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Monday, August 8, 2022

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa submits resignation to Speaker?

The Speaker’s Office says that they have received the letter of resignation from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and that they are checking the legality of the letter.

Once confirmed after verifying the authenticity and finalizing all legal matters, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena is expected to make an official announcement over the course of tomorrow.

According to the statement issued by the Speaker’s Office, a letter of resignation from President Rajapaksa was received through the High Commission of Sri Lanka in Singapore.

President Rajapaksa was expected to submit his letter of resignation to Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena after landing in Singapore today.

The beleaguered Head of State landed in Singapore on board a Saudia Airlines flight earlier today. His final destination still remains uncertain.

While he reached Singapore earlier on Thursday, the Singapore Foreign Ministry said that neither “had he asked for asylum, nor had he been granted asylum” in the country.

Gotabaya travelled to Singapore on a Saudi Airlines flight from the Maldives. Although earlier reports said that he would fly to Saudi Arabia from there, news agency ANI reported that he would not travel further.

Saudi Airline flight SV 788 believed to be carrying President Rajapaksa had touched down at the Changi International Airport in Singapore shortly after 7.00 p.m. (local time).

Amidst growing protests demanding his immediate resignation over the island nation’s worst-ever economic crisis, Rajapaksa flew out of Colombo for Maldives late on Tuesday evening.

Foreign media, citing sources in Malé, said Rajapaksa’s escape to the Maldives was negotiated by the Maldivian Majlis (Parliament) Speaker and former president Mohamed Nasheed.

He was set to arrive in Singapore in the early of this morning, however, he was a no-show at the Changi Airport.

Rajapaksa had later requested the Maldivian government to arrange him a private jet to depart for Singapore from the Maldives.

Before leaving Colombo, Rajapaksa had assured that would send in his resignation from the presidency before midnight on Wednesday (July 13). However, it was later reported that he intends to submit the letter upon arriving in Singapore.

Shortly before Rajapaksa’s arrival, the Singapore government clarified that he is on a private visit and has not been granted asylum.

“It is confirmed that Mr. Rajapaksa has been allowed entry into Singapore on a private visit. He has not asked for asylum and neither has he been granted any asylum. Singapore generally does not grant requests for asylum” Singapore’s foreign ministry was quoted as saying by news agency AFP.

According to the news agency, Rajapaksa is expected to stay in Singapore for some time, before potentially moving to the United Arab Emirates.

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