, the former Sri Lankan president who fled the country amid calls of
his ouster, may return to the island nation, a Sri Lankan lawmaker told the
media. Bandula Gunawardena, the lawmaker who made the announcement further said
that Gotabaya was not in hiding but the date of his return to Sri Lanka is not

Gotabaya Rajapaksa,
73, fled Sri Lanka on July 13. The island nation has been steeped in an
economic crisis for months with inflation and unemployment having upended Sri Lankan
society. Amid the crisis, protestors took to the streets in large numbers and
shouted “Go Gota Go”. Rajapaksa left Sri Lanka to travel first to the Maldives
and then to Singapore.

Also Read | Where is Gotabaya Rajapaksa now?

It was upon
his arrival in Singapore that Rajapaksa tendered his resignation. It was said
that Gotabaya left the country before resigning so that he would have immunity
from arrest as the head of state. Now, having given up the country’s top post,
Rajapaksa enjoys no such immunity.

says the former president has not applied for political asylum. He was
initially granted a 14-day visa to stay in Singapore which was later extended by
another 14 days. There was speculation that the ousted leader may next move to the
United Arab Emirates (UAE). However, Bandula Gunawardena told reports: “To my
knowledge he is expected to come back.”

Rajapaksa’s economic policies have largely been held responsible for Sri Lanka’s
current financial mess. The island nation’s tourism-dependent economy virtually
collapsed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Added to that, a forced move to organic
agriculture jilted the nation’s economy further.

Sri Lanka has
been witnessing a shortage of basic amenities such as food, fuel and medicines.
Frequent power cuts have made life difficult. Amid the burgeoning crisis, Gotabaya
Rajapaksa has been replaced as president by Ranil Wickremesinghe, a close ally.