March 22, 2023

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa left his country by plane

Due to this, Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled. President Sri LankansShouted down by a strong people’s movement, he left his country early Wednesday morning on a ship Airplane Military. Since then he has come to Maldives. He is still free from the presidency, having yet to resign as he promised on Wednesday for a “peaceful transition of power”.

The 73-year-old leader took off from the Colombo International Airport early in the morning in an Antonov-32 aircraft accompanied by his wife and a bodyguard. “Their passports were stamped and they boarded this special Air Force plane,” said an immigration official. Airport Authority in the capital MalĂ© MaldivesHe said the plane landed around 3:30 am and the three passengers were escorted by police to an undisclosed location.

According to Sri Lanka Airport sources, the flight was held up on the airport tarmac for over an hour for clearance to land in the Maldives. Already on Tuesday, he was humiliatingly turned away from the Colombo airport by immigration officials and some of his advisers, who wanted him and his entourage to escape by boarding a patrol boat, a source said. .

At the airport, immigration officials denied him access to the VIP lounge to stamp his passport, while the head of state chose to avoid opening the terminal to the public for fear of public reaction.

President’s brother in turmoil

The head of state and his wife spent the night at a military base near the international airport from Monday to Tuesday after missing four flights that could have taken them. United Arab States. His younger brother Basil, who resigned as finance minister in April, missed his flight to Dubai after a similar run-in with immigration.

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He tried to use the concierge service, which charges business travelers, but airport and immigration staff announced that the express service would be suspended immediately. “Some other passengers objected to Basil boarding their flight,” an airport official said. Due to the tense situation, he hurriedly left the airport.

Money in a suitcase

A diplomatic source said the Rajapaksa family fled amid an attack by thousands of protesters on Saturday as Basil, who has US citizenship, was about to leave him at the presidential palace and apply for a new passport. In the leak, the Sri Lankan president left behind a suitcase full of documents and 17.85 million rupees (49,000 euros) in cash, now sealed.