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Sri Lankan President Reaches Singapore; Parliamentary Speaker Accepts His Resignation

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A spokesman for the parliamentary speaker said that Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa e-mailed his resignation on Thursday, shortly after reaching Singapore, enroute to Jeddah. After having verified the letter’s authenticity, the speaker of parliament in crisis-hit Sri Lanka accepted it.

The resignation was forwarded to the country’s attorney general to consider legal implications before being formally accepted, spokesman Indunil Yapa said. “Gotabaya has legally resigned” with effect from Thursday, Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana said on Friday, after Rajapaksa notified the speaker from Singapore he was stepping down.

“I have accepted the resignation,” Mr Abeywardana said. “From this point, we will move to constitutionally appoint a new president. It will happen quickly and successfully.”

Former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who had fled from Sri Lanka to the Maldives, arrived in Singapore on board a Saudi Airlines flight on Thursday evening, media reports were quoted as saying.

According to the Daily Mirror, the flight touched down at Singapore Changi airport at 7.17 pm (local time). Rajapaksa is in Singapore only on transit and is expected to fly into the Middle East later in the day.

73-year-old Civil war hero Gotabaya Rajapaksa had gone into hiding after crowds of protesters stormed his residence on July 9. The former president had announced that he would resign on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Colombo district was under curfew which was imposed from 12 pm July 14 till 5 am July 15, the government information department announced.

According to the Mint, earlier in the day, “GotaGoGama” protesters announced that they will peacefully hand over government-occupied buildings including President’s house, Presidential Secretariat, and Prime Minister’s Office, aiming to restore peace in the country.

The Sri Lankan Army was forced to deploy tanks near the Parliament on Thursday to deter protestors from storming the building.

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