The former prime minister of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa gave his first public speech on Saturday.
Mahinda initially seemed confused over who was the country’s current president.
A staff member snuck up behind him to correct him.
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former prime minister of Sri Lanka, gave his first public speech on Saturday following the ousting of his younger brother, the former president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, in July and his forced resignation in May.
The 77-year-old Mahinda initially seemed confused over who was the country’s current president while speaking at a public event hosted by his party Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) in Kalutara here.
When he mentioned Gotabaya as the president, a staff member snuck up behind him to correct him.
Mahinda quickly corrected his error and added, “To defend this government, we will continue to stand for President Ranil Wickremesinghe. He was once on our side; now he is against us.”
Violent nationwide protests
Following violent nationwide protests against them for causing the island nation to experience its greatest economic crisis since gaining independence in 1948, the entire Rajapaksa clan was forced to quit the government earlier this year.
on May 9, Mahinda Rajapaksa resigned after his supporters attacked anti-government protestors, sparking fatal riots around the nation. Many political figures’ homes, including some owned by the Rajapaksas, were set on fire.
The military was called in to remove Mahinda from Temple Trees, his official residence after it came under siege from irate mobs.
For his safety, he was confined to a naval facility in Trincomalee, in the country’s northeast. Additionally, he is prohibited from leaving the country by a Colombo court.
After Mahinda, who served as president twice and the prime minister three times, resigned on May 9, some riots resulted in at least nine fatalities and over 200 injuries. 58 of his government coworkers have had arson attempts made on their private property.
Wickremesinghe, a leader of the opposition and a longtime foe of the Rajapaksas, succeeded Mahinda as prime minister.
Gotabaya left Sri Lanka for the Maldives in the middle of July before traveling to Singapore, where he resigned on July 14. Later, in need of a temporary home, he traveled to Thailand.
Wickremesinghe then took office as president by the Constitution for the remainder of Gotabaya’s term, which lasts until 2024.
After Wickremesinghe was elected president, the protests were put to an end, and those responsible for the demonstrators’ forced occupation of government buildings were prosecuted.
Meanwhile, Gotabaya also returned to Sri Lanka on September 3.
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