As the Sri Lankan crisis deepens, Gotabaya looks for the second term


According to media sources, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa declared on Monday (July 19) that he will run for a second term, reversing a vow to only serve for five years. According to reports, the 72-year-old nationalist leader informed senior media executives that he needed more time to resolve Sri Lanka’s increasing economic problems.
Mr. Rajapaksa stated during his successful 2019 election campaign that he would be a one-term president. In March of last year, he reiterated that a single five-year term was sufficient to carry out his ambitious plan, igniting a power struggle within the Rajapaksa family, which controls the government.
After the economy fell by a record 3.6 percent in his first year, Mr. Rajapaksa now believes he needs five more years to complete his “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” agenda.
Due to a foreign cash shortage, the government has prohibited numerous imports.
Mr. Rajapaksa told media owners “today that he will compete for a second term,” according to the pro-government The Morning website. The statements were picked up by other media outlets, sparking further suspicion about the governing family’s intentions.
The president’s younger brother Basil, 70, was appointed finance minister earlier this month, which was generally interpreted as an attempt to prepare him for the presidency. Basil was considered to have beaten out his nephew, Namal Rajapaksa, the Minister of Sports and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eldest son, for the position of future family leader.


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