A pre-election poll carried out by the Centre for Policy Alternatives showed the majority of Sinhalese back Mahinda Rajapaksa to become prime minister of Sri Lanka in the upcoming general election, whilst the overwhelming majority of Tamils rejected him.
According to the survey, which sampled 2,000 people across the island, 36% of respondents backed former president Mahinda Rajapaksa for the prime ministerial post compared to 31.9% for current Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Meanwhile only 1.8% of Tamils surveyed backed Mahinda Rajapaksa, with 62.3% backing Mr Wickremesinghe.
Mr Rajapaksa recently announced that there would be no room for separatism on the island, as he spoke out against devolution. A whole host of Sinhala political parties, including Mr Wickremesinghe’s UNP, have also announced they will not allow any devolution of power.
Last month both leaders visited the Temple of the Tooth, to get blessings from Buddhist monks ahead of the general elections in a month’s time.
The results were similar across Up Country Tamils with only 1.2% backing Mr Rajapaksa for Prime Minister and Muslims with 1.6% supporting him.
Overall Mr Wickremesinghe led the poll by 39.8% to Mr Rajapaksa's 27.5%.
The majority of Tamils surveyed also backed “greater representation for minority parties”, according to the survey with 38.6% in favour of the move. Only 14.4% of Sinhalese backed similar action.
See the full results from the survey here.
Also see our earlier posts:
More Sinhala opposition to demands for federal solution (04 Aug 2015)
Mahinda vows to leave no room for separatism (03 August 2015)
TNA using 'communal issues' to get votes - JVP (02 August 2015)
UPFA rejects any autonomy to Tamil regions beyond 13th amendment (01 August 2015)
LSSP criticises TNA call for federalism (30 Jul 2015)
UNP reiterates rejection of federal solution (29 Jul 2015)
JVP slams TNA manifesto and opposes federalism (29 Jul 2015)