Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa plans to return to the country tonight, almost two months after his abrupt departure and his resignation from power pressured by a civil revolt unleashed by the serious economic crisis, government sources assured.
The former president, who since his departure almost two months ago has been temporarily staying in at least three countries, plans to return tonight, a source from the Sri Lankan government revealed to a source, who requested anonymity.
According to this information, Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s party, the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), has already requested the nation’s president and his successor, Ranil Wickremesinghe, a security deployment for his arrival.
Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka on July 13 amid intense protests calling for his resignation.
Four days before leaving the country aboard a military plane, the former president was forced to flee his official residence by thousands of protesters who stormed the presidential palace, outraged by the debacle that plunged the nation into the worst crisis in its history. .
“There was a clear security risk for him. Leaving the country was the right thing to do at the time,” the source said.
THREE COUNTRIES IN ALMOST TWO MONTHS
Gobataya Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka first for the Maldives archipelago, from where he boarded another plane a day later that took him to Singapore in the company of his wife and two bodyguards.
Almost a month later, after his Singaporean visa expired, Rajapaksa left for Thailand, from where he plans to return.
The current Sri Lankan government, elected shortly after his departure, had previously assured that the former president could return to the nation but that this had to be “at the right time.”
The leader, who became known as the “terminator” for his role in the civil war against the Tamil Tigers, held power for barely two weeks after his departure, which guaranteed him to leave the island and arrive in Singapore with privileges. of head of state.
From there he sent a letter of resignation to Parliament, leaving a power vacuum that shortly after, and partly with the support of his formation, with a majority in the Chamber, Wickremesinghe, former Prime Minister of his Administration, went on to occupy.
Rajapaksa returns a day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced a pre-agreement with Sri Lanka to grant the nation a rescue program for 2,900 million dollars that will allow it to restore fiscal balance.
Sri Lanka, which declared default on its foreign debt and requires tens of billions of dollars to meet its domestic and international commitments, urgently needs cash flow to cover basic needs such as fuel, medicine, or food, which have come chronically in short supply.
The IMF, however, warned yesterday that to obtain the necessary loans and get out of the crisis, political stability on the island is essential. The return of Rajapaksa could break the relative calm and raise the temperature on the island again, or not.
Among the thousands of protesters who camped for more than 120 days in the capital’s park in the vicinity of the presidential residence to demand Rajapaksa’s resignation, was Dhamitha A, who explained today that he does not believe that the former president will confront the same anger in the streets if he returns to the country.
“I don’t think there will be mass protests. In fact, we want him here. We want to hold him accountable for the crisis we are in,” he said.