International Relations

Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lankan Presidency

Posted on in International Relations

On Sunday, Sri Lanka’s former defense chief, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, declared victory in Sri Lanka’s presidential elections. Rajapaksa campaigned on promises to increase militarization and prevent the Tamils (Sri Lanka’s ethnic minority) from gaining political power. During his previous office as leader of the Sri Lankan military, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was accused of perpetrating numerous human rights violations including genocide and torture.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for Gotabaya Rajapaksa Wins Sri Lankan Presidency


“Sri Lanka Strongman Rajapaksa wins presidency by big margin”

“Gotabaya Rajapaksa, ‘war hero’ who ended Sri Lanka’s 3-decade-long bloody civil conflict”

“Sri Lanka election: Unity hard to achieve in divided country”

“Editorial – A dreaded return”

“‘The Terminator’: how Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s ruthless streak led him to power”

“Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins Sri Lanka election”

“A political shift is imminent in Sri Lanka”


  • Writing: Describe the historic conflict between the Tamil minority population of Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese majority. Where does the conflict originate and how does Rajapaksa’s election tie in?
  • Debate: Rajapaksa’s election will result in increased ethnic tension in the region.
  • Poll: Is Sri Lanka’s new president a war hero or a war criminal?
  • Short Answer: What does Rajapaksa’s electoral victory mean for Tamil-Sinhalese relations?

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