Singapore allows Sri Lanka President entry on private visit, says no asylum granted

No announcement of his resignation, more than 36 hours after he left the country



File
File

By Reuters

Published: Thu 14 Jul 2022, 4:45 PM

Singapore's foreign ministry said on Thursday Sri Lanka's President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had been allowed to enter the city-state on a private visit.

It said he has not asked for asylum and neither has he been granted asylum.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa landed in the city-state from the Maldives, which he had fled to early Wednesday.

As president, Rajapaksa enjoys immunity from arrest, and he is believed to have wanted to go abroad before stepping down to avoid the possibility of being detained.

But there was still no announcement of his resignation, more than 36 hours after he left his country.

In Colombo, demonstrators left several of the emblematic state buildings they had overrun in recent days, after Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed security forces to restore order and declared a state of emergency.

“We are peacefully withdrawing from the Presidential Palace, the Presidential Secretariat and the Prime Minister’s Office with immediate effect, but will continue our struggle,” a spokeswoman for the protesters said.

Witnesses saw dozens of activists leave Wickremesinghe’s office as armed police and security forces moved in.

Armoured personnel carriers patrolled parts of the capital which was brought under a curfew.

Rajapaksa, his wife Ioma and two bodyguards were named on the passenger list of Saudia SV788 from Male to Singapore, seen by AFP.

He is expected to look to stay in Singapore for some time, according to Sri Lankan security sources.

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