Sri Lankans head to the polls today with the ruling Rajapaksa brothers looking for a super-majority in parliament to change the constitution and unravel democratic safeguards.
Political observers say the siblings -- renowned for their ruthless crushing of Tamil separatist rebels to end a decades-old conflict in 2009 – want to end presidential term limits, bring the judiciary and police under their direct control, and extend their dynastic power to a new generation.
Presidential term limits were introduced in 2015 under former president Maithripala Sirisena when parliament approved sweeping constitutional amendments.
Those changes also made the judiciary, police, civil service and election commission independent branches of government.
If the Rajapaksas' party secures a two-thirds majority in parliament, they will be able to sweep away those reforms to sxtend grip on power, fears political analysts of the island nation.