Sri Lankan president resigns after fleeing to Singapore

The Sri Lankan president, who is currently in the middle of a media storm after fleeing his country and has been described by Sri Lankans as a wanted man, arrived in Singapore yesterday evening.

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been allowed into the city-state on a “special visit”, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said he had not sought asylum and had not been granted one.

He did not seek asylum and was not granted any right of asylum. In a statement issued last night, the ministry wrote that Singapore generally does not accept asylum applications.

Rajapaksa arrived from the Maldives aboard Saudi Airlines flight SV 788, which landed around 7pm last night. He was previously expected to arrive with his wife and security in the morning but he did not show up for security reasons.

He fled Colombo on Wednesday after fleeing angry protesters who stormed his home on Saturday after the country’s economic collapse.

Singapore police said last night that Rajapaksa is on a “social visit pass” and asked the public to act themselves and “abide” by “local laws”. They also threatened to take action against anyone who participated in illegal public gatherings.

This came after several members of the public were spotted at Changi Airport, reportedly waiting for Rajapaksa’s arrival to express their displeasure directly to the president.

Shortly after his arrival, Rajapaksa reportedly submitted his formal resignation via email, which he pledged on Wednesday. Resignation letter is under examination by Sri Lankan officials.

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