Colombo(Sri Lanka): A Sri Lankan MP says former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa is expected to return home from Singapore.
Cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardene told reporters on Tuesday that Rajapaksa was not in hiding, but the date of his return was unknown. The former leader fled Sri Lanka after widespread unrest over the economic crisis.
Many protesters say they handled the country’s finances unfairly, pushing up essential commodities’ prices. Mr Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka for the Maldives on 13 July before leaving for Singapore on 14 July.
He submitted his resignation soon after his arrival, formally accepted by the Sri Lankan cabinet on 15 July. The former president travelled with his wife and two bodyguards. He no longer has legal immunity as a head of state.
Singapore says the ousted president did not ask for political asylum when he arrived.
Mr Rajapaksa had been initially granted a 14-day visa for his stay in Singapore. But that has now been extended another 14 days, Singapore local media reported on Wednesday.
Sri Lankans blame Mr Rajapaksa’s administration for their worst economic crisis in decades.
They have been struggling with months of daily power cuts and shortages of basics like fuel, food and medicines.
Mr Rajapaksa has been replaced as president by his close ally Ranil Wickremesinghe – he was voted in by lawmakers last week but is deeply unpopular among Sri Lankans.