India views the outcome of Sri Lankan Parliamentary Elections as a huge blow to the “string of pearls” strategy of China, which had built the Hambantota Port in Sri Lanka as part of its Maritime Silk Road initiative.
Mr Wickremesinghe’s victory in Monday’s elections thwarted a comeback bid by the country’s former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa, seven months after he lost his presidential re-election bid. The win solidifies power for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with his party winning 106 of parliament’s 225.
But days before the elections, Sirisena purged Rajapaksa’s allies from the SLFP, consolidating his power in the party. “If you don’t use certain high-handed tactics, you can not survive”.
Rajapaksa’s dwindling popularity has been connected to many factors, the chief among them being rising corruption, his authoritarian rule, and cases of abduction and killing of his government’s critics, including journalists.
One of the best ways for the new government to heal the ethnic divide and take Sri Lanka’s economy to the next level is to allow the private sector to flourish, said Razeen Sally, an associate professor at the National University of Singapore. The prime minister heads lawmaking and has some governance powers.
69-year-old Rajapaksa, political rival of both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, was also present during the ceremony and both Sirisena and Wickremesinghe shook hands with him. His party had promoted the idea of working together even during the presidential election early this year. With support from smaller parties, Wickremesinghe will be able to form a solid coalition government backed by Sirisena and his allies.
But, all the while, Sirisena was seeking to broaden support at home and overseas , courting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and British Prime Minister David Cameron.
AT THE height of Sri Lanka’s parliamentary campaign, footage taken with a mobile phone went viral. To encourage ethnic reconciliation, the Sirisena government handed back 1,000 acres of land from the military to civilians in the war-ravaged Northern Province and welcomed United Nations officials investigating human rights cases into the country. Karunanayake’s statement is a clear assurance to the International Monetary Fund that the new government will fulfill the demand to make them “break-even” institutions-a step towards full privatisation. “We can achieve unity, progress in this country if we work together”.
He served as the leader of the opposition for a period of twenty years. He and his family deny any wrongdoing. But, the SLFP and UPFA will understand in the near future about the extent of damage done to party politics due to individual rifts.