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Million-dollar deal behind fleeing of Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Rajapaksa, Sri Lankan, Sri Lanka

International

Million-dollar deal behind fleeing of Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is the top enemy of the Sri Lankan people. This newspaper on July 11, 2022 had reported Rajapaksa’s notorious bid of fleeing the country, moments after he would sign the resignation paper. And, as usual, our exclusive report has been proved once again to be prolific and based on solid information. Now we are revealing another shocking information on how this man was allowed to flee Sri Lanka for Maldives using a military aircraft.

From the noon of July 2022, Gotabaya Rajapaksa made numerous attempts of fleeing Sri Lanka, first by air to the United Arab Emirates, and then through sea and land routes. As his attempts were foiled by the patriotic officials in Sri Lankan immigration department, the ‘God Father’ of Sri Lanka then held a secret negotiation meeting with at least three military officials, who are known as his loyalists. Gotabaya Rajapaksa offered them cash in exchange for helping him in fleeing the country. The negotiation continued for two hours, before there was a transaction of US$15 million, which was handed over to those officials by Rajapaksa’s man in Dubai. Within two hours of this transaction, keeping Sri Lankans in absolute dark, Gotabaya Rajapaksa was allowed to flee Sri Lanka in a military aircraft.

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READ: Gotabaya Rajapaksa in trouble, looks for asylum in Europe

Gotabaya Rajapaksa has caused severe damage to Sri Lanka’s economy as every member of his family were engaged in looting public wealth and secretly smuggling-out to foreign nations, including the UAE. Some of the members of this notorious family hold duel and even triple citizenship, as according to credible source, several members of the Rajapaksa Dynasty are holding citizenship in the United Kingdom, Malta, the UAE, Dominica, Greece, Cyprus, Panama, Turkey, Vanuatu, and few other Caribbean island nations.

Rajapaksa destroyed Sri Lankan economy

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s 2019 election manifesto promised ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’. Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s 2019 election manifesto promised ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor’.

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In a country now infamous for impunity, no one was held responsible for corruption or incompetence.

2021 was a year that millions will associate with lengthy queues to purchase sugar, milk powder, kerosene and cooking gas. This is because prices skyrocketed to hitherto unseen levels, thanks mainly to a severely indebted island lacking dollars to pay for essential imports. The year ended with around 1500 shipping containers comprising essential items stuck at port because the government had not released dollars to pay for them.

READ Sri Lankan bank and shipping company in trouble

Inflation in December was 12.1 per cent, having risen from 9.9 per cent in November, with food prices having more than doubled in the past year. The government exacerbated inflation by printing money willy-nilly — as much as Rs 69,100 crore (US$3.4 billion) in 2021. With the focus on the dollar crisis, inflation, and food queues, what is not sufficiently covered concerns those going hungry.

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The regime was also linked to various scams that worsened conditions. One such scam centered on the propane and butane ratio in cooking gas cylinders, which caused numerous household explosions and killed and injured individuals.

Sri Lanka’s foreign currency inflow has long depended on remittances, tourism and specific exports like garments and tea. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed over 15,000 people, was bound to trouble these sectors. While the government oversaw a relatively successful vaccination program, unsustainable debts plus arrogant and fatuous decision making landed the country where it is.

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READ: Rajapaksa family looted billions from Sri Lanka

The nearly three decades-long civil war contributed to these debts, but so did ‘blingfrastructure’ projects former president Mahinda Rajapaksa initiated. Consequently, Sri Lanka must cough up around US$7 billion in 2022 to various creditors to service its debts, which between now and 2026 will amount to around US$26 billion. The possibility that Sri Lanka may, for the very first time, default on its obligations is the reason Fitch Ratings downgraded it in December. The move raised predictable government hackles, but it reflects the balance of payments crisis facing the island. While COVID-19 exacerbated the balance of payments crisis, debt financing was a pre-COVID-19 predicament.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s decision in April to ban chemical fertilizer was related to this dilemma. Doing so would eliminate US$400 million per year of government fertilizer subsidies. Vistas of Prosperity and Splendor promised an organic agricultural sector within ten years, but this hastily imposed policy negatively impacted farmers. They have since protested unceasingly against the government, joining teachers and others who are also demanding higher wages given the runaway cost of living. It now seems the rice shortage caused by the addle-brained decision to abruptly ban chemical fertiliser, weedicides, and herbicides will likely cost the government US$450 million in rice imports over the next few months.

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Rajapaksa’s authoritarian reputation and Sinhalese Buddhist credentials made Tamils and Muslims fear for their future. The continued militarization of the predominantly Tamil northeast and the ban against burials for those who died from COVID-19 — a policy that especially traumatized Muslims — confirmed their fears.

Rajapaksa’s unwillingness to fully investigate the 2019 Easter Sunday jihadist bombings that killed around 270 people, because forces close to him helped orchestrate the event to promote his election prospects, has also estranged the Christians who voted for him in large numbers.

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The Rajapaksa family wanted to stay in power and build a political dynasty and continue their loot of Sri Lankan wealth for years and decades.

And most possibly, he or any of the Rajapaksa family is not going to face any legal consequence as the top enemy of the Sri Lankan people has already succeeded in fleeing the country by bribing Sri Lankan officials. According to analysts, Sri Lanka is already infamous for impunity, and there is no hope of anyone being held responsible for corruption, incompetence and causing severe damage to the country.

Tajul Islam is a Special Correspondent of Blitz.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Rosh

    July 18, 2022 at 16:07

    Gotabaya Rajapaksa is NOT the top enemy of the people. A majority of the 6.9 million people are disappointed and feels let down but they don’t consider him the ENEMY as you would like to put it. Yes, he’s partly to blame for the mess the country is in, but the struggle of the people was to demand electricity, gas and fuel., but not for overthrowing the government nor the president. The western countries and their NGOs saw the opportunity and they let their mercenaries within the local community to create havoc. Even, couple of days back three popular youtubers who were involved in encouraging people to riot received 4.5 crores Rupees in their bank accounts. The criminal investigation dept, has already started an investigation on that regard. Majority of the people now see what has been happening and wonder if they had been played by the western embassies and if they were the cats paws.

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