In early-September 2018, former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa proclaimed that his government’s fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) should not be considered an ‘ethnic war’, as ‘military action was not directed against the Tamil community’. While the veracity of such a claim remains open to heated debate, its delivery at this point in time is not surprising. Mr Rajapaksa appears poised to stage a political comeback, and anti-Tamil assertions are catnip tohis Sinhalese supporters—especially members of the military. At the same time, a central element of his platform involves depicting current Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena as a stooge to foreign influence for having endorsed UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Resolution 30/1—a move Mr Rajapasksa and his supporters consider a blow to the country’s sovereignty and an incursion on ‘processes that are exclusively the domain of Sri Lanka’s Parliament’. In a further slap to victims, Mr Rajapaksa also characterized the well-founded allegations of human rights abuses by the ‘victorious Sri Lankan military’ as ‘false’.
The full Press Release can be found here: