Sri Lanka: Gotabaya Rajapaksa lands in Male, creates divide in Maldives

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa flees to Maldives Ahead Of Resignation Sri Lanka Economic Crisis
Male: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the island nation which is in the midst of a turmoil and landed in Male around Tuesday midnight, has created fissures in Maldives politics. The Maldives National Party (MNP) has made known its “unhappiness” over the government’s move to let Rajapaksa travel to the island country. The MNP decided to move a motion to seek an explanation from the government.

MNP leader and former foreign minister Dunya Maumoon said the government did not think about the sentiments of the Sri Lankan people while deciding to allow Rajapaksa enter the country. There have been reports that the embattled Sri Lankan President, who was supposed to quit today, would leave for Singapore or some other country by tonight.

Rajapaksa, 73, enjoys immunity from prosecution till he continues as president. He left Sri Lanka and fled to the Maldives along with his wife and two security officials in order to negate a possible arrest by the new government.
Last Saturday, protesters ran over his official residence in Colombo amid anger over the country’s worst economic crisis. Rajapaksa had then informed both Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that he would step down on July 13. However, he instead fled and there is no word yet of his resignation.

Maumoon told news agency PTI that Rajapaksa owns “quite a bit of responsibility” for the current economic mess which Sri Lanka is in and added that the Solih government’s action has hurt a good number of Sri Lankans who live in the Maldives. She added that Sri Lankans living in the country could even stage protests.

“My party will move a motion in Parliament (People’s Majlis), seeking the government’s explanation in the matter,” said Maumoon, the daughter of former Maldives president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

It was reported that the Maldivian Parliament Speaker and former president Mohamed Nasheed had negotiated Rajapaksa’s escape from Sri Lanka.