Cult of personality grows around Sri Lanka’s leader

[Globe and Mail]

As the President’s motorcade passed slowly through Colombo Monday, 20-year-old university student Chaturi Waidyasekera pressed her head to the ground, then rose and chanted, “Praise our king” Dozens of others did the same, beneath billboards that pictured Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the white robes of a Buddhist deity. Ms. Waidyasekera explained, calmly, that she believes the elected leader of Sri Lanka should remain in office for life because last week he ended a 26-year civil war with the violent defeat of the Tamil Tigers.

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