Gotabaya Rajapaksa back in Sri Lanka: Minister | WeForNews

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Colombo, July 26: Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the former Sri Lankan president who secretly fled the country on July 13 amid violent protests following the island nation’s ongoing economic crisis, is set to return, has said a minister on Tuesday.

Asked by journalists about Rajapaksa fleeing Sri Lanka, the media minister Bandula Gunawardena denied that the former leader was hiding in Singapore and said he would return.

“I do not agree that the former president is hiding in Singapore because he followed due process and traveled to Singapore to obtain a legitimate visa,” the minister said.

“I knew he would return and that the authorities in our country would take the necessary precautions to avoid any harm to the former president.”

Meanwhile, GL Peiris, President of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the party formed by the Rajapaksas to win the 2019 presidential election, also said that Gotabaya Rajapaksa will return to the country and be entitled to full benefits and privileges which are due for any former Head of State.

In Sri Lanka, former presidents and their families are entitled to residence in Colombo, vehicles and security, including military and police, in addition to other benefits and privileges.

According to media reports, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s escape was brokered by the Speaker of the Maldivian Parliament and former President Mohamed Nasheed.

Amid the unprecedented economic crisis, the worst since Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948, has caused severe shortages of food, fuel, medicine and other essentials.

In response, the public took to the streets for the first time on March 31 and surrounded the former president’s private residence.

On April 2, protesters occupied the entrance to the president’s office

And on July 9, despite a heavy security presence in Colombo, anti-government protesters took over the president’s official house, his office and later the former minister’s residence, driving Gotabaya Rajapaksa into hiding and finally announced his resignation on July 14.

From the Maldives, he fled to Singapore.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been named interim president.

The International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), a rights group based in South Africa, has filed a complaint with the Attorney General of Singapore demanding the arrest of Gotabaya Rajapaksa for war crimes allegedly committed in past days of more than two decades. Civil war.

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