Colombo, July 13 (newsin.asia): Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who was to resign on Wednesday, July 13, now intends to resign on July 14, upon reaching Singapore, informed sources said.
Gotabaya Rajapkasa had difficulty in getting into Maldives as the immigration staff were reluctant to allow him in. It was only after Maldives parliament Speaker Mohamed Nasheed intervened, that the Lankan President was allowed in. Nasheed pointed out that if a Head of State wanted to land in a country, he could not be barred.
Gotabaya was put up in the post resort Waldorf Astoria Maldives at Ithaafushi sources said.
On why so many days were requested to submit his resignation (Gotabaya had said that he would resign only on July 13), sources that he had to use his Presidential privileges to get away without a hitch. He would get a new passport after he reaches Singapore, the sources said.
In a well-thought-out move, Gotabaya also appointed Prime Minister Wickremesinghe as Acting President on the plea that, in his opinion, he was unable to fulfil his duties as President.
After some rest on Wednesday, Gotabaya and his wife Anoma, left for Singapore, the source said.
Meanwhile, President Gotabaya formally appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as Acting President. The appointment was gazetted after the Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa said that Wickremesinghe could not function as an Acting President without a formal appointment letter, though as Prime Minister he is an automatic successor as per Art 40 C of the constitution.
Unfazed by the agitation against him, demanding his resignation, Acting President Wickremesinghe kept issuing orders from his parliament office. His own office on Flower Road had been occupied by the agitators after a clash with the police earlier in the day.
The police did not prevent the crowd from entering the office in large numbers and squatting there throughout the day. However, the police were also inside, to see that the crowd did not damage or steal property.
The police and army troops had been told to control crowds without using firearms. “There should not be a single death,” they had been told.
The Sri Lanka Bar Association as well some Buddhist high priests had appealed for non-violent action.
Acting President Wickremesinghe has formed a committee of the service chiefs and the police chief, headed by the Chief of Defense Staff, Gen.Shavendra Silva to enforce law and order. Gen.Silva in turn appealed to the people to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies to maintain peace and law and order.
At the all-party meeting convened by the parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena, opposition parties asked Wickremesinghe to resign from both the Presidency and the Premiership. But Wickremesinghe stuck to his guns and said he would resign from the Presidentship only if defeated in the election due on July 20 and he would quit the Premiership after a national or all-party government was formed. He then asked the Speaker to see that the parties worked to form such a government.