Kabul: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has left the country, according to a high ranking security official, after mass protest forced him to resign.
This came days after Rajapaksa’s planned resignation on Wednesday that would leave him without presidential immunity and potentially exposed to a raft of legal charges in the country.
Sri Lanka has been facing a mass protest for months over the country’s worst financial crisis since independence, as the country runs out of money to pay for food and fuel. Short of cash to pay for imports of such necessities and already defaulting on its debt, it is seeking help from neighbouring India and China and from the International Monetary Fund. Political corruption is also a problem; not only did it play a role in the country squandering its wealth, but it also complicates any financial rescue for Sri Lanka.
The government owes USD 51 billion and is unable to make interest payments on its loans, let alone put a dent in the amount borrowed. The result is a country hurtling towards bankruptcy, with hardly any money to import gasoline, milk, gas and other necessary items. Earlier in June, the United Nations launched a worldwide public appeal for assistance.
To counter Sri Lanka’s fuel shortage, former president told in a recent interview that he would consider buying more steeply discounted oil from Russia.