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Amid widespread protest, Gotabaya Rajapaksa flies out of Sri Lanka ahead of resignation

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

Colombo: In the breaking development in Sri Lanka economic crisis, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled the country amid the political turmoil in Sri Lanka, which is facing economic crisis. According to the information, in the early hours of Wednesday, he flew from his country to Maldives. Let us inform that Gotabaya Rajapaksa was to resign from his post on 13 July. Meanwhile, now they have fled from the country. As president, Rajapaksa is exempt from arrest. It is believed that he went abroad before leaving office to avoid the possibility of being taken into custody.

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In fact, Gotabaya Rajapaksa had promised to resign on Wednesday and clear the way for a “peaceful transition of power”. But before that he fled the country.

Immigration sources told AFP that he, his wife and a bodyguard were among four passengers on board the Antonov-32 military plane. Who took off from the main international airport of Sri Lanka. A Male airport official said that on arrival in Maldives they were taken to an undisclosed location under police protection.

Rajapaksa’s younger brother and former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa tried to leave Sri Lanka yesterday. But immigration officials stopped him at the airport. 71-year-old Basil Rajapaksa, widely held responsible for the country’s worst economic crisis, tried to leave the country through the VIP terminal of Colombo airport on Monday night.

The Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration Officers Association said immigration officials objected to him serving on the VIP clearance line, and even passengers on an Emirates flight to Dubai objected to his departure from the country. Basil, a US passport holder, resigned as finance minister in early April.

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The news of the President leaving the country has come at a time when he has to resign today (July 13) as per his announcement. Rajapaksa had spoken of resigning on July 13 after protesters entered the presidential residence. Now after the President left the country, questions have also arisen regarding his resignation. However, media reports on Tuesday claimed that Rajapaksa had signed his resignation letter.

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