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‘Tamils and Muslims in fear at return of Rajapaksa regime’

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While there has been jubilation in much of the Sinhala south, Tamils and Muslims across the North-East fear that the return of a Rajapaksa regime means further rights abuses, wrote Thusiyan Nandakumar, Tamil Guardian’s editor-in-chief in The National this week.

“For communities such as Tamils and Muslims, there is now an overwhelming sense of fear and trepidation,” said Nandakumar.

“Mr Rajapaksa, who is likely to appoint his brother Mahinda as prime minister, has a proven and ruthless track record. As defence secretary during Sri Lanka’s 2009 military offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), he was emphatic in his defence of the bombing of hospitals, arguing that they were legitimate targets, contrary to international law. He has been named in several UN reports as overseeing military operations and human rights abuses that culminated in tens of thousands of civilian deaths, including the shelling of government-declared no-fire zones. His tenure also saw the repression of free speech, the assassination of dozens of journalists and abductions using notorious unmarked white vans and carried out with total impunity.”

“His rule was not just dangerous, it was deadly.”

Read more from The National here.