Sri Lankan President ran away amid heavy protests, resigned: 10 points

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled to Singapore

Colombo/New Delhi:
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned after landing in Singapore as he fled the island nation. People in Colombo heard crackers bursting that he had resigned. The Speaker of Parliament has confirmed that he has received the resignation letter.

Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet for this big story:

  1. The president’s resignation comes on a day when protesters announced that they would end their occupation of official buildings, including the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office.

  2. The Singapore government has said the former Sri Lankan president is on a “private visit” and has not applied for asylum.

  3. When Mr. Rajapaksa was President, he was exempt from arrest, which he would have left Sri Lanka. He left office only after being out of the country to avoid the possibility of being taken into custody.

  4. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has asked security forces to restore order and declared a state of emergency.

  5. AFP news agency reported that witnesses saw dozens of activists exit Mr Wickremesinghe’s office as armed police and security forces entered. “We are withdrawing peacefully from Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President’s Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office with immediate effect, but will continue our struggle,” a spokesman for the protesters said.

  6. According to Sri Lankan security sources, Mr Rajapaksa is expected to stay in Singapore for some time before leaving for the United Arab Emirates, AFP reported.

  7. Hundreds of thousands of people have visited Mr. Rajapaksa’s compound since it was opened to the public after Mr. Rajapaksa fled and his security guards retreated. By Thursday afternoon, the gates were locked with armed guards inside and out.

  8. Mr. Rajapaksa is accused of mismanaging the economy to such an extent that the country has run out of foreign exchange for its most essential imports, causing serious difficulties for its 22 million people. Sri Lanka defaulted on $51 billion of its foreign debt in April and is in talks with the International Monetary Fund for possible relief.

  9. The island has almost exhausted its already scarce supply of petrol, with the government ordering the government to close non-essential offices and schools and save fuel.

  10. Diplomatic sources said Mr Rajapaksa’s efforts to secure a visa to the United States were turned down after he renounced his US citizenship in 2019 before running for the presidency, AFP reported.