Former President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa (File photo: Reuters)
COLOMBO: The Sri Lanka government has requested Singapore authorities to allow former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to stay in the country for another 14 days, local media reported on Saturday citing sources.
Rajapaksa, who is currently staying in Singapore, was expected to depart the country on August 11 when his visa expired.
However, Rajapaksa will remain in Singapore for some more time at the government’s request, reported Daily Mirror.
The former president was issued a 14-day visit pass when he arrived at the Changi Airport in Singapore from the Maldives on July 14, and he was allowed to stay there for two weeks.
Sri Lankan Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced the official resignation of Rajapaksa on July 15.
73-year-old Gotabaya Rajapaksa had gone into hiding after crowds of protesters stormed his residence on July 9.
Ranil Wickremesinghe was then sworn in as President of Sri Lanka on July 21 in Parliament before Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya.
Earlier, Wickremesinghe was appointed as the interim president of Sri Lanka after Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled abroad after his palace was stormed by angry protesters amid the unprecedented economic crisis.
Notably, the country is facing a severe shortage of fuel and other essential supplies and is in the throes of its worst-ever economic crisis with soaring inflation. The oil supply shortage has forced schools and government offices to close until further notice.
Reduced domestic agricultural production, a lack of foreign exchange reserves, and local currency depreciation have fuelled the shortages.
The economic crisis will push many families into hunger and poverty – some for the first time – adding to the half a million people who the World Bank estimates have fallen below the poverty line because of the pandemic. (ANI)