The 19th Constitutional amendment reversed the 18th constitutional amendment by restricting the Presidential terms of office to two
By D.B.S. Jeyaraj
Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s interview to the influential Indian English daily “The Hindu” has caused quite a splash among political circles in Sri Lanka. The ex- president was interviewed by Suhasini Haidar and Amit Baruah for the newspaper which has acquired a reputation over the years of being the most authoritative voice on Sri Lanka related issues in the Indian media. Incidentally Suhasini Haidar is the daughter of maverick Indian politician Dr. Subramanian Swamy who displays consistent interest in the affairs of the Island nation. She is the diplomatic affairs and deputy resident editor of “The Hindu” in New Delhi. Suhasini whose forte is international relations has frequently complemented the efforts of Meera Srinivasan the current Colombo Correspondent of “The Hindu” in reporting on Sri Lanka. Amit Baruah too is an old Sri Lanka hand having worked as the newspaper’s Colombo correspondent earlier. He is now the resident editor of “The Hindu “ in New Delhi. It could be seen therefore that the Mahinda Rajapaksa interview was conducted by high-powered journalists who were well-informed about Sri Lanka.
Just as the sting of a scorpion is in its tail, the explosive impact of the interview was at the tail-end. Though the detailed interview possessed many interesting dimensions, what stirred the Sri Lankan political imagination were the two questions and answers at the end of the interview pertaining to the forthcoming presidential elections and the choices before Mahinda Rajapaksa, the questions and answers were as follows: