Heal Sri Lanka’s wounds

The election results in Sri Lanka may not have caught many by surprise but what did was the probability that the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa had tried to get the army to step in and prevent the winner from taking over the controls of the island nation and ensure his continuance for a third term.

By (T. Wickeremasinha, Dubai)

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Published: Fri 23 Jan 2015, 10:38 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:45 PM

Fortunately, the army stuck to its guns — as did the attorney-general and the chief justice — and Rajapaksa was rightfully shown the door.

But now that Sirisena has taken over, one can only hope that there will be no witch hunt and that the job of governing the island nation that has suffered for far too long will be the focus of his presidency. His priority should be that he not only stop the slide towards dictatorship that his predecessor had accelerated after he increased the powers of the presidency, but reverse it.

 As the first leader in over two decades to have the backing of both Muslims and Tamils, Sirisena should waste no time in healing the country’s deep wounds, altering the constitution and thereby strengthening the parliament and then focus on the changes he intends bring about in the country. Here the West should do all it can to give the president a helping hand. Sirisena deserves it and more importantly the country deserves it.

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