Sri Lanka: Deposed Pres. Rajapaksa Returns Weeks After Fleeing

    Photo: AP [via VOA News]

    The Facts

    • On Sat., Sri Lanka's former Pres. Gotabaya Rajapaksa returned to Colombo on a flight from Thailand, weeks after he fled the crisis-hit country amid massive protests.

    • This wraps up a self-imposed 50-day exile, in which Rajapaksa made stops in the Maldives, Singapore, and Thailand, reportedly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to maintain his lifestyle overseas.

    The Spin

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Rajapaksa is a war criminal and his misguided policies have driven Sri Lanka to its worst economic crisis, including shortages of goods and soaring inflation. Now that he has returned, the Sri Lankan judiciary must hold him accountable for his wrongdoings.

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Deposed Pres. Rajapaksa isn't solely responsible for the country's economic catastrophe as Sri Lanka has been affected by the global turmoil triggered by COVID and the Ukraine war. His problem was failing to show he was taking action to address challenges.

    Establishment split



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