Sri Lanka’s Sinhale Buddhists, president-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa

COLOMBO (Reuters) – For Sri Lanka’s majority Sinhalese Buddhists, president-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa is best-placed to take on the hard challenge of defeating enemies of the state such as those who carried out deadly Easter Sunday attacks early this year.

For others, he is a leader who should be tried for war crimes over allegations of killings, torture and disappearances of scores of people during the final stages of the war against Tamil Tigers in 2009 that he led as defense secretary.

Rajapaksa is the younger brother of former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the two nationalists gave the military a free hand to crush the Tamil separatists and end a 26-year civil war that had left more than 100,000 people dead.

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