Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned

July 15, 2022 at 8:22 AM

Sri Lanka’s 08th President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has tendered his resignation.

Speaker of Sri Lanka’s Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena confirmed that he has received the resignation letter of the President.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa was forced to resign from his post as the President of Sri Lanka following multiple citizens’ protests calling for him to step down over the country’s economic crisis.

The public launched protests in several parts of the countries over the hardships faced due to the shortage of several essential goods, including gas, fuel, and medicines.

Former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa was forced to resign by the public after SLPP loyalists attacked peaceful protesters at the Galle Face Green in Colombo on 09th May.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa appointed United National Party Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime Minister in a bid to salvage the situation, at a time when the public and all political parties were calling for him to step down as well.

As the calls for his resignation went unheard, on July 09th, a mass public protest was held calling on the President to resign which resulted in the protesters storming the President’s official residence and his office in Colombo.

Thereafter, Gotabaya Rajapaksa announced that he will tender his resignation on 13th July, but instead fled to the Maldives early that morning (13).

The Public thereafter staged another mass protest calling on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to also step down alongside Gotabaya Rajapaksa and stormed the Prime Minister’s office in Colombo.

Following his escape to the Maldives, it was reported that Gotabaya Rajapaksa will tender his resignation after his safe passage to Singapore.

He appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the acting President to discharge duties on his behalf instead of tendering his resignation.

Maldivian media later reported that Rajapaksa had refused to board a passenger flight to Singapore on security concerns and had demanded a private aircraft after which he left for Singapore on a Saudi Airlines flight on Wednesday (14).

Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected the 8th President of Sri Lanka with a majority of votes after contesting the 2019 Presidential election.

He is the first person with a military background to be elected as President of Sri Lanka and also the first person to be elected president who had not held an elected office prior.

Prior to being elected President, he served as the Defence Secretary in 2005 under the presidency of his brother Mahinda Rajapaksa, during which the Sri Lankan Armed Forces successfully concluded the Sri Lankan Civil War by defeating the Tamil Tigers and killing its leader Velupillai Prabhakaran in 2009.

During his presidency, Gotabaya Rajapaksa increased the power of the executive through the 20th Amendment.

His presidency also saw economic mismanagement driving Sri Lanka’s economy to bankruptcy, causing the country to declare default for the first time since gaining independence in 1948. (NewsWire)