New Delhi: Gotabaya Rajapaksa will return to Sri Lanka on August 24, his cousin Udayanga Weeratunga said on Wednesday, over a month after the former president fled the country amid mass anti-government protests over an unprecedented economic crisis, the PTI reported.
Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is grappling with its worst economic turmoil in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials. The massive protests that began in March culminated with Rajapaksa’s resignation.
“He talked to me on the phone, I can tell you he will return to the country next week,” said Weeratunga, who was Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Russia from 2006 to 2015.
Rajapaksa could return on August 24, he said, adding that the ousted president should not be re-elected for political positions.
“But he can still do some service to the country as he had done previously,” Weeratunga said of the 73-year-old former Sri Lankan president.
Rajapaksa is currently staying at a hotel in Bangkok in the heart of Thailand’s capital, where police have advised him to remain indoors for security reasons.