The leader of Sri Lanka has a serious image problem

A cautionary tale of hubris from a man who should be facing war crimes charges in the Hague (here’s why):

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa has said there is no truth in the perception that he is building a family dynasty and referred to the Kennedys, Bushes and the Gandhis in politics as an example.

In an interview to the Singapore-based Strait Times, Mr. Rajapaksa in response to a question on the oft-heard complaint that there are too many Rajapaksas in his regime has said, “But for that matter how many Kennedys were there in administration. Or Bushes. Or the Gandhis. I have only two brothers in administration.”

To a question on the LTTE [Tamil Tigers], Mr. Rajapaksa has said there are sleeping cadres and there are interested parties, especially outside Sri Lanka.

“It has been just nine months since the war ended… Just because the leaders were eliminated, it is not over. The movement will take some more time.

There are sleeping cadres, trained suicide bombers. They were a factory of suicide bombers”.

Asked how he would like to be remembered, Mr. Rajapaksa has said, “As a man who loved his country and his people, and did my best to serve them.”

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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