At least 850 members of the Sinhalese diaspora have flown to Sri Lanka in order to vote for Gotabaya Rajapaksa in next week’s presidential election, reports the Sunday Times.
With the election less than a week away, leading candidates are busy campaigning for votes with the election set to be a close run between Rajapaksa and Sajith Premadasa.
Rajapaksa, who moved to the United States in 1998, reportedly has a large group of supporters amongst the diaspora in Los Angeles. His Sri Lankan rivals have accused Rajapaksa of still holding US citizenship.
He currently faces a US civil lawsuit filed by the International Truth and Justice Project and the American law firm Hausfield on behalf of Tamil torture survivor Roy Samathanam. Samathanam was physically and psychologically tortured after being detained in Colombo in September 2007 by the Terrorism Investigation Department of the police (TID), and only released in August 2010 after signing a false confession and accepting a plea deal. He won a case against the Sri Lankan government at the UN Committee Against Torture but the Sri Lankan government did not comply with the order for compensation.