It’s official: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has effectively resigned and fled to Singapore. He will spend some time in Lion City.
“In response to media queries, it is confirmed that Mr Rajapaksa has been allowed entry into Singapore on a private visit. He has not asked for asylum and neither has he been granted any asylum. Singapore generally does not grant requests for asylum,” Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said confirming the presence of the embattled former President in Singapore.
According to the BBC, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, the country’s parliament speaker, had pledged the resignation of Rajapaksa in. The 73-year-old resigned on July 14, 2022.
Acting Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be sworn in as interim president as Sri Lanka’s Parliament prepares to convene on July 16 to begin the process of electing the country’s new leader.
Why did Gotabaya Rajapaksa resign?
Gotabaya’s resignation is symbolic for two reasons.
First, his resignation marks the end of the Rajapaksa family’s 20-year rule in Sri Lanka. Gotabaya thrived in the corridors of power in the South Asian nation along with his brothers Mahinda, Basil, Chamal, and his nephews.
Second, Sri Lanka’s inflation rose to 54.6 percent due to nepotism and corruption.
Don’t cause trouble, warns Singapore.
While Gotabaya has neither sought nor been granted asylum in Singapore, Lion City has warned people not to cause trouble, according to Bloomberg.
“The public, Singaporeans, residents, work pass holders and socieal visitors alike abide by our local laws. Action will be taken against anyone participating in an illegal public assembly.”
The warning was issued after a group of Sri Lankans gathered at Changi Airport to confront the embattled former President.
On July 9, protestors stormed the presidential palace and even set fire to the prime minister’s private home.
Gotabaya had arrived with his wife and two bodyguards. He flew from the Maldives on a Saudi Arabian flight and is expected to remain in Singapore until cleared to fly to Saudi Arabia.