Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has arrived in Singapore. His final destination is reported to be Saudi Arabia, as embarrassed leaders continue to pursue safe havens.

Sri Lanka has been caught in a massive protest over its economic collapse, tensions continued on Thursday, a curfew was imposed on Colombo’s commercial capital, and military tanks were deployed on the road.

Rajapaksa, the president but exempt from prosecution, promised to respond to protesters’ requests to resign, but his absence put the country in political crisis.

Sources told Reuters that they had submitted their resignation to the Speaker of Parliament late Thursday, but it is immediately clear whether the letter sent shortly after Rajapaksa’s arrival in Singapore will be accepted in email format. Said not.

Sri Lanka continued the state of emergency and soldiers were allowed to use the necessary forces to prevent the destruction of property and life, the Armed Forces said in a statement Thursday.

Rajapaksa first fled to the Maldives early Wednesday morning and then boarded a Saudi flight to Singapore on Thursday afternoon.

However, the Singaporean government has revealed that Rajapaksa is not staying. In a promptly released statement, the Foreign Ministry said he was allowed to enter Singapore “on a private visit” and “he is not seeking asylum and is not allowed asylum.”

A spokesperson for the Indian government denied reports that India helped Rajapaksa escape from Sri Lanka.

Saudia’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner, believed to be carrying Gotabaya Rajapaksa, arrived in Singapore on Thursday. Photo: Roslan Rahman / AFP / Getty Images

It was previously reported that the president was planning to go to Saudi Arabia, but that could not be confirmed.

Parliamentary chairman said he spoke to Rajapaksa on Thursday morning, saying he was “under a lot of pressure and measures would be taken to send his resignation as soon as possible.”

For many, the announcement of Rajapaksa’s resignation protects him from prosecution, including allegations of corruption and war crimes during the civil war in Sri Lanka, where he arrived at his final destination and was the head of the army. I believe it won’t come until I secure.

Protesters, along with trade unions and civil society groups, warned that their actions would escalate if they did not resign on Wednesday, July 13, the date Rajapaksa repeatedly communicated through parliamentarians and his leaving prime minister. Issued.

Protesters said Thursday morning that they had returned the occupied government buildings, including the president’s office, the prime minister’s office, and the official residence, to maintain peace.

“We asked Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign and Ranil Wickremesinghe to resign, but for the past three days these politicians acted as if the country was their private property.” Swastica Allingham, a spokesman for the People’s Movement known as Aragalaya, said. .. “It’s not their private property, they endangered our country, they endangered our national security.”

Protesters have continued to occupy the president’s administration office in the Galle Face area of ​​Colombo, where anti-government protest camps have been set up at the gate since April. The secretariat has become a public library and is encouraged to donate books. The collection also includes books recovered from the Temple Tree, the official residence of the Prime Minister’s Office.

Despite the curfew on Thursday night, the library was still quietly reading books by dozens of people. “Our protest is not just about defeating corrupt leaders, but about knowledge, education and consciousness. That’s why we have this library here for people,” he said. Pradeep Madushan, 22, who helped with the installation, said.

Rajapaksa, who has been President since November 2019, is responsible for putting Sri Lanka into the worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948, leading to a serious shortage of fuel, food and medicine. Rajapaksas, along with some members of his powerful family who occupied political positions, has been accused of financial mismanagement and widespread corruption.

Sri Lankan protesters enter the Prime Minister’s Office after the president’s escape – video

Rajapaksa has not spoken directly to the people of Sri Lanka since she evacuated her home on Saturday morning before the protesters occupied the presidential residence and office.

Officially, Rajapaksa remains president, but has appointed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as “acting president” with full executive branch. This move was rejected by protesters who wanted to resign both.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on Sri Lankan leaders to oversee the change of power. “I keep track of the situation in Sri Lanka very closely. It is important to address the root cause of the conflict and the dissatisfaction of the protesters,” he said. Tweet..

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