Sri Lanka opens door for return of divisive former president

Sri Lanka opens door for return of divisive former president

Voters who turfed Mahinda Rajapaksa out of office in 2015 give his party local election win

A familiar face is back on walls across Sri Lanka. The country’s former president Mahinda Rajapaksa has been grinning from thousands of posters and billboards recently, palms pressed together in gratitude.

Voters delivered a shock repudiation of Rajapaksa’s government three years ago, as the UN investigated war crimes against Tamil civilians, dissidents disappeared in unmarked white vans and warnings were issued that Sri Lankan democracy was at risk.

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