Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has secretly left the country amid serious public protests and an ultimatum to resign by protesters who occupied Rashtrapati Bhavan in violent protests on Saturday, according to the report in the early hours of Wednesday. hours after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country,Crisis-hit Sri Lanka declared a nationwide state of emergency, the Prime Minister’s office said.
President Rajapaksa fled to the Maldives on a military aircraft, accompanied by his wife and two bodyguards. His departure came after a humiliating airport standoff in Colombo, where immigration staff did not allow VIP services and insisted all passengers go through public counters. “The prime minister, as acting president, has declared a state of emergency (countrywide) and imposed a curfew in the western province,” the PM’s media secretary, Dinouk Colombage, told news agency.
Meanwhile, protesters marched to the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office, urging him to resign after the news came in that President Rajapaksa had left for the Malpes. They broke through a barricade despite tear gas before storming the prime minister’s office, demanding his resignation.Security forces were seen using teargas shells and water cannons to disperse the crowd when they tried to enter the Prime Minister’s office urging him to resign along with President Rajapaksa. Police also fired some shots in the air as the protesters broke through the barricades.
Last week, the president had said he will step down on Wednesday to make way for a “peaceful transition of power” in Sri Lanka after protestors stormed his official residence. The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka today dismissed reports claiming that India had helped President Rajapaksa and his brother Basil flee. “High Commission categorically denies baseless and speculative media reports that India facilitated the recent reported travel of @gotabayar @Realbrajapaksa out of Sri Lanka. It is reiterated that India will continue to support the people of Sri Lanka,” it tweeted.