With Gotabaya Rajapaksa being announced as Sri Lanka’s new president there has been a surge in Sinhala Buddhist nationalist hate speech online.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa won the election with over a million votes more than rival Sajith Premadasa. While sweeping Sinhala votes in the South, Rajapaksa averaged less than 18% of the vote in the Tamil homeland of the North-East. In Jaffna, he obtained only 6.24% of the district’s votes.
One user posted on Facebook;
“Dear sir .. Your second duty is to destroy those Tamils in North… And settle Sinhalese… We are with you”
Another twitter user posted;
Now at least acknowledge this is a Sinhala Buddhist country.
Another comment read;
“Muslim extremists led by Rizard Badurdeen & Rauf Hakeem , LTTE DIASPORA agent Sumanthiran who backed Sajith were defeated by MAJORITY SINHALA VOTERS who defended Mr.Gotabaya.We dont need Tamils and Muslims anymore in future.!”
Another user posted on Twitter;
“It’s done don’t mess with Sinhalese”
Kanchana Wikesekera, an SLPP member of parliament, posted a video of a prominent academic, Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara, leaving at an airport stating;
“Guess who is leaving before the results” with a laughing emoji
These comments follow a complaint filed by Prof. Chandraguptha Thenuwara and Gamini Viyangoda that they had received numerous death threats.
Speaking to reporters the professor stated that those threatening him reminded him of the frequent assaults and white vans abductions under Gotabaya. When asked who was making these threats, he responded;
“We receive threats very similar to death threats. It was also said that we will be completely destroyed when they come into power”.
For more information read News First Lanka's reporting here.