By Eric Ellis –
Last weekend, as a courtesy, The Global Mail emailed Sri Lanka’s unelected Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa a link to our story on the nepotism among Sri Lanka’s powerful elite.
Gota, as Sri Lankans know him, is the country’s enforcer-in-chief. The former soldier is credited with having masterminded his presidential brother Mahinda’s 2009 victory over Tamil separatists and ending a 26-year civil war that killed more than 100,000 people – as many as 75,000 in its brutal last weeks.
He had chosen not to co-operate in our research, but we sent on this piece anyway, the third in a three-part series How Not To Win A War. The series examines how his tiny island is emerging from that war and why, four years on, so many Sri Lankans, particularly of its minority Tamil community, are risking their lives on leaky boats in the vain hope of starting new lives in Australia.
‘The Brothers’ Grip’, in particular, reported how Gota and his triumphant Sinhalese relatives and cronies are getting rich quick as they turn Sri Lanka into their family’s political and business fief, a ‘mafia state’ as some Sri Lankans even described it.
Read more in the The Globalmail
*Eric Ellis is an award-winning journalist who writes about the politics, economics and societies of South and South-East Asia. He has written for a range of international journals; Fortune Magazine, Forbes, the Financial Times, Time Magazine, The Times, The Bulletin/Newsweek, The Spectator,Institutional Investor, Euromoney, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian Financial Review and the International Herald Tribune.