Regarding Harsh V. Pant’s Jan. 19 article, “Even with a change of regime in Colombo, China’s sway will continue to grow in Sri Lanka“: Pant is vaguely accurate in most of his analysis of Sri Lanka’s recent history, but his description of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s 2010 post-civil war election victory fails to mention that Rajapaksa’s win was based entirely on his popularity with the country’s majority ethnic Sinhalese.

The Sinhalese saw Rajapaksa as a war hero who had wreaked bloody revenge for a decades-long separatist insurgency by minority ethnic Tamil after government forces militarily defeated the Tamil Tiger guerrillas and physically wiped out their leadership. Tamils either boycotted the 2010 election or voted for rival candidates, as did the minority Muslims.

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