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Protesters Chased Him Out But Sri Lankas Ex-President Is Back and Surviving in a Mansion

sri lanka, gotabaya rajapaksa, anti-government protest, arrest, war crimes, corruption

A billboard announces the return of ousted former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who ended his self-imposed exile in Thailand and returned to the island on September 4. Photo:Amal Jayasinghe / AFP

Sri Lankas former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who hastily fled his country as protesters took over his mansion significantly less than 8 weeks ago, has returned.

On Saturday, Rajapaksa ended weeks of speculation around his return, and was greeted at exactly the same airport terminal where he previously struggled to obtain his passport stamped when he was attempting to flee the united states in July. This time around, he was welcomed with flowers by way of a band of ministers, an enormous motorcade, and giant billboards announcing, Im back.

Sri Lankan officials told the media he has been given the official residence, a particular security detail along with other privileges usually accorded to the countrys former presidents. Local media reported a state-owned bungalow in the administrative centre city Colombo reserved for him, which is guarded with a big security contingent.

Rajapaksas return has reignited fury among activists and protesters who had completed among the countrys largest anti-government protests recently.

Thousands of Sri Lankans accused the 73-year-old politician of running the countrys economy to the bottom with not only bad policies, but additionally large-scale corruption. That has been along with Rajapaksas alleged war crimes contrary to the Tamil ethnic minority through the countrys 27-year civil war that ended in 2009. He was the defence chief at that time.

On July 13, protesters stormed his mansion in Colombo but Rajapaksa and his wife Ioma fled the united states hours beforehand. Since that time, the couple have been hanging out in the Maldives, Singapore and Thailand on temporary visitor visas. After Rajapaksas exit, politician Ranil Wickremesinghe became the countrys new president, who immediately launched a violent crackdown on protesters. Critics accuse him of protecting the Rajapaksa family.

As protesters demand Rajapaksas arrest, his nephew Namal Rajapaksa told the media that his uncle has his to live as a citizen in the united kingdom. Namal himself has been accused of corruption.

Some members of Rajapaksas party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna are keen to provide him a seat in the parliament. Politician Anuradha Jayaratne told the media they would urge Rajapaksa to find yourself in another generation so he is able to share his experiences using them.

Follow Pallavi Pundir onTwitter.


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