Rajapaksa resigned as president in July after protesters angered by a crippling financial disaster stormed his workplace and residence.
Sri Lanka’s ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has returned dwelling weeks after fleeing the crisis-hit nation, officers stated.
The 73-year-old former chief landed within the capital Colombo on a Singapore Airways flight from Thailand within the early hours of Saturday, native media stories reported.
Rajapaksa resigned in July after tens of 1000’s of protesters, angered by a crippling financial disaster, stormed his workplace and residential.
He fled to the Maldives on July 9, went from there to Singapore and spent the previous few weeks in Thailand on a diplomatic visa.
Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez, reporting from Colombo, confirmed Rajapaksa’s return.
“Now we have affirmation that former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has returned to the nation,” she stated.
Fernandez later stated the return “occurred in a short time.”
“No one anticipated him to come back again when he actually fled the nation on a navy jet a number of weeks in the past,” Fernandez stated.
“It stays to be seen what alternatives he has within the coming days and months. He has clearly left workplace however he’s an integral a part of the Rajapaksa clan and household they usually haven’t given up on politics so far as we’re informed.”
Rajapaksa was overwhelmingly elected president in 2019 on pledges to spice up the nation’s financial system and strengthen nationwide safety after ISIL (ISIS) impressed church and resort bombings killed 270 individuals on Easter Sunday of that yr.
Nonetheless, coverage errors, together with drastic tax cuts that eroded nationwide earnings and worsened credit score scores, a ban on agrochemicals ostensibly to encourage natural farming, and the discharge of scarce international change to artificially management change charges, led to the worst financial disaster within the nation’s historical past.
Sri Lanka has suspended repayments on its exterior debt, which totals greater than US$51 billion, of which US$28 billion is because of be repaid by 2027.
The Worldwide Financial Fund on Thursday introduced a tentative settlement to grant Sri Lanka $2.9 billion over 4 years, topic to assurances from the nation’s collectors on mortgage restructuring.
Months of avenue protests have crushed the once-powerful Rajapaksa political household.
Earlier than Rajapaksa resigned, his older brother Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned as prime minister and three different shut members of the family resigned from their cupboard posts.
President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Rajapaksa’s successor, has cracked down on protests and helped the Rajapaksa household and their hidden supporters return to public politics.
Nuzly Hameem, one of many leaders of the protest motion, stated the previous president’s return shouldn’t be a problem “so long as he’s held accountable”.
“He’s a Sri Lankan citizen so no one can cease him from coming again. However as somebody who needs justice for the corrupt system, I wish to see motion – there needs to be justice, they need to impeach him and maintain him accountable for what he has accomplished to the nation.”
“We did not count on him to flee. We wished him to resign. So long as he does not become involved in energetic politics, it will not be an issue,” Hameem stated.