Sri Lanka’s ousted president has returned to the country just seven weeks after he fled.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa left in July after tens of thousands of protesters stormed his home and office while expressing anger at the country’s dire economic state.
He, his wife and two bodyguards boarded an air force plane and headed to the Maldives, continuing on to Singapore – where he officially resigned – and then to Thailand.
It is thought he wants to leave the country before resigning because Sri Lankan presidents are protected from arrest while in office, but not once they leave office.
Mr. Rajapaksa returned to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport on Saturday from Bangkok.
The economic crisis has seen shortages of essential commodities such as cooking oil, fuel and medicine for months; while external debt amounts to more than £44 billion, of which £24 billion must be repaid by 2027.
The COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are among the factors, but many blame the once powerful Rajapaksa family for mismanaging the economy and sending it into crisis.
Around the time Mr Rajapaksa left, his brother resigned as prime minister and three other family members resigned as cabinet members.
On Tuesday, Ranil Wickremesinghe, who took over as chairman, reached a preliminary agreement with the International Monetary Fund for a £2.5 billion bailout over four years.
This package is intended to help Sri Lanka recover from the economic recession.