News / Asia

Sri Lanka President Declared Re-Elected, Top Rival Claims Results Rigged

Multimedia

Audio

Sri Lanka has declared President Mahinda Rajapaksa the victor over his former top general, Sarath Fonseka, in the country's first peacetime election in decades after the long civil war against the Tamil Tiger rebels.  But the rival to the president is refusing to concede defeat, saying that although voting was peaceful the results have been rigged to give Mr. Rajapaksa another six-year term in office. 

Sri Lanka's Election Commissioner says the incumbent president captured nearly 58 percent of the vote, 17 percent more than the former army commander. 

President Mahinda Rajapaksa called for his former opponents and their supporters to join him in building the country.

Mr. Rajapaksa says from today onward he is the president of everyone, whether they voted for him or not.

But his top rival is having none of it.  Sarath Fonseka told reporters the results have been rigged and displaced minority Tamils, in districts where he enjoyed support, were prevented from voting.

Defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka tells reporters he will not concede, 27 Jan 2010
Defeated presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka tells reporters he will not concede, 27 Jan 2010

He spoke to reporters in the basement of a lakeside hotel in central Colombo, which has been ringed by army troops.

The former military boss who broke with the president after last year's victory against the Tamil Tiger rebels, calls the soldiers surrounding his hotel an ominous sign his personal safety is in danger.

"Now they will try to do something, use the force and try to assassinate me and put the blame on somebody else," he said.

Government officials deny wanting to arrest the losing candidate, but say his personal security detail is mostly composed of army deserters who should be detained.

Asked by VOA News whether a deal, through diplomatic intermediaries, has been struck for him to leave Sri Lanka, Mr. Fonseka denied any such agreement.  But he said he must make his top priority his survival for the sake of his supporters.

"If they are going to assassinate me, to escape that I will take precautions.  If the best option is to leave the country for a short period, temporarily I might have to do that," he said. 

He declined to comment on speculation that the United States is a likely destination.

Both the President and the former General have been hailed as war heroes for the vanquishing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who for decades waged war and a terror campaign to try to create an independent homeland in the North and East.
 

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid