Dhaka, Tuesday, 13 August 2020


Sri Lanka election: Ex-defence chief Rajapaksa set to win

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Update: 2019-11-17 12:18:07
Sri Lanka election: Ex-defence chief Rajapaksa set to win

Sri Lanka's former wartime defence chief looks set to win the country's presidential election.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has claimed victory and his main rival has conceded, but official results are not confirmed.

The election is the first the country held since a terror attack killed more than 250 people in April.

A total of 35 candidates were vying for votes in the presidential election, the third since the end of the country's decades-long civil war in 2009.

Mr Rajapaksa is a polarising figure who was seen as one of two front-runners in the race, along with government minister Sajith Premadasa.

The country's current president, Maithripala Sirisena, was not on the ballot. He decided against running after coming under criticism following the Easter Sunday bombings.

Islamic State group-linked militants targeted churches and high-end hotels across the island seven months ago.

The government was forced to later admit it had suffered a "major intelligence lapse" after failing to adequately share information from Indian intelligence officials about a potential attack.

The attacks have been followed by an economic slump, with the country's tourism sector particularly hit.

BDST: 1216 HRS, NOV 17, 2019

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