In the recent Sri Lankan Parliamentary election “Rajapaksa appealed to Sinhalese chauvinism, boasting of his role in crushing the Tamil Independence movement” Chris Slee wrote for the Green Left.
“The majority of Sri Lankans are Sinhalese Buddhists. The Rajapaksa brothers have appealed to Sinhalese-Buddhist chauvinism, directing hostility against ethnic and religious minorities. In recent years Muslims have been a target. Last year a number of terrorist attacks by a small Muslim group linked to ISIS provided a pretext for increased hostility toward Muslims.” Lee writes.
“Several Tamil parties contested electoral districts in the north and east of the island. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) won 10 seats, down from 16 in 2015. This was partly due to competition from other Tamil parties that accuse the TNA of not standing up strongly enough for Tamil rights. One such party, the Tamil National People’s Front, won two seats, while another won one seat,” he added.
“The SLPP victory is likely to result in intensified attacks on Tamil rights. Tamil areas have been under military occupation since 2009, whichever government has been in power. Military bases and Sinhalese settlements have been built on Tamil land. Many Tamils, as well as some members of other ethnic groups, have been imprisoned, tortured or murdered."
Read the full piece here.