Sri Lanka president emails resignation letter to parliamentary speaker

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa emailed a letter of resignation to the speaker of the country’s parliament late on Thursday.

It was not immediately clear if the letter, sent shortly after Rajapaksa arrived in Singapore, would be accepted in email form.

The speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena will make a formal announcement on Friday “after checking the accuracy of the document and fulfilling all legal requirements”, the speaker’s spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Nasheed, speaker of the Maldives parliament, said in a tweet that Rajapaksa has resigned.

Once accepted, his resignation would signal a resounding victory to the citizen’s protests spanning months, demanding “Gota go home”, taking responsibility for Lanka’s worst economic downturn since Independence in 1948.

Gotabaya was forced to flee and quit, after enraged protesters stormed his office and home on Saturday, as a deepening crisis left citizens scrambling for essentials, amid acute shortages and hyperinflation.

At least 45 people were hospitalised following a standoff between the police and protesters who had stormed Rajapaksa-ally Wickremesinghe’s office.

Local media said a 26-year-old protester who was hospitalised after being tear-gassed died of breathing difficulties, reported Reuters.