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Homechevron_rightWorldchevron_rightSri Lankan President...

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emails resignation

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File photo of Gotabaya Rajapaksa

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Colombo: Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa emailed his resignation to Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardenaon. The Speaker's office is checking the legality of the mail, and the official announcement will come on Friday, PTI reported.

Indunil Abeywardena, the Speaker's media secretary, said the letter was received through the Sri Lanka High Commission in Singapore.

Abeywardena said in a brief statement, "The Speaker wishes to inform that an official statement on this would be made tomorrow (Friday) after the verification process and legal formalities."

The Speaker have to see the original signature, and the same will be brought by flight by a diplomatic officer to Colombo.

Earlier Maldivian Majlis (Parliament) Speaker Mohamed Nasheed had announced that Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa had resigned. "Sri Lankan President GR has resigned. I hope Sri Lanka can now move forward. I believe the President would not have resigned if he were still in Sri Lanka and fearful of losing his life. I commend the thoughtful actions of the Govt of Maldives. My best wishes to the people of Sri Lanka," he had tweeted.

Colombo Gazette reported that post Rajapaksa's resignation, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe would be the President. Wickremesinghe, currently the Acting President, has already told the Speaker to call on party leaders to name a new Prime Minister through consensus.

On July 13, after offering to resign, Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives when thousands of protestors stormed his official residence. He flew to Singapore on Thursday.

However, the Singapore administration stated that Rajapaksa arrived there for a private visit, and he has not sought asylum there.

Rajapaksa, the first person with an army background to be President of Sri Lanka, was elected in 2019.

Meanwhile, Acting President Ranil Wickremesinghe has offered to resign and make way for an all-party government. Sri Lankan Constitution mandates that if the President and prime minister resign, the Speaker of Parliament will serve as acting President for a maximum of 30 days. The Parliament will elect a new president within 30 days from one of its members, who will hold the office for the remaining two years of the current term.

The 22 million populated island nation, Sri Lanka, is gripped by an unprecedented economic crisis, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials. This is the worst crisis the country faced in seven decades. In many of its cities, including Colombo, hundreds are forced to stand in line for hours to buy fuel, sometimes clashing with police and the military as they wait.

The country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, had announced in April that it is suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka's total foreign debt stands at USD 51 billion.

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TAGS:Sri Lankaprotestseconomic crisisRanil WickremesingheGotabaya Rajapaksa
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