Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe confirms that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled the country to the Maldives and declares a state of emergency and a curfew as the military fire tear gas at the protesters.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been appointed the crisis-hit country’s acting President, as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country for the Maldives. Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena confirmed the appointment during a televised address Wednesday. The country’s air force confirmed the 73-year-old flew to the Maldives with his wife and two security officials. Mr Rajapaksa’s departure ends a family dynasty that has dominated Sri Lanka’s politics for the past two decades. President Rajapaksa subsequently flees the country on a military aircraft to the Maldives, formally ending his rule of Sri Lanka. His brother, former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa, also flees the country. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his wife are prevented from fleeing the country to Dubai by airport staff at Bandaranaike International Airport amid nationwide protests. G. Rajapaksa has not given his official resignation yet.