Sri Lanka’s ex-president Gotabaya Rajapaksa likely to return after fleeing protests

Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Sri Lanka’s former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not in hiding and is expected to return to the country from Singapore, Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said on Tuesday.

Rajapaksa, 73, fled Sri Lanka after the July 9 uprising when people broke into the President’s House after months of public protests against him for mishandling the country’s worst economic crisis since 1948.

Rajapaksa first fled to the Maldives on July 13 and from there he proceeded to Singapore the next day.

Cabinet Spokesman Gunawardena said the former president was not in hiding and he is expected to return from Singapore.

Gunawardena, who is also the Minister for Transport and Highways and Mass media, said he does not believe the former president fled the country, and is in hiding.

He, however, did not offer any other details of Rajapaksa’s possible return.

Singapore has granted a 14-day short-term visit pass to the former president as he entered the country on a private visit on July 14.

Commenting on the request made to the Singapore Attorney General to detain the Former Sri Lankan President, the Cabinet Spokesperson said that if there is a situation, the responsible officials in the country will take steps to ensure no harm is done to the former president.



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