Sri Lanka's SLPP offers national list seat for Gotabaya Rajapaksa

SLPP National List MP Seetha Arambepola said that she is prepared to offer her seat to the former President, Colombo Gazette reported.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa
Gotabaya Rajapaksa

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka's ousted President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has been offered a national list seat in the Parliament of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP).

SLPP National List MP Seetha Arambepola said that she is prepared to offer her seat to the former President, Colombo Gazette reported.

She further said that the matter had not been formally discussed as yet.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka's Deputy Speaker Ajith Rajapaksa, who met the former President on Saturday, said that he had not discussed anything related to his future in politics.

However, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who arrived in Colombo on Friday, can face legal charges as some activists are now demanding Rajapaksa face criminal charges. Several ministers arrived at the airport to welcome the former President.

As per Daily Mirror, after Rajapaksa's arrival, he will live in a state bungalow close to Wijerama Mawatha in Colombo while a large security contingency will be appointed to maintain security in the area.

Rajapaksa will be accorded all privileges as a former president and will be allocated additional security.

He will reside at the state-allocated bungalow. Rajapaksa fled to different Asian countries after thousands of protesters stormed his house in Colombo with the demand for resignation and finally he gave up in July.

He fled to the Maldives on board an air force aircraft and then entered Singapore on a medical visa, which was extended twice. As the Singapore government failed to extend it the third time, Rajapaksa along with his wife left for Thailand where he was advised to remain inside his hotel for security reasons.

On August 11, the former President reached Thailand following a request from the Sri Lankan government.

However, Thailand denied that the former Sri Lankan President had sought asylum in the country.

The Thailand Foreign Ministry said it received a request from Rajapaksa to visit the country with no intention of seeking political asylum. Prior to Rajapaksha's arrival, President Ranil Wickremesinghe made arrangements for his return upon a request by Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) as a result of which the president is reported to have contacted Rajapaksa to discuss arrangements for his return to the country, Daily Mirror reported citing a source close to him With his movements restricted, Rajapaksa decided to return to Sri Lanka and will remain here until his application for a US Green Card is approved by the US government.

Sri Lanka is suffering its worst economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, which comes on the heels of successive waves of COVID-19, threatening to undo years of development progress and severely undermining the country's ability to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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