Sri Lanka’s Ex-President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is not in hiding and is present in Singapore. The former President had withdrawn from authority and fled the country after a series of protests in light of the existing economic burdens suffered by the state. Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka on the 9th of July after an uprising against his rule took place in the President’s official residence.
He has been blamed for mishandling the country’s worst economic crisis since 1948. Some of the decisions taken by the then President are said to have resulted in the drainage of foreign exchange reserves and all-time high inflation in the country.
At first, he fled to the Maldives but after one day, he proceeded to Singapore and has been residing there for about two weeks. He resigned on July 15 after arriving in Singapore, and his ally Ranil Wickremesinghe was elected as the new President amidst these developments in the country on 20th July.
On July 14, Rajapaksa was granted entry to Singapore as a private citizen. Normally, Sri Lankan nationals are allowed a 30-day visa; however, media reports have suggested that Rajapaska was given shorter permission and would return to his country once the demonstrations had gone down.
Over a discussion in the Sri Lankan cabinet media briefing over the President’s possible return and his status abroad, Cabinet Spokesman Gunawardena said Rajapksa is not in hiding, nor is he in exile. He also remarked that he was unaware of the date of his return but there is a probability of his return.
The Cabinet Spokesperson responded to the Attorney General of Singapore's request to hold the former leader of Sri Lanka by saying that if a situation arises, the relevant authorities in the nation will take action to guarantee the former President is not harmed.
In an effort to suppress the months-long protests, Sri Lanka's new president Wickremesinghe has declared a state of emergency, which permits security personnel to detain and arrest people. However, the protesters are dissatisfied because Wickremesinghe has not taken any steps towards the economic crisis and even held Rajapaksa accountable for his acts.
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