Sri Lankan president Gotabaya Rajapaksa submitted a letter of resignation on Thursday, a spokesperson for the parliament speaker mentioned, hours after fleeing to Singapore following mass protests over an financial meltdown.
The announcement triggered jubilation within the business capital Colombo the place protesters massed outdoors the presidential secretariat, defying a city-wide curfew.
Crowds set off firecrackers, shouted slogans and danced ecstaticallyat the Gota Go Gama protest website, named mockingly after Rajapaksa’s first identify.
“The entire nation will have fun at this time,” Damitha Abeyrathne, an activist, mentioned. “It’s an enormous victory.”
“We by no means thought we might get this nation free from them,” she added, referring to the Rajapaksa household who dominated the South Asian nation’s politics for twenty years.
Rajapaksa submitted his resignation by electronic mail late on Thursday and it might grow to be official on Friday, as soon as the doc had been legally verified, the speaker’s spokesperson mentioned.
Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives on Wednesday then headed on to Singapore on Thursday on a Saudi Arabian airline flight, in response to an individual conversant in the scenario.
A passenger on the flight, who declined to be named, instructed Reuters that Rajapaksa was met by a bunch of safety guards and was seen leaving the airport VIP space in a convoy of black automobiles.
Airline workers on the flight instructed Reuters the president, wearing black, flew enterprise class together with his spouse and two bodyguards, describing him as “quiet” and “pleasant”.
Singapore’s international ministry mentioned Rajapaksa had entered the nation on a non-public go to, and had not sought or been granted asylum.
Rajapaksa’s determination on Wednesday to make his ally Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the appearing president triggered extra protests, with demonstrators storming parliament and the premier’s workplace demanding that he give up too.
“We wish Ranil to go residence,” Malik Perera, a 29-year-old rickshaw driver who took half within the parliament protests, mentioned earlier on Thursday. “They’ve bought the nation, we wish a superb individual to take over, till then we gained’t cease.”
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Protests towards the financial disaster have simmered for months and got here to a head final weekend when a whole lot of 1000’s of individuals took over authorities buildings in Colombo, blaming the Rajapaksa household and allies for runaway inflation, shortages of primary items, and corruption.
Contained in the president’s residence early on Thursday, strange Sri Lankans wandered the halls, taking within the constructing’s in depth artwork assortment, luxurious automobiles and swimming pool.