Gotabaya gone for good

With embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emailing his resignation letter from Singapore on Thursday, the drama around his political exile finally came to an end.

Published: 15th July 2022 12:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th July 2022 12:21 PM   |  A+A-

Protesters celebrate the resignation of Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo | AFP

By Express News Service

With embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emailing his resignation letter from Singapore on Thursday, the drama around his political exile finally came to an end.

Protesters cheered his exit, as Gotabaya was the last of the powerful Rajapaksa clan to bow out of office following an unprecedented mass uprising.

There was tenuous calm in Colombo as thousands of protesters changed tack and vacated government buildings they had occupied since July 9. The business of government formation, too, gathered pace as the Opposition set a timeline for choosing a new prime ministerial candidate, saying a consensus name will be announced by Friday 10 am.

The decision was made known by the Samagi Jana Balawegaya, the biggest Opposition party. Its member of Parliament Harsha De Silva tweeted, “Responding to request by PM @ RW_UNP to @ParliamentLK Speaker to propose a name by consensus for PM, opposition parties will today discuss with various parties and groups in government to get such consensus. We will propose this name to Speaker at 10 am tomorrow. #SriLankaCrisis.”

While Gotabaya mailed his resignation letter to Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, the latter’s office was fact-checking it. The Speaker’s media secretary Indunil Abeywardena said it was received through the Sri Lanka High Commission in Singapore.

“The Speaker wishes to inform that an official statement on this would be made tomorrow (Friday) after the verification process and legal formalities,” Abeywardena said.

The Speaker wants to see the original signature. The original will be brought to Colombo from Singapore in the next available flight by a diplomatic officer.

Maldives unexpectedly jumped into the resignation drama with Speaker Mohamed Nasheed tweeting, “Sri Lankan President GR has resigned. I hope Sri Lanka can now move forward.” Nasheed had negotiated his escape to Male.

ALSO READ | Sri Lankan speaker says Gotabaya Rajapaksa's resignation as president accepted

Lands in Singapore, doesn’t seek asylum
Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his entourage boarded SV 788 at Male in Maldives and left for Singapore. Singapore’s foreign ministry said he was allowed to enter the city-state on a private visit, adding he had not sought political asylum.

There was speculation that he will later leave for Saudi Arabia.



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