My brothers’ keepers: In Sri Lanka the grip of the Rajapaksas only tightens

[The Economist]

THE president of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, may well feel pleased with himself. On the face of it, more than six years after his first election, his prospects are still remarkably rosy. The economy clips along at about 7% a year. Mr Rajapaksa’s coalition controls over two-thirds of parliament, and opposition parties are so weak that a senior minister chuckles about not being held to account. The chief political threat, Sarath Fonseka, a former general turned popular presidential candidate, is in a Colombo jail. There, says an MP who has visited him, he wears short trousers and passes his days in a cell known as the “Scouting Room”, complete with a portrait of Baden-Powell.

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