August 19, 2022
Gotabaya Rajapaksa expected to return to country, official says- BPN TODAY

Gotabaya Rajapaksa expected to return to country, official says

Sri Lanka’s former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to return to the country from Singapore, a Sri Lankan lawmaker says.

Cabinet spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena told reporters on Tuesday that Mr Rajapaksa was not in hiding but the date of his return was not known.

The former leader fled Sri Lanka after mass unrest over an economic crisis.

Many protesters say he mishandled the nation’s finances, leading to soaring prices of essential goods.

Mr Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka on 13 July for the Maldives, before making his way to Singapore on 14 July.

Singapore says the ousted president did not ask for political asylum when he arrived there.

The former president travelled with his wife and two bodyguards. He no longer has legal immunity as a head of state.

Speculation has since swirled about his possible plans, with some suggesting he might move to the United Arab Emirates.

“To my knowledge he is expected to come back,” Mr Gunawardena told reporters on Tuesday.

Sri Lankans blame Mr Rajapaksa’s administration for their worst economic crisis in decades.

They have been struggling with months of daily power cuts and shortages of basics like fuel, food and medicines.

Mr Rajapaksa has been replaced as president by his close ally Ranil Wickremesinghe – he was voted in by lawmakers last week but is deeply unpopular among Sri Lankans.

-BBC

 
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