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Sri Lanka’s President leaves the nation after mass protests

CNN  — 

Sri Lanka’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has left the nation, in keeping with a excessive rating safety official, shortly earlier than he was resulting from formally step down.

Rajapaksa and his spouse flew to Malé, within the Maldives, on an AN32 troop transport airplane from the Sri Lanka Air Pressure, the official mentioned.

Native air visitors management refused the airplane’s request to land till an intervention by the Speaker of Maldivian Parliament Majlis and former President, Mohamed Nasheed, in keeping with the official. CNN has reached out to Nasheed for remark.

The embattled Rajapaksa was beforehand blocked from departing Sri Lanka a minimum of twice on Monday, after refusing to hitch a public immigration queue on the Bandaranaike Worldwide Airport, a high-ranking army supply instructed CNN.

Aides for Rajapaksa arrived on the airport in Colombo on Monday with 15 passports belonging to the president and members of his household – together with First Woman Ioma Rajapaksa – who had booked seats on a Sri Lankan Airways flight leaving for Dubai at 6:25 p.m. native time, in keeping with the army supply.

However immigration officers declined to course of the passports given to them by presidential aides, as Rajapaksa and his household weren’t bodily current for cross checks. Finally, the flight departed with out the president and his household on board, the supply added.

One other try was made to get the household on an Etihad flight scheduled to go away Colombo for Abu Dhabi at 9:20 p.m. native, in keeping with the supply, nevertheless the identical drawback occurred, because the Rajapaksas refused to hitch the general public immigration queue for the flight.

In each situations, the Rajapaksa household was in a close-by airport lounge, ready for affirmation they may board with out queuing amongst members of the general public, the supply mentioned.

On Tuesday, a video launched by a former police officer claimed that Rajapaksa was staying in a personal home belonging to a prime Air Pressure Commander. The Sri Lanka Air Pressure has denied the declare, describing it as propaganda supposed to tarnish the picture of the corps and its chief.

Compelled to resign

Rajapaksa’s deliberate resignation on Wednesday – which follows months of protests over the nation’s crippling financial disaster – would go away him with out presidential immunity and doubtlessly uncovered to a raft of authorized expenses within the nation.

He has been accused of high-level corruption and financial mismanagement, which finally bankrupted the nation and triggered its worst monetary disaster since independence.

Protesters take over the compound of Sri Lanka's Presidential Palace in Colombo on Saturday.

He agreed to step down from his workplace on Saturday, after greater than 100,000 individuals massed outdoors his residence and referred to as for his resignation. A few of the protesters then broke into the property and splashed round in his swimming pool.

Putting pictures shared on social media confirmed demonstrators singing protest songs and chanting slogans calling for Rajapaksa to resign. Different images confirmed teams of demonstrators establishing barbecue pits to grill and cook dinner meals.

Reporting contributed by journalist Rukshana Rizwie.

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