Sri Lanka votes for president in shadow of Easter Sunday attack

Sri Lankans are going to the polls to choose their new leader, seven months after a devastating terror attack killed more than 250 people.

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

The current president, however, is not on the ballot.

Maithripala Sirisena decided against running after coming under criticism following the Easter Sunday bombings.

The attack by Islamic State militants, which targeted churches and top-end hotels, left at least 253 people dead.

The government was forced to later admit it had suffered a “major intelligence lapse”, with the defence secretary revealing an Indian intelligence warning from the beginning of the month about planned attacks was not properly shared by the authorities.

Just before polling got under way, there were reports of violence from the country’s northwest as gunmen opened fire on a convoy of buses carrying Muslim voters, but police said there were no casualties.

Who could be Sri Lanka’s next president?

Despite the two-foot long ballot paper to accommodate all the candidates’ names, this is an election with two clear frontrunners, one of whom has been accused of human rights abuses during his decade as defence secretary under his brother’s presidential rule.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was in power when thousands of people – particularly Tamils – went missing in what have been described as enforced…

Continue Reading This Article At BBC News

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here