Sri Lankan President on his way to Singapore after fleeing Colombo

Gotabaya Rajapaksa left his country early on Wednesday



A man sweeps the stairs inside the President's house after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka July 14, 2022/ Reuters
A man sweeps the stairs inside the President's house after President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled, amid the country's economic crisis, in Colombo, Sri Lanka July 14, 2022/ Reuters

By Agencies

Published: Thu 14 Jul 2022, 12:09 PM

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was on his way to Singapore on Thursday and was expected to stay there for the time being, a Sri Lankan government source told Reuters, after the president fled to the Maldives from his home country.

On Wednesday early morning, the same day he was expected to resign, Rajapaksa skipped the country and flew to Maldives with his wife in a military aircraft.

His escape followed two botched attempts the previous day to leave with 15 members of his family to the UAE, when airport officials withdrew their services from the VIP lounge where the family was hiding from the public, and wanted the president to join in the immigration queue. Angry travellers demanded airport authorities not to check president Rajapaksa into the flight.

The president landed in the Maldives, despite Maldivian air traffic controllers initially refusing landing permission to the unauthorized flight. Maldivian media reported that the Speaker, also the former president, Mohamed Nasheed, an ally of the Rajapaksa family, intervened and granted permission for the embattled president to enter the country.

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