Rajapaksa names brother Gotabhaya for presidency

Colombo, August 11

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, former Sri Lankan defence secretary, was on Sunday named as the presidential candidate of  the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party for the election scheduled for later this year. Brother of former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabhaya, 70, headed Rajapaksa’s military campaign against the the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam between 2006 and 2009.

He attained super hero status among the Sinhala Buddhist majority of the country for ending the three-decades-long civil war with the LTTE.

Ending months of speculation, Rajapaksa on Sunday named his younger brother Gotabhaya as the presidential candidate and additionally took over the leadership of the new political party formed by the Rajapaksa family, the SLPP.

Rajapaksa thus ended his long association with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) of which he had been a member since the mid 1960s, and elected twice as the president from the SLFP. “My brother is your brother now, we need discipline and law to uphold, Gotabhaya is the man for that,” Rajapaksa said while addressing the gathering.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was a Colonel in the Sri Lanka Army before migrating to the US in 1992.  — PTI

Wartime officer who helped wiping out LTTE

  • Brother of former strongman President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabhaya, 70, headed Rajapaksa’s military campaign against the the LTTE between 2006 and 2009
  • He attained super hero status among the Sinhala Buddhist majority of the country for ending the three-decade-long civil war with the LTTE
  • He was a Colonel in the Sri Lanka Army before migrating to the US in 1992