Gotabaya Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka is on the lam: Singapore is the next location after the Maldives.
In the early hours of July 13, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was able to leave the country, and shortly after, the government declared an emergency in the island nation.
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lanka, was anticipated to step down on July 13. However, the news that their president had taken off from the country in the early hours of Wednesday and landed in the Maldives reached Lankan civilians as they awoke. The administration proclaimed an emergency not long after the news was released.
Thousands of protestors invaded Rajapaksa's and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's official residence on Saturday, and Rajapaksa declared he would step down from his position amid an economic crisis that caused serious shortages of food and fuel in the country.
Rajapaksa formally told the PM on July 11 that he would step down on Wednesday, July 13.
The president reportedly sought to depart the country on Monday evening but was prevented from taking off for Dubai as Rajapaksa's reign in Sri Lanka began to come to an end and the Opposition agreed to create an all-party government.
Rajapaksa, who is now not subject to arrest, reportedly wanted to leave for Dubai before retiring in order to avoid being imprisoned. However, airport immigration officials declined to stamp his passport in the VIP area, and the president declined to use the public restrooms out of fear of retaliation from other passengers.
Rajapaksa and his wife spent the night at a military barracks close to the airport after missing four planes to Dubai.
Rajapaksa, according to the Maldivian government, is still in office as president of Sri Lanka. According to sources cited by PTI, he cannot be prevented from traveling to the Maldives because he hasn't resigned or transferred his authority to a successor.
Rajapaksa was followed to the Maldives aboard an AN32 aircraft, according to local media.
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