Mahinda Rajapaksa

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Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected President of Sri Lanka in 2005 and re-elected in 2010.[1]

War crimes allegations

In a January 2010 diplomatic cable obtained by Channel 4 News from Wikileaks, US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Patricia Butenis said it was 'unsurprising' that the Sri Lankan government had not investigated war crimes in the final months of the civil war with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam:

"In Sri Lanka, this is further complicated by the fact that responsibility for many of the alleged crimes rests with the country's senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapakse and his brothers and opposition candidate General Fonseka".[2]

Bell Pottinger links

In anticipation of an international outcry over the final offensive in the north, Rajapaska's government signed a contract with public relations firm Bell Pottinger.[3]

Relationship with Liam Fox

According to the Guardian's Jason Burke, the then British Shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox was seen as a major asset by Rajapaska's government in the run-up to the 2010 British general election:

Researchers working for human rights organisations during this period were so concerned by indications that the Sri Lankan government might be seeking to enlist Fox's support to ease restrictions on arms imports from the UK to the island nation, they raised their worries with the Foreign Office in London. Sources say now that they received specific information that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, the feared defence secretary and the brother of the president, had asked Fox to lobby for more access to British weapons.[3]


  1. President Mahinda Rajapaksa,, accessed 21 August 2012.
  2. Wikileaks: US memo accuses Sri Lanka president of war crimes, Channel 4 News, 9 october 2011.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jason Burke,Adam Werritty and Liam Fox's Sri Lankan connections,, 13 October 2011.