Sri Lanka attacks boost feared ex-official’s bid for power

Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the brother of former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa and the opposition candidate in the presidential election. (File/AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
Updated 23 August 2019
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Sri Lanka attacks boost feared ex-official’s bid for power

  • Despite accusations of bloodshed, Gotabaya is a hero among majority Sinhalese Buddhists
  • Gotabaya’s hardened reputation and vow to ensure national security has become a selling point

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: The presidential campaign of a feared former defense official accused of condoning rape, torture and disappearances in Sri Lanka is getting a boost after deadly attacks this year.
Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the brother of former strongman Mahinda Rajapaksa and the opposition candidate in the presidential election expected later this year.
Despite accusations of bloodshed, Gotabaya is a hero among majority Sinhalese Buddhists for his role in ending Sri Lanka’s long civil war in 2009. Many see him as the best choice to protect the South Asian island nation after the Easter Sunday bombings that killed more than 250 people.
Gotabaya’s hardened reputation and vow to ensure national security has become a selling point as the government faces severe criticism for failing to prevent the attacks at churches and hotels.


US takes back $100 million from Afghan govt over corruption

Updated 48 min 31 sec ago

US takes back $100 million from Afghan govt over corruption

  • Pompeo said the US will still finish the massive project that involves five power substations
  • He blamed the “Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage US Government resources.”

KABUL: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Washington is taking back $100 million intended for an Afghan energy infrastructure project, citing unacceptably high levels of corruption in the Afghan government.
In the harshly worded statement Thursday, Pompeo said the US will still finish the massive project that involves five power substations and a maze of transmission lines in southern Afghanistan. It just won’t be spending the money through Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, blaming the “Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage US Government resources.”
This follows an earlier statement, also from Pompeo, calling for “credible and transparent presidential election” when Afghans go to the polls Sept. 28.
The 2014 presidential election was marred by allegations of massive fraud, as was last year’s parliamentary vote.