Sri Lankan President tenders resignation

The office of the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament says President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has submitted a letter of resignation.

The office said in a statement late Thursday that the speaker had received the letter. If his authenticity is verified and all legal proceedings are completed, the president’s resignation is expected to be officially announced on Friday.

Following the statement, anti-government protesters in the largest city of Colombo erupted in joy.

Rajapaksa previously reiterated that he would step down on Wednesday. But he fled to neighboring Maldives in a military plane that day without resigning.

According to Singapore’s state media, Rajapaksa arrived in the country on Thursday.

Singapore’s Foreign Ministry said “it is confirmed that Mr Rajapaksa has been cleared to enter Singapore for a private visit”. He added that “he did not apply for asylum and neither did he obtain asylum”.

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has sparked mass protests against Rajapaksa and the government. Demonstrations escalated from Saturday, with protesters storming the president’s official residence and the prime minister‘s office.

The government imposed a curfew on Colombo on Thursday.