Sri Lanka former president’s stay in Singapore extended
After fleeing to Singapore on July 14, Sri Lanka’s former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa will now be able to stay in the country until August 11, Reuters reported today. Gotabaya fled Sri Lanka after over 100,000 protestors stormed the presidential palace, demanding that he and the country’s PM resign.
Since Gotabaya fled, Sri Lanka’s parliament elected former PM Ranil Wickremesinghe as the country’s new president last week. Sri Lankan government spokesperson Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday that he thought Rajapaksa might eventually consider going back to Sri Lanka. He said…
“It is my belief he may eventually consider returning to Sri Lanka but there is no definite political or other stance on this.”
Sri Lanka plunged into chaos in April, after the country experienced a 13-hour power blackout, its longest blackout ever recorded. Since then, the country has been unable to pay for fuel, medicine, and other necessary items.
Even though Ranil is Sri Lanka’s new president, protesters view him as part of the same regime as Gotabaya. Protesters have vowed to keep up the fight, and some have been camping outside of the presidential office in Colombo.
Last week, police and military troops pulled down tents and arrested nine protesters. Some protesters were injured, and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka called it a “brutal and despicable attack on peaceful protesters.” The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung, called on Sri Lankan authorities to use restraint, and give medical help to injured protesters.
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