Sri Lanka Rajapaksas: Return to power for wartime leader brothers

Sri Lanka’s new president has sworn in his brother as interim prime minister, a remarkable return to power for the siblings who oversaw the brutal end to the island’s civil war 10 years ago.

Mahinda Rajapaksa took the oath as PM at a brief ceremony in Colombo.

His younger brother Gotabaya was voted in as president on Sunday and has said he wants to rule for all Sri Lankans.

But rights groups are concerned – wide-scale abuses were documented when the Rajapaksas were last in power.

Mahinda was president from 2005-2015, but was barred from standing again by a two-term limit, while Gotabaya was his all-powerful defence secretary. Both men deny any wrongdoing.

The election was Sri Lanka’s first since the deadly Easter Sunday attacks shattered a decade of relative calm – and security was a key issue.

Militants linked to the Islamic State group targeted churches and high-end hotels across the island in April, killing more than 250 people.

What is the Rajapaksa legacy?

The brothers spearheaded the crushing defeat of separatist Tamil Tiger (LTTE) rebels in 2009, ending a decades-long war in which abuses were committed on both sides and at least 100,000 people were killed.

Media captionHow the army finally crushed Tamil Tiger rebels after 25 years of bloody war

During its final stages, thousands of people disappeared – many are said to have been tortured or killed….

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