A new day and a new start for Sri Lanka. Former President Rajapakse has conceded defeat in the Presidential election held yesterday and his rival and long time colleague, Maithri Sirisena, will be sworn in later on today.
A few months ago this result would have been unthinkable, though the Government was losing support over issues such as corruption and the cost of living crisis. Presumably this was why Rajapakse called elections 2 years early, only to have the wind pulled from his sails by the defection of Sirisena to the opposition, a broad coalition featuring former President Chandrika Bandaranaike, former Prime Minister, Ranil Wickramasingh and a wide range of parties including those representing the Tamil and Muslim minorities.
The size of the defeat has come of something of a shock – but kudos must go to Sri Lanka for the peaceful and fair way in which these elections have been handled. Sri Lanka is a highly political country, where everyone has an opinion and in this case it seems the people have spoken and democracy has won out.
Let’s hope that this can be a day for a positive move forward for the country towards a lasting peace and reconciliation, economic development for all and an end to the worst excesses of corruption. We wish this wonderful country all the best as it makes it’s own way forward.