Sri Lankans have elected a former wartime defence minister as their new President.

The country is still suffering from the repercussions of April’s Easter Sunday terror attacks which killed more than 250 people and sparked a collapse in the tourism industry.

Gotabaya Rajapaska won Saturday’s election promising a tough line on security as well as closer economic ties with China.

The vote for the 70-year-old is seen as a victory for nationalist forces in Sri Lanka. During his term as defence minister Rajapaska was credited with bringing the war against Tamil separatists to an end.

HIs main rival, Sajith Premadasa, had campaigned on promises of greater financial support for the poor.

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