Reconciliation hangs in the balance in Sri Lanka

Election has been followed by a spate of hate speech against ethnic and religious minorities
Reconciliation hangs in the balance in Sri Lanka

SLPP supporters take to the streets of Colombo on Nov. 18 to celebrate the election triumph of Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s seventh president later in the day. (Photo: Ishara S. Kodikara/AFP)

A prominent human rights defender believes that national security was the major campaign factor in Sri Lanka’s recent presidential election.

Father Reid Shelton Fernando, former chaplain of the Young Christian Workers Movement of Colombo Archdiocese, points to this year’s Easter Sunday attacks on three churches and three hotels that killed 259 people and injured more than 500.

“The main factor that surfaced in the Easter tragedy of April 21 was the fact that government political leaders, intelligence services and military services did not react to prevent the tragedy," he told ucanews.

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