So Gotabaya Rajapakse was able to flee. President Sri LankansA strong popular movement shouted, and left his country early Wednesday morning on a ship the plane military He has since arrived in the Maldives. He still enjoys presidential immunity, having yet to resign, which he promised to do on Wednesday for a “peaceful transition of power.”
The 73-year-old leader took off from the Colombo International Airport earlier in an Antonov-32 flight with his wife and a bodyguard. “They got their passports stamped and boarded this special Air Force plane,” said an immigration official. An airport official in the capital Male MaldivesThe plane touched down around 3:30 a.m. and the three passengers were escorted by police to an unknown destination at this stage.
According to Sri Lanka airport sources, the plane was held up for over an hour on the airport tarmac for permission to land in the Maldives. On Tuesday, he was humiliatingly turned away by immigration officials and some of his advisers from the Colombo airport, as he and his entourage were supposed to escape in a patrol boat, a source said. .
At the airport, immigration officials denied him entry to the VIP lounge to stamp his passport, while the head of state wanted to avoid opening the terminal to the public for fear of public backlash.
The president’s brother was upset
The head of state and his wife spent the night from Monday to Tuesday at a military base near the international airport, missing four flights that could have taken them. United Arab Emirates. His younger brother Basil, who resigned as finance minister in April, also missed a flight to Dubai due to a similar run-in with immigration.
He tried to use the chargeable concierge service for business travelers, but airport and immigration staff announced that the express service would be discontinued with immediate effect. “Some other passengers protested against boarding their flight at the base,” an airport official reported. “It was a tense situation, so he left the airport in a hurry.”
Money in a suitcase
Basil, a US citizen, was about to apply for a new passport after being left at the presidential palace when the Rajapaksa family fled on Saturday after being attacked by thousands of protesters, diplomatic sources said. In this leak, the Sri Lankan president left behind a suitcase full of documents and 17.85 million rupees (€49,000) in cash, now sealed.
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