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Turkey’s leader has unfinished business in Syria. What is he waiting for?

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A version of this story first appeared in CNN’s Meanwhile in the Middle East newsletter, a three-times-a-week look inside the region’s biggest stories. Sign up here.

Abu Dhabi, UAE (CNN)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to launch yet another military incursion into northeast Syria.

Pledged almost two months ago yet awaiting what analysts say is probably a green light from Moscow, the operation raises questions about Turkey’s ultimate plans for Syria.
Erdogan says he wants to initiate his fourth operation in the country’s north since 2016, targeting a zone which includes the two key towns of Manbij and Tel Rifaat. The goal, according to the President, is to rid the area of fighters allied to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a militant group that Turkey deems terrorist.
“We are going into the new phase of our determination to form a 30-km (20-mile) deep safe zone along our southern border,” Erdogan told lawmakers from his ruling AK Party in June. “We will clear Tal Rifaat and Manbij of terrorists, and we will do the same to other regions step-by-step.”
After a trilateral meeting between Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran yielded no evident developments last week, it seems that Turkey is still in talks with Moscow, hoping for Putin’s blessing to put more boots on the ground.
The Kremlin has thus far opposed the operation, saying it would not contribute to Syria’s stability and security.
Another attempt is expected next month in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, where the Russian independent news agency Interfax reported Putin and Erdogan will be meeting.
“Erdogan has been saying he would like to [launch] another cross-border [operation] into Syria and it’s clear he wants to do this before the Turkish elections,” said Asli Aydintasbas, senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
“But, as in the past cross border incursions, Turkey really needs a green light from Putin to do this,” Aydintasbas told CNN.
Erdogan’s announcement in May came amid negotiations with the West over Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO, two Nordic countries which Turkey accused of harboring individuals with links to the PKK.
While Turkey in June dropped its objections to membership for the Nordic states, it has recently renewed its threats, warning that it could veto their accession at any point if they do not comply with agreements ending support for the PKK and its affiliates.
The PKK today remains Turkey’s primary concern in Syria, and the main reason why it has continued to militarily cross into the Levantine state’s territory.
Designated as terrorists by Turkey, the US and the EU, the PKK have been embroiled in a long-running conflict with Turkey on each side of the border. In its decades of tension with the Kurdish fighters, Turkey has already launched three military operations against the PKK in Syria’s north, the latest of which was in 2019.
The aim has always been the same: to create a 30-kilometer deep, PKK-free “safe zone” in Syria that would allow more than two million Syrian refugees in Turkey to return home.
Turkey says that its grand plan for the safe zone is not yet complete, and it is concerned about a “terrorism corridor” left after their previous operations, said Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat and chairman of Istanbul-based think-tank EDAM.
The targeted towns of Manbij and Tel Rifaat are technically under the control of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), analysts say.
The SDF is backed by Washington. But its backbone is the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey considers a wing of the PKK.
“Ankara sees no difference between the SDF and the PKK,” said Ulgen.
Washington has already warned Turkey against another incursion, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying that “any escalation in northern Syria is something that we would oppose.”
Analysts say that Erdogan does take the US view into account, and that the Biden administration may take material action against Turkey in retaliation.
“US criticism matters — especially since it can spill over into other issues like congressional approval of F-16s,” said Aydintasbas.
Ankara in October requested to buy 40 Lockheed Martin Corp-made F-16 fighter jets from the US, as well as other military equipment. The deal is awaiting approval from the US Congress, which remains bitter over Turkey’s previous purchase of Russian missile systems — a move that triggered US sanctions.
The complex web of control in Ankara’s latest area of interest underscores the many agreements that will need to be settled between world powers before Turkey starts rolling more tanks on the ground.
Erdogan has in the past sought approval from Moscow to enter Syria. Russia essentially controls Syrian airspace and can make a Turkish incursion much more costly if it wants to, analysts say.
To a certain degree, an Iranian green light for a Turkish operation would also reduce risks for Erdogan. Yet Iran has thus far opposed the plan, saying it would be detrimental to both Turkey and Syria.
“They can raise the costs of such an operation,” said Rich Outzen, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC and a former US military officer and State Department official.
But the playing field differs today. Russia is heavily occupied with a bloody war in Ukraine and Turkey has emerged as a key mediator in the conflict.
With Turkish presidential elections due in a year, some argue that Erdogan is losing popularity as inflation skyrockets and the economy overheats.
“In electoral terms, there is gain to be had from nationalist and other constituencies who want to see refugees return to Syria, PKK damaged, and the perceived U.S. project in Syria undercut,” said Outzen.
Yet the political benefit might be minimal, notes Aydintasbas, as most Turks now are fixated on the country’s economic woes.
“It may boost Erdogan’s standing by a couple of points, but that will likely be temporary,” she said. “With high inflation, this is not going to seal in the elections for Erdogan.”
While analysts see the incursion as taking place either sooner or later, there is skepticism about the practicality of Erdogan’s aims in northeastern Syria.
“There is no clear-cut exit strategy,” said Ulgen, adding that he believes the incursion is imminent as, at this point in time, no party can guarantee Turkey’s demands for a PKK-free border zone.
“On the long run, that will need to be the Syrian government,” he said. “But we are not there yet.”

The digest

Iraqi protesters break into Baghdad’s Green Zone, denouncing the nomination of new premier
Hundreds of protesters loyal to populist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr broke into the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad on Wednesday, denouncing the nomination of Mohammed Shiya al-Sudani for the position of Prime Minister.
Background: Al-Sudani was formally nominated Monday by the Coordination Framework, the largest Shiite alliance in the Iraqi parliament, after nine months of political deadlock following an October parliamentary election, which has so far hampered the formation of a government. Iraqi security forces used teargas and watercannons to disperse the protesters in an attempt to push them out of the Green Zone’s perimeter. Sadr called on his supporters at the Parliament building inside the Green Zone to return to their homes. “Your message has been received. You have terrified the corrupt. Pray, and return home safely,” he tweeted.
Why it matters: Iraq is living its longest post-election deadlock, with Wednesday’s protests signaling possible further delays. While Sadr no longer has a parliamentary bloc after its resignation in June, his greatest influence lies in his ability to mobilize supporters on the streets. Analysts say that the kingmaker of Iraqi politics is capable of thwarting the nomination of al-Sudani as Prime Minister.
Joint Coordination Center opens in Istanbul to “provide safe transportation” of Ukrainian grain
The goal of the newly opened Joint Coordination Center is to “provide safe transportation” of Ukrainian grain, according to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar. He also gave more information about how the center will function, adding that Russia, Ukraine, the United Nations and Turkey will each send five representatives, who will be a mix of civilian and military.
Background: The Joint Coordination Center, which will oversee the export of Ukrainian grain, was opened in Istanbul on Wednesday. That was after a deal inked Friday between Ukraine and Russia promised grain ships safe navigation through corridors in the Black Sea, and passage through the Bosphorus strait — an important shipping corridor in north-west Turkey — in order to reach global markets.
Why it matters: Russia has so far been blocking maritime access to important ports in Ukraine, meaning many Ukrainian exports, such as grain and fertilizers, could not be shipped to countries that rely on them. The coordination center is one of the key creations of the grain deal agreed with Russia and Ukraine under the auspices of the UN and Turkey, and in the words of Akar, will make significant contributions to overcoming the food crisis affecting the whole world, especially by lowering prices.
Macron hosts Saudi crown prince in Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday met with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Paris, where an Elys?e spokesperson told journalists that Macron will bring up the issue of human rights with the Saudi de facto ruler.
Background: The Saudi crown prince’s visit to Europe — including a stop in Greece — is the first since the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. A consortium of NGOs headed by DAWN (Democracy for the Arab World Now), a group founded by Khashoggi before his disappearance, filed a criminal complaint against bin Salman with a Paris court on Thursday morning. The Elys?e spokesperson said the complaint “had been noted,” but would “have no direct impact on the meeting,” pointing to the personal immunity that heads of state benefit from during these visits.
Why it matters: The crown prince’s visit comes amid Western efforts to tighten relations with the oil-producing country amid shortages following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Macron has repeatedly called on oil producers to ramp up output to “exceptional” volumes.

What to watch

In a moment of national pride, Lebanon knocked out China for the first time ever and made its way to the finals of the FIBA Asia Cup, which takes place every four years. The win provides a glimmer of hope in otherwise desperate times for the Levantine country.
“We come from a broken country, so we just want to make our people happy,” Lebanon’s team captain Wael Arakji told CNN’s Becky Anderson.
Watch the full report here:

Around the region

We may soon be learning a lot more about the practices of ancient human settlements in the Gulf.
A group of Saudi and French archaeologists, in conjunction with the Saudi Heritage Commission, have discovered the remains of settlements dating back to the Stone Age in the Al-Faw Archaeological Area.
The findings included the remains of a stone temple and part of an altar, Neolithic human settlements and nearly 3,000 graves. Archaeologists also found the foundations of four larger monuments and rock engravings addressing deities of the ancient Al-Faw people.
The archaeological team used state-of-the-art technology, such as laser scanning and drones, according to the National.
The Al-Faw Archaeological Area in southern Riyadh is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and these inscriptions could shed new light on the religious practices of the nomadic and semi-nomadic people that occupied bustling ancient caravan cities. Those tribes traded myrrh and frankincense around Arabia, Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean, according to UNESCO.
Preserved for hundreds of years by the harsh desert climate, there are a number of prominent ancient UNESCO sites in Saudi Arabia. For example, rock art in the Ha’il region depicts human life 10,000 years ago, while the Hegra Archaeological Site is home to well-preserved tombs dating back to the first century BC.
Discoveries happen regularly and just in January, archaeologists discovered a 4,500-year-old highway network in Saudi Arabia lined with well-preserved ancient tombs.
By Eoin McSweeney

Time capsule

Today marks ten years since the Zaatari Refugee Camp first opened.
Sitting by Jordan’s northern border with Syria, the Zaatari Refugee came to life in 2012. Its goal was to host Syrians fleeing conflict in their country.
Over the years the camp turned into a semblance of a functioning city, with caravan houses, electricity, jobs, and even schools.
Today it hosts almost 80,000 refugees, mostly Syrians, according to the UNHCR.
While Zaatari has changed a lot over the years, residents say it is still far from being a home.
One resident, Rana Muhammad Al-Barghash arrived in the camp when she was barely one year old. Now 11, the camp is all she knows.
Rana told CNN that she dreams of becoming a doctor one day. Her mother, Amal, said that one of the hardest things about living in the camp is watching her kids grow up with “no guarantee of a future.”
By Elizabeth Wells and Mohammed Abdelbary

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White House summoned Chinese ambassador to condemn provocations

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(CNN)The White House summoned China’s ambassador on Thursday to condemn China’s “irresponsible” military activities near Taiwan as tensions continue to escalate in the region following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the island this week.

“After China’s actions overnight, we summoned PRC Ambassador Qin Gang to the White House to demarche him about the PRC’s provocative actions. We condemned the PRC’s military actions, which are irresponsible, at odds with our long-standing goal of maintaining peace and stability and across the Taiwan Strait,” National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said in a statement to CNN.
The decision to summon Qin came after days of warnings to China not to escalate tensions in the region following the speaker’s visit to the self-governing island, which the Chinese Communist Party regards as its territory despite having never controlled it. It represents a shift from the White House’s attitude about the trip before it occurred, when officials privately tried to warn Pelosi over the possible consequences of the visit and how it could harm US-China relations. The meeting was first reported by The Washington Post.
In the days since Pelosi left Taiwan, China has taken multiple bellicose steps, both diplomatically and militarily.
On the diplomatic front, Beijing is sanctioning Pelosi and her immediate family and said Friday it would suspend cooperation with Washington on several issues, including combating the climate crisis.
The pause in climate talks between the US and China is symbolically significant for the two nations’ bilateral relationship because the climate crisis was one of the few areas the US and China had continued to cooperate on in recent years, even during times of heightened geopolitical tensions.
The US and China announced in Glasgow last year a bilateral agreement to cooperate on the climate crisis, widely seen as a progressive step that would allow China to work on key issues — like reducing methane emissions — without having to join global agreements that it had shown resistance to. The nations’ climate representatives had been in regular communication to build on that agreement.
Taiwan’s defense ministry said Chinese warships and aircraft conducted drills in waters around the island and that Chinese forces crossed the median line — the halfway point between the island and mainland China — in a move the ministry called a “highly provocative act.”
Two Chinese drones also flew close to Japan on Thursday, prompting the country’s Air Self-Defense Force to scramble fighter jets in response, according to a statement from Tokyo’s Ministry of Defense.
Kirby said the White House told Qin the US does not want a crisis in the region and reiterated there has been no change to the US’ “One China” policy and that Washington recognizes the People’s Republic of China as the sole legitimate government of China.
“We also made clear that the United States is prepared for what Beijing chooses to do. We will not seek and do not want a crisis. At the same time, we will not be deterred from operating in the seas and skies of the Western Pacific, consistent with international law, as we have for decades — supporting Taiwan and defending a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Kirby said in the statement.
NSC Coordinator for Indo Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell met with Qin, according to a source familiar with the matter.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Friday that the US has repeatedly conveyed to China that “we do not seek and will not provoke a crisis.” He called China’s recent actions “provocative” and “a significant escalation.”
The speaker’s visit, he said, was “peaceful” and “there is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response.”
Pelosi, a California Democrat, said the visit — the first time a US House speaker had visited Taiwan in 25 years — was intended to make it “unequivocally clear” that the United States would “not abandon” Taipei.
It came at a low point in US-China relations and despite warnings from the Biden administration against a visit to the democratically governed island.
The US maintains close unofficial ties with Taiwan, and is bound by law to provide Taiwan with defensive arms. But it remains deliberately vague on whether it would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion, a policy known as “strategic ambiguity.”
The US postponed a long planned missile test because of China’s angry reaction to Pelosi’s trip. A US official told CNN that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directed the Department of Defense to postpone the test flight of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile after China launched military exercises.
A top official at the Chinese embassy in Washington said Friday that Qin “totally rejected the so-called condemnation” by the White House of China’s cross-strait military actions when he was summoned.
“The only way out of this crisis is that the US side must take matters immediately to rectify its mistakes and eliminate the grave impact of Pelosi’s visit,” Minister Jing Quan said during a virtual briefing.
Jing reiterated that China views Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as “a serious violation of the One China policy.” He said that they view the trip by the lawmaker as an official US government visit, noting that Pelosi flew on a US government plane. Using a government plane is standard for congressional delegations, especially for the House speaker who is high in the line of presidential succession.
He argued Pelosi “knows where China’s red lines are” but said she “still chose to deliberately provoke and challenge China’s position.”
This story has been updated with additional information.

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Rise in gasoline prices threatens social stability and food security in Latin America

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Bogota, Colombia (CNN)South American countries are bracing for an autumn of discontent, as spiking global fuel prices threaten to provoke more protests in the upcoming months.

Rising fuel prices have already brought about protests in Argentina, Ecuador and Panama. Their neighbors could be particularly susceptible to rising prices at the pump, because the region lacks alternative means of transportation, such as railways and waterways that are more common in Europe and North America — and guzzle less fuel.
“The price of fuel is an anchor for the entire economy: if fuel increases, it has a direct impact on all sorts of prices,” says Sergio Guzman, director of Colombia’s Risk Analysis, a business consultancy in Bogota.
Exacerbating the issue, some sectors in the region are requiring greater amounts of fuel than ever before — paradoxically, to compensate for the effects of climate change.
In Ecuador, where bananas are the leading agricultural export, diesel pumps move water in and out of banana plantations — a necessity that has been more urgent as increasingly intense rainfalls hit the country, say analysts.
According to Raul Villacres of Pulso Bananero, a banana-trade consultancy in Guayaquil, Ecuador’s banana production is down 7% compared to last year, in part due to rising costs of diesel and gasoline.
A similar situation is affecting the fishing industry in Colombia, where residents enjoy some of the cheapest fuel prices in the world. Still, when the Energy and Mining Ministry published new regulated prices at the beginning of July, it sent shockwaves across the country.
Twice a week, fisherman Jimmy Murillo leaves shore from the port city of Buenaventura, on Colombia’s Pacific coast. He spends on average two or three days at sea before coming back with his catch, but lately the trips have grown longer, as fish stocks have reduced and the fishermen head further offshore to find better prey.
Ironically, one of the reasons why fishing catches have decreased is climate change, and fishermen like Murillo must use more fuel to mitigate its impact. One of the reasons, Murillo told CNN, is that as rainfalls patterns change and more torrential rains hit the Colombia, rivers and streams arrive at the ocean carrying more sand and soil in their waters, and because of that most of the fish migrate further off shore, where the water is clearer, and cooler.
“In January, fuel for our boats cost 8,000 pesos ($1.96) per gallons, now it’s over 9,800 pesos ($2.70). Every week, it grows a little more, and the government does not help,” Murillo told CNN.
Nicole Mu?oz of Albacora, a small-scale, sustainable fishing operation in Bogota that moves around 400 kilograms of fish from the Colombian coast to the capital every week, also says gasoline is key to her entire business model.
“We use fuel for fishing boats, to move the produce from shore to airports, then in planes, our whole logistics depend on it,” Mu?oz told CNN.
While fish prices have not increased as much as other food sectors in Colombia, like beef and poultry products, Mu?oz believes prices will start growing as the impact of pricier fuel is felt.
In April, the World Bank reviewed its growth prediction for Latin America and the Caribbean to 2.3% this year, shredding 0.4 percentage points due to the impact of the war in Ukraine and the global rise in world’s prices. At the same time, the Bank estimated Latin American countries have lost the equivalent of 1.7% of their GDP due to climate related disaster over the last twenty years, and expects Latin America’s agriculture to be on the line of fire as the planet grows warmer.
As daily life grows more expensive, could the popular anger seen in Panama, Ecuador and Argentina spread to Colombia and other countries in the region?
“It’s really not a question of if, but of when,” says Guzman of Colombia’s Risk Analysis.
He argues that regional governments won’t be able to spend enough to mitigate the rising cost of living and pacify their populations. “As pockets tightens, people will be losing their patience, not because of anything the governments do, but because these countries don’t have the capacity to increase social spending.”
Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso, for example, has been forced by protests to cap the price of gasoline at $2.40 per gallon — a decision that will cost the country an additional three billion dollars by the end of the year, according to finance minister Simon Cueva.
In Argentina, where the country’s finance minister has been forced to step down over extreme inflation, one Buenos Aires food delivery worker told CNN the year had so far proven more rancorous than the early years of the pandemic.
“Everybody complains,” Federico Mansilia, a father of two, told CNN. “Those who get social support because they say it’s not enough, and those who don’t get it because they want social support. At least in the pandemic, government and opposition worked together, now polarization and bitterness is growing again.”
The sole hope for a moment of national unity, Mansilia says, is for Argentina to win the Football World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year.
“That will really bring the country together. If we win, everybody will be happy, no inflation or gasoline price to bother us. But right now, things are pretty miserable.”

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Sri Lanka’s President stepped down, but larger problems loom

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Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN)Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country earlier this week, has formally resigned, the parliamentary speaker confirmed Friday, capping off a chaotic 72-hours in the crisis-hit nation that saw protesters storm the capital.

The President’s departure from office marks a major victory for the protesters, who for months have demanded the removal of both Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
Many in Sri Lanka blame Rajapaksa for the country’s worsening situation, with runaway inflation and shortages of basic goods such as fuel and food impacting everyday life.
But while Rajapaksa is now out of the picture, having landed in Singapore on Thursday, following an earlier escape to the Maldives via military jet, his close political ally Wickremesinghe remains firmly in place — and was sworn in as Acting President Friday.
A senior government source told CNN that Rajapaksa appeared before Sri Lanka’s high commission in Singapore on Thursday to sign a physical letter of resignation in front of the high commissioner.
The letter was then taken to Sri Lanka by plane and delivered in person to Sri Lanka’s parliamentary speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardenena who formally announced that Rajapaksa had stepped down.
The information sheds new light on the several hours of delay between the news of Rajapaksa’s resignation, first sent by email to the speaker Thursday, and the official confirmation from Abeywardenena on Friday.
The news sparked jubilant celebrations in Colombo on Thursday night, with crowds of cheering protesters lighting firecrackers and fireworks. People from all walks of life, young and old, spilled onto the streets for the celebrations, which lasted late into the night.
Many of those on the streets said they were overjoyed with the news, after months of protests and economic hardship. Rajapaksa’s departure represented a victory against government corruption and mismanagement, they said.
“We had one aim — to get rid of this absolutely corrupt regime,” said Dishan Seneviratne, 45. “I am not a person who (usually) comes to the street. But I came because I was scared for my son’s future … (for) the next generation. We have fought for it.”
But others remained on edge with Wickremesinghe — also widely unpopular and closely tied to Rajapaksa — now in office holding presidential power.
Some protesters have said they plan to continue demonstrating until Wickremesinghe has also stepped down — and both men are held accountable for the country’s alleged economic mismanagement.
“We keep on fighting. We are fighting until (Rajapaksa) is properly accused and until some action (is taken) … we are fighting as one nation until he is getting proper punishment for whatever he has done,” said Mariyan Malki, 29, who joined the celebrations Thursday night.
Wickmenesinghe will remain Acting President until Parliament elects a new President, with lawmakers summoned to meet on Saturday to start the process. No date has been set yet for the vote, but under the constitution Wickremesinghe will only be allowed to hold the office for a maximum of 30 days.
Once elected, the new President will serve the remaining two years initially allocated for Rajapaksa’s term.
Friday’s announcement marks the end of a chaotic week, with the future of Sri Lanka’s leadership thrown into uncertainty after Rajapaksa fled without formally resigning. For almost two days, it was unclear whether he would agree to resign; what would happen if he refused to do so; and even his whereabouts at times. Tensions ran high, with authorities imposing curfews and firing tear gas to disperse protesters.
But even with Rajapaksa officially out of office and a new president soon to be chosen, larger problems loom for the economically ravaged country, as it grapples with its worst downturn in seven decades.

The financial crisis

Largely peaceful protests have been escalating in Sri Lanka since March, when public anger erupted on the streets over rising food costs, fuel shortages and electricity cuts as the country struggled to make debt repayments.
But public anger erupted last weekend, when demonstrators occupied the residences of both Rajapaksa and Wickremesinghe.
Both leaders said shortly afterward that they would step down, with the resignations expected on Wednesday. But Rajapaksa left the country that day on a predawn flight without resigning, leaving Wickremesinghe in charge.
Rajapaksa headed to Maldives — where the former President has long held ties with the Rajapaksa dynasty — but left just over 24 hours later, boarding a “Saudi flight” to Singapore on Thursday, according to a high-ranking security source in Colombo.
Singapore said Rajapaska had been allowed to enter the country on a “private visit” but had not asked for or been granted asylum.
Shortly after his arrival, Abeywardenena, the Parliament speaker, announced that Rajapaksa had tendered his resignation.
But experts say questions remain about Sri Lanka’s future. If anything, the political upheaval and lack of clarity spells trouble for the country’s economic recovery, said Ganeshan Wignaraja, senior research associate at the British think tank, ODI Global.
“The thing that I observe is that Sri Lanka is a messy democracy,” he said. “And in this context, today’s discussions in parliament have taken a little bit too long. And it shows the political dysfunctional nature of our politics today.”
“This political instability can really set back the economy,” he added. “It can scare away investors, it can scare away tourists, it can scare away inward remittances and even aid. I fear the economic crisis will take a long time to sort out and the people will suffer more unless Parliament gets its act together.”

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