News analysis

Sri Lanka crisis: How President Gotabaya's rule ended in a S'pore hotel

In late 2019, Mr Gotabaya Rajapaksa was elected president by a wide margin. PHOTO: AFP
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SINGAPORE - A police outrider and a security escort. A luxury limousine. A 20-minute ride down Singapore’s East Coast Parkway to the downtown hotel where he had been booked into for the night. 

That was the last presidential ride of 73-year-old former Sri Lankan army lieutenant colonel-turned-politician Gotabaya Rajapaksa, once a hero to his people as the steadfast defence secretary who fashioned a huge battlefield victory that quelled a quarter-century of ethnic insurgency with brutal force. 

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