the war, victorious President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa will be in India on June 8 to discuss relief and rehabilitation of the nearly 300,000 war displaced Tamils of the North. Any serious dialogue with Indian leaders on power sharing with minority Tamils and implementing the 13th Amendment in letter and spirit is unlikely though the issue will make it to the joint statement. Despite winning the war, the Sri Lankan President has wavered on a political solution by failing to appreciate the necessity of securing peace and ending the ethnic conflict.

Mr Rajapaksa is a happy man and must thank his stars for the unprecedented battlefield successes which were wisely converted into a string of spectacular political gains. He is a second-term executive President, his six-year term beginning only in November this year, his ruling alliance is six short of two thirds majority needed to change the constitution to give him a third term and his party rules in all the provinces where elections have been held (elections in the North are awaited).

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