Sri Lanka: President Gotabaya Rajapaksa flees the country

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled Sri Lanka on a military jet, amid mass protests over the island’s economic crisis.

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The Sri Lankan air force confirmed today that Mr Rajapaksa flew to the Maldives with his wife and two security officials.

The now former president had pledged to resign on Wednesday following massive protest across the country.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is the newly appointed acting president.

A source told the BBC that Mr Rajapaksa will not remain in the Maldives and intends to travel on to a third country.

Other high ranking officials are thought to have or are in the process of fleeing the country, One of whom is former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, the brother of the former president who is said to be heading to the US.

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Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash

A spokesperson has confirmed that Sri Lankan Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, has declared a state of emergency across the country and a curfew has been imposed in the western province.

Police have fired tear gas to disperse a group of protesters who were walking near the prime minister’s office and towards parliament.

Some demonstrators were furious about Mr Rajapaksa’s departure, seeing a lack of accountability.

One protester said:

“We don’t like it. We want to keep him. We want our money back! And we want to put all the Rajapaksas in an open prison where they can do farm work,”

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