Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has fled the country. He flew to the Maldives on a military plane on Tuesday night. Gotabaya left the country in the face of nationwide protests demanding his resignation. Before leaving the country, he signed a resignation letter. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abevardhane can make an announcement in Parliament on Wednesday. The French news agency AFP quoted Sri Lankan government officials as saying.
The 73-year-old Gotabaya, his wife and a bodyguard, along with four passengers, flew Antonov-32 from Bandarnayak International Airport to the Maldives at midnight on Tuesday, AFP reported.
Earlier, Gotabaya tried to leave the country by sea after an attempt to flee abroad failed by immigration officials at the airport. He tried to use a naval patrol boat to flee the island nation on Tuesday after airport immigration officials refused to seal Gotabaya’s passport.
Jamila Hussain, deputy editor of the British tabloid Daily Mirror, was quoted as saying that security had been beefed up after the landing in the Maldives. There are a lot of law enforcers around him. The people of Sri Lanka, who are in economic crisis, are blaming the Rajapaksa family for the misery. Thousands of protesters stormed his official residence on Saturday. He has been in hiding ever since.
According to Indian media NDTV, a military plane carrying Gotabaya arrived at Mall’s Velena Airport early Wednesday morning local time. He was accompanied by his wife and two security guards. The military plane took them from Colombo International Airport. Gotabaya, his wife and two bodyguards were taken into hiding after arriving in the Maldives. The Indian embassy in Sri Lanka has strongly protested allegations that India helped President Rajapaksa escape.
In a statement, they said the allegations were baseless and that they would continue to support the people of Sri Lanka. The President of Sri Lanka has been acquitted while in office. That is why Gotabaya Rajapaksa wanted to leave the country before resigning. He feared the new administration might arrest him.