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‘Sinhalese chauvinist wins presidential election, Tamils fear reprisals’

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Gotabaya Rajapaksa, won the recent Sri Lankan Presidential election "on the basis of Sinhala chauvinism," writes Chris Slee for the Green Left. 

Gotabaya was defence secretary in 2009, when the Sri Lankan armed forces massacred tens of thousands of Tamils in the final stages of their war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE were fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka.

Slee points out that Sajith Premadasa, the New Democratic Front's presidential candidate was not much better than his opponent, Gotabaya. "The government maintained a heavy military presence in Tamil areas, seized land from Tamils for military bases and Sinhalese settlements, continued to hold political prisoners and allowed the army and police to abduct and torture Tamils," whilst Sajith held his ministerial position in the previous government. 

"Nevertheless, most Tamils, as well as members of other minority groups, voted for Premadasa as a lesser evil. Some Tamils urged a boycott of the election, but this had limited support."

Read the full article here