'Gotabaya Rajapaksa has signed his resignation letter', but where is he?

Gotabaya, who is reportedly under the protection of the Armed Forces in the island nation, signed his resignation letter, dated for July 13 on Monday.

Published: 12th July 2022 03:25 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th July 2022 04:44 PM   |  A+A-

People try out gym equipment at President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday | AP

By Online Desk

Sri Lanka's embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has signed his resignation letter. Gotabaya, who is reportedly under the protection of the Armed Forces in the island nation, signed his resignation letter, dated for July 13 on Monday. The Speaker of Parliament is expected to publicly announce it to the nation on July 13, the Daily Mirror reports.

Speculation was rife on Monday that Rajapaksa had already left the island, however, these reports were rejected by senior sources close to the President who confirmed to Daily Mirror that Rajapaksa was still in the country and was protected by the Armed Forces, the report adds.

AFP reported that immigration officers attached to the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA) were refusing to go to the VIP suite to stamp his passport, while he insisted he would not go through the public facilities fearing reprisals from other airport users.

The president and his wife spent the night at a military base next to the main international airport after missing four flights that could have taken them to the United Arab Emirates.

ALSO READ | Sri Lanka: Implosion in the making

Rajapaksa's youngest brother Basil, who resigned in April as finance minister, missed his own Emirates flight to Dubai early Tuesday after a similar standoff with airport staff.

Basil tried to use the paid concierge service for business travellers, but airport and immigration staff said they were withdrawing from the fast track service with immediate effect.

"There were some other passengers who protested against Basil boarding their flight," an airport official told AFP. "It was a tense situation, so he hurriedly left the airport."

It may be recalled that in the nation stalked by the economic crisis, the anti-government protesters have taken control of the Presidential Secretariat, President’s House, and Temple Trees, which contain both the prime minister’s official office and residence.

Meanwhile, the UN chief on Monday called for dialogue to “ensure a smooth transition of government and solutions to the country’s deep economic crisis”. 

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