Speaker does a doublespeak

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Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena made a U-turn on a statement he had made to the BBC that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had left the country following a mass-scale public protest in Colombo on Saturday (9) demanding his resignation.

The Speaker told the ANI news agency in India that he made a ‘mistake’ during the BBC interview.

Speaker Abeywardena on Sunday (10) told the BBC that President Rajapaksa has left the island and is in a nearby country and that “he will be back in the country by tomorrow (12).”

However, later he said that President Rajapaksa was still in the country. “I made a mistake in the (BBC) interview,” Abeywardena told ANI in a telephone call.

President Rajapaksa left the President’s House in Fort when the people occupied the premises on Saturday (09). His whereabouts are still unknown.  According to the Speaker, the President will resign tomorrow (13). (MD)