Embattled Leader Uses Email to Resign

But legality of Sri Lankan leader Gotabaya Rajapaksa's letter is not yet certain
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 14, 2022 2:24 PM CDT
A President Resigns by Email, but There's a Hitch
Protesters take a photograph while preparing to vacate the official residence of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, July 14, 2022.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Because Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had fled his own country and could not resign in person, he chose a modern alternative—email. Rajapaksa emailed his resignation letter from abroad to the nation's parliamentary speaker on Thursday, reports the New York Times. However, the Wall Street Journal notes that there's a hitch: Rajapaksa apparently addressed the letter to the people of Sri Lanka rather than to the speaker, as required. “We need to check on a few legal matters,” said a representative from the speaker's office. As of now, Rajapaksa is apparently still president, but an official announcement of his resignation is expected on Friday.

Rajapaksa initially fled to the Maldives this week amid massive protests against his rule, but he has since arrived in Singapore, reports CNN. Protesters blame him and his policies for the nation's current financial meltdown. Dramatic images emerged this week from the capital of Colombo of protesters storming the president's residence and other government buildings. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assumed control when Rajapaksa left the country, but protesters want him out, too. Wickremesinghe also has promised to resign, though he has not specified when. (Read more Sri Lanka stories.)

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