ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Opinion

South Asia's turn to illiberal democracy

In Sri Lanka, the Rajapaksa brothers' return confirms region's autocratic drift

| Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan
Special Task Force soldiers stand guard as supporters of Sri Lankan President-elect Gotabaya Rajapaksa celebrate in Colombo on Nov. 17.   © Reuters

The return of the Rajapaksa brothers to power in Sri Lanka drew delighted cheers from their Buddhist nationalist supporters this weekend. But it should bring a shudder of alarm from those concerned for the island's future.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the nation's wartime defense chief, emerged as a comfortable winner on Sunday after a presidential poll on Saturday marked by deep ethnic divisions -- signaling a likely return to the autocratic style favored by his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, who served as president from 2005 to 2015.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more