Sri Lanka President Gotabaya to resign today as promised, says Speaker

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya to resign today as promised, says Speaker

Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled to the Maldives on Wednesday has informed the speaker of parliament that his resignation letter will be sent later in the day. Speaker Abeywardena said President Rajapaksa has telephoned him to confirm that he would be sending his resignation today as pledged.

“The president got in touch with me over the phone and said that he will ensure that his resignation letter will be received by me today,” speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said in a video statement. He said the vote for the new president will take place on July 20 and urged citizens to remain calm.

Meanwhile, thousands of protestors took to the street and some of them stormed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s residence on Wednesday soon after Sri Lanka’s Parliament Speaker said that he has not received President Rajapaksa’s resignation. To control the situation, the security forces used tear gas to disperse the protestors, who are demanding the resignation of the President as well as the Prime Minister. Rajapaksa with his wife along with two bodyguards fled the country to the Maldives on Wednesday. “Sri Lankan President, the first lady along with two bodyguards were subjected to full approval by Ministry of Defense for immigration, customs and other laws to fly to the Maldives. Air Force aircraft was provided to them in the early morning of July 13,” Sri Lankan Air Force Media Director said in a statement. He is expected to be in the Maldives on transit before flying to another destination which is yet to be known. Rajapaksa is likely to send his resignation letter only after reaching his final destination on Wednesday evening.