Una batalla entre héroes en Sri Lanka

NUEVA DELHI – Dos héroes célebres, que como presidente y jefe del ejército respectivamente, ayudaron a poner fin a la larga y brutal guerra civil contra los tigres tamiles, ahora están en una batalla política. Cualquiera de los candidatos que gane las elecciones presidenciales de Sri Lanka el 26 de enero tendrá que conducir a ese nación insular, pequeña, pero estratégicamente situada, en una dirección fundamentalmente diferente –de hacer la guerra, como lo ha hecho durante más de un cuarto siglo, a hacer la paz mediante la reconciliación étnica y poder compartido.

Casi desde la independencia en 1948, Sri Lanka se ha visto asolada por la rivalidad enconada entre la mayoría cingalesa y la minoría tamil, que representa el 12% de los 21.3 millones la población actual. Ahora el país se ve dividido por la enemistad política entre dos ídolos de guerra de los cingaleses, cada uno de ellos quiere ser recordado como el verdadero líder que aplastó la guerrilla de los tigres tamiles.

El antagonismo entre el presidente, Mahinda Rajapaksa, y el ahora retirado general, Sarath Fonseka, se ha estado gestando desde hace meses. Todavía los militares no habían terminado de aplastar a los tigres tamiles –que dirigieron un Estado de facto durante más de dos décadas en el norte y el este- cuando Rajapaksa ya estaba removiendo a Fonseka como jefe del ejército para asignarlo en la nueva posición, en gran parte ceremonial, de jefe de gabinete de la Defensa.

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