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Rajapaksa family secures clear mandate in Sri Lanka election

Win may boost ties with Beijing, extending links formed under Mahinda presidency

Mahinda Rajapaksa waves at supporters during a campaign rally ahead of Sri Lanka's Aug. 5 parliamentary election.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Sri Lanka's most influential political family -- the Rajapaksas -- led their party to a landslide victory in Wednesday's general election, their second electoral success in less than a year, as they campaigned on political stability and tapped into ultranationalist sentiment.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna -- a political vehicle for the Rajapaksas, who hail from the south of the country -- won 146 seats in the 225-member legislature, tallying a record of nearly 6.8 million votes for a parliamentary poll and giving the party a decisive majority. 

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