Sri Lanka President submits resignation after fleeing to Singapore

Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a February photo. Photo: Gotabaya Rajapaksa/Facebook
Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a February photo. Photo: Gotabaya Rajapaksa/Facebook

The president of Sri Lanka, who is currently at the center of a media firestorm after fleeing his country and being labeled a wanted man by Sri Lankans, arrived in Singapore yesterday evening.

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was allowed into the city-state on a “private visit”, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who said he did not request asylum and that he has not been granted such.

“He has not asked for asylum and neither has he been granted any asylum. Singapore generally does not grant requests for asylum,” the ministry wrote in a statement released last night.

Rajapaksa arrived from the Maldives on Saudia flight SV 788, which landed at around 7pm last night. He was previously expected to arrive with his wife and security in the morning but did not show up due to security reasons.

He fled from Columbo on Wednesday after running away from outraged protestors who stormed his residence on Saturday following the country’s economic collapse.

The Singapore Police Force last night said that Rajapaksa is on a “social visit pass” and asked the public to behave themselves and “abide” by the “local laws.” They also threatened action against any who participated in illegal public assembly.

This came after several members of the public were spotted at Changi Airport, reportedly waiting on Rajapaksa’s arrival to express their dismay directly to the president.

Shortly after his arrival, it was reported that Rajapaksa had submitted his official resignation via email, which he had pledged to do on Wednesday. The resignation letter is in the process of being examined by Sri Lankan officials.

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