Gotabaya Rajapaksa likely to return to Sri Lanka on Saturday
Colombo, Sep 02: Almost two months after fleeing to Thailand, former president of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa will return back to the island nation on Saturday.
Rajapaksa, 73, fled the country on July 13 after months-long mass public demonstrations demanding his immediate resignation on July 9 gained momentum after protesters stormed the President's House in Colombo and several other state buildings in the capital.
Rajapaksa will return back to the country on Saturday, a source close to him was quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror news portal.
Having gone to the Maldives on a Sri Lanka Airforce plane, the former president proceeded to Singapore from where he sent in his resignation on July 13.
Later, he flew to Thailand, seeking temporary shelter. Thailand's foreign minister Don Pramudwinai has said that Rajapaksa can stay in the country for 90 days because he is still a diplomatic passport holder.
However, Rajapaksa will not be allowed to engage in political activities in Thailand. He is also reportedly confined to a hotel and surrounded by security personnel.
After Rajapaksa was ousted, Sri Lanka's parliament elected then-Acting President and six-time former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the new Head of State. He had the backing of Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP), the largest bloc in the 225-member parliament.
Sri Lanka is going through its worst economic crisis since its independence in 1948 which was triggered by a severe paucity of foreign exchange reserves.