Mahinda Rajapaksa Stays as Sri Lankan President

Mahinda Rajapaksa (pictured) is reported by the state television of Sri Lanka to have been re-elected as President of the South Asian island country. The election was conducted to seek a fresh mandate for Rajapaksa whose current term expires 2011.Mahinda-Rajapaksa

He has defeated his fierce rival General Sarath Fonseka. Rajapaksa is leading Fonseka with 60% to 34% of the ballots counted, which is past 85% of votes casted.  70% of the 14 million registered voters trooped to the polls, Tuesday, January 26.

The election is surprisingly peaceful after a violent campaign period.

Despite the wide gap in the results, the government is still planning to ask the courts to declare the general as ineligible to run for the presidency as he was not a registered voter. Fonseka said he did not vote because his name is simply missing from the voter registration list.

Mano Ganeshan, spokesman to the general, said that they are already talking to a diplomat of a neighboring country to seek protection and safety for the Fonseka.

Fonseka is a former Chief of Defense Staff.