Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa officially resigns

Sri Lanka’s President Rajapaksa officially resigns
FILE PHOTO: Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa presents his national statement as a part of the World Leaders’ Summit at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain November 1, 2021. Andy Buchanan/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Sri Lanka has been widely reported on this week as President Rajapaksa said he’d resign and then fled the country after protestors stormed government buildings two times this week demanding that those responsible for the island’s economic collapse resign. After being suspected to be in the Maldives after he and his wife were evacuated by a military jet, Rajapaksa boarded a 788 Saudi Arabian Airlines flight for Singapore. This flight was tracked by thousands, according to, and Singapore has clarified that it’s a private visit and the former president hasn’t sought or been granted asylum. Some have said that Rajapaksa would travel onward to Saudi Arabia.

On Thursday, upon landing in Singapore, Rajapaksa submitted his letter of resignation, triggering a celebration back home. “We never thought we would get this country free from them," cheered activist Damitha Abeyrathne, referring to the Rajapaksa family who dominated politics for two decades.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has been elected by Rajapaksa as acting president, and he has promised that he will resign when there’s a new government. Sri Lanka will elect a new president on July 20 who will serve the rest of Rajapaksa’s original term to 2024.

Key comments:

“Gotabaya resigning is one problem solved – but there are so many more," said Bhasura Wickremesinghe (not related to the prime minister). Wickremesinghe is a 24-year-old student of maritime electrical engineering.

“Sri Lanka pins last hopes on IMF," said a recent headline in the local Colombo Times newspaper.

“The whole country will celebrate today," Damitha Abeyrathne, an activist, said. “It’s a big victory. We never thought we would get this country free from them."