Gotabaya Rajapaksa: Sri Lanka’s ousted former president returns

Sri Lanka’s former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled abroad after mass protests in July, has returned to the country.

Mr Rajapaksa had been staying in Thailand on a temporary visa and flew back home via Singapore.

Some Sri Lankan ministers are reported to have met him at the airport.

Sri Lankans blame his government for the island’s worst economic crisis in history. A collapse in foreign currency led to dire shortages of food and fuel.

Protests began in April, following a sharp increase in food and fuel costs.

Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life and all communities took part in the largely peaceful protests demanding the resignation of Mr Rajapaksa and his elder brother Mahinda, the then prime minister who quit in May.

In July thousands of people stormed his official residence, and the disgraced president then fled on a military plane first to the Maldives and then to Singapore, from where he sent in his resignation. That paved the way for veteran…

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