Embattled Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has submitted a letter of resignation through an email from Singapore, a spokesperson for the parliament’s Speaker said yesterday.

Rajapaksa fled to Singapore via the Maldives amid mass protests at home over an economic meltdown.

The announcement triggered jubilation in the embattled country’s commercial capital, Colombo, where protesters massed outside the presidential secretariat, defying a city-wide curfew.

Crowds set off firecrackers, shouted slogans and danced ecstatically at the Gota Go Gama protest site, named mockingly after Rajapaksa’s first name.

“The whole country will celebrate today,” activist Damitha Abeyrathne said.

“It’s a big victory. We never thought we would get this country free from them,” she added, referring to the Rajapaksa family, who dominated the South Asian country’s politics for two decades.

Rajapaksa submitted his resignation by email late yesterday and it will become official today, once the document has been legally verified, according to the Speaker’s spokesperson.

 

They said the resignation would be announced officially at 7:30 am, local time, today.

According to a person familiar with the situation, Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives on Wednesday. Then, he headed on to Singapore yesterday on a Saudi Arabian airline flight.

A passenger on the flight, who declined to be named, told Reuters that Rajapaksa was met by a group of security guards and was seen leaving the airport VIP area in a convoy of black vehicles.

Airline staff on the flight told Reuters the President, dressed in black, flew business class with his wife and two bodyguards, describing him as “quiet” and “friendly”.

Singapore’s Foreign Ministry said Rajapaksa had entered the country on a private visit, and had neither sought nor been granted asylum.

 

It was not immediately clear where Rajapaksa’s final destination would be. Maldives officials initially indicated he planned to travel onward to Saudi Arabia, but later could only confirm his first stop in Singapore.

Rajapaksa’s decision on Wednesday to make his ally, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, the acting president triggered more protests, with demonstrators storming the parliament and the Premier’s office demanding that he quit too.

Earlier yestersday, the government had announced a curfew in the capital Colombo and its suburbs that would run until 5am today, and protesters were withdrawing from the presidential palace after taking hold of it over the weekend.

For advert placement, Sponsorship, Media Video or Music Promotion, and to Publish Your Stories with us, Call/ WhatsApp/ Telegram: +2349138493600 | Find us on any Social Media: @bobojaytv