Sri Lanka: Have not received Gotabaya's resignation, says parliament speaker

Embattled President fled to the Maldives hours before he was expected to resign



By ANI

Published: Wed 13 Jul 2022, 9:35 AM

Shortly after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa landed in Maldivian capital Male on a Sri Lanka Air Force plane, the crisis-hit island country's Parliament Speaker on Wednesday said that he is yet to receive a letter of resignation.

The embattled President departed from Sri Lanka hours before he was expected to resign amid widespread protests in the country, which is facing a severe shortage of fuel and other essential supplies.

In an exclusive conversation with ANI, Abeywardena said, "We haven't received President Gotabaya's resignation yet, but we hope to get one in a day."

The 73-year-old had gone into hiding after crowds of protestors stormed his residence on July 9 and announced that he would resign on July 13. However, Sri Lankan authorities today confirmed that Gotabaya had flown to the Maldives with his wife and two bodyguards after full approval of the country's Defence Ministry.

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In a statement, the Sri Lankan Air Force also said that the move was carried out under the executive powers vested with the President.

"According to the request of the Government in accordance with the powers vested in an Executive President in the Constitution of Sri Lanka, His Excellency the President and the Lady along with two bodyguards from Katunayake International Airport to the Maldives subject to the full approval of the Ministry of Defense subject to immigration, customs and all other laws at Katunayake International Airport. An Air Force flight was given early in the morning on 13th July 2022 to depart," the Sri Lankan Air Force Media Director said in a statement.

Gotabaya landed at the Velana International Airport in the Maldives early Wednesday. The Prime Minister's Office also confirmed that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had left the country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is scheduled to be sworn in today as interim President until Parliament elects a new president on July 20. Nominations for the presidency will be called for on July 19.

Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis since its independence which has led to massive protests demanding the ouster of Gotabaya as the President. Sri Lanka's speaker of parliament Abeywardena has said political party leaders have decided to elect a new president on July 20 through a vote in parliament.


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