Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa landed in the Maldives today early this morning on a military plane. Today, his resignation was expected but instead amid the intense nationwide protests he was welcomed by the representatives of the Maldivian Government at the Velana airport, Male.
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Sri Lankan President, Wife, and bodyguards, all boarded a military plane last night and headed to the Maldives from Colombo International Airport. Moreover, as per the reports, the younger brother of Rajapaksa, former finance minister, has also travelled out from the Country.
NDTV was told by the Defence officials of Sri Lanka that Mr Rajapaksa requested a plane last night, but they were also hesitating to provide one. On other hand, the Prime Minister’s office has also confirmed that the President had also left the country.
As informed by an airport official, Male, President Rajapaksa, his Wife, and Bodyguards, were escorted to an unknown secure location under Police protection after arriving in the Maldives.
Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka busted the baseless rumours which claim that India helped President and his Brother to flee to the Maldives. A Tweet said, “High Commission categorically denies baseless and speculative media reports that India facilitated the recently reported travel of @gotabayar @Realbrajapaksa out of Sri Lanka. It is reiterated that India will continue to support the people of Sri Lanka.”
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was immune from being arrested or detained, and he enjoys his immunity. Further, it is believed that he had always wanted to go abroad to prevent any possible arrest.
He was supposed to lead a “peaceful transition of power” today by resigning from his post as promised.
Earlier on Tuesday, President and his brother Basil tried to leave the country but were returned from the Airport. The public is angry because of the Rajapaksa family’s inability to handle the country’s worst economic crisis.
For the past few months Sri Lanka is facing its worst economic crisis in decades. But protests reached the peak level recently when protesters marched in the residences of the President and Prime Minister.
Once the all-party Government will be ready Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had promised to step down from his post.
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Since Sri Lanka has emptied its foreign exchange, the country has not been able to afford even the essential imports. 22 million people are suffering through a lot of hardships.