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Sri Lankan president resigns after fleeing to Singapore

Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa submitted a letter of resignation on Thursday according to two government sources. The leader of the country fled to Singapore following mass protests over the country’s economic meltdown – with protestors storming the presidential palace and setting fire to the prime minister’s house.

Mr Rajapaksa emailed his letter of resignation to the speaker of the country’s parliament late on Thursday, two sources told Reuters press agency. It was not immediately clear if the letter, sent shortly after Rajapaksa arrived in Singapore, would be accepted in an email form, the sources added.

Sri Lanka president Rajapaksa emails resignation letter to parliamentary speaker – source https://t.co/4YZNYSIaSX pic.twitter.com/PQl0LVr5cW

— Reuters (@Reuters) July 14, 2022

Presidential escape

On Wednesday President Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives to escape the people’s uprising over his family’s role in crippling the country’s economy. Rajapaksa, his wife and two bodyguards left the main international airport near Colombo aboard a Sri Lankan Air Force plane – the air force said in a statement.

After that, he headed to Singapore on a Saudi Arabian airline flight, noted a person familiar with the situation. A passenger on the flight, refusing to be named, told Reuters that President Rajapaksa was met by a group of security guards and was seen leaving the airport VIP area in a convoy of black vehicles.

Singapore’s foreign ministry said Mr Rajapaksa had entered the country on a private visit, and had not sought nor been granted asylum.

Protests

Protests as reaction to the economic crisis have been simmering for months and came to a head last weekend when hundreds of thousands took to the streets, taking over key government buildings in Colombo, blaming the Rajapaksas and their allies for runaway inflation, corruption and a severe lack in fuel and medicines.

His decision on Wednesday, in making his ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the acting president, triggered more protests with demonstrators storming the parliament and premier’s office in demanding that he quit too.

The same day Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe declared a state of emergency in fulfilling his role as the acting president.

Sri Lanka declares state of emergency amidst protests…

Daily Brief: https://t.co/rr4uZ1WcOP pic.twitter.com/8ZE7rz5hSw

— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) July 14, 2022

Be that as it may, protests continue. The country’s police inform that one person was killed and 84 others injured, in clashes between riot police and protesters on Wednesday near the parliament and prime minister’s office, as people were demanding the ousting of both Mr Rajapaksa and Mr Wickremesinghe.


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