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  • India refutes rumors of helping Sri Lankan President and family flee to Maldives

    Published on July 13, 2022

    Colombo: The Indian High Commission has “categorically” denied any role in facilitating the escape of Srilanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and dismissed as “baseless” the speculative reports that India helped Gotabaya flee the country. As per media reports Gotabaya who had promised to resign from his post on Wednesday fled the country without honoring his words.  

    Slamming the rumors the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka tweeted “High Commission categorically denies baseless and speculative media reports that India facilitated the recent reported travel of @gotabayar @Realbrajapaksa out of Sri Lanka. It is reiterated that India will continue to support the people of Sri Lanka.”

    In fact President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his wife have visited Maldives with two body guards with the approval of the Sri Lankan Defense Ministry and senior officials in the Ministry had confirmed this. The Sri Lankan Air Force also said in a statement that the move was done under the executive powers vested with the President.

    The media director of the Sri Lankan Air Force in a statement confirmed that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his family along with two body guards had travelled out of the country with the full consent and approval of the government in power.  The statement also said that the Ministry of Defense had approved the departure of an Air Force flight at Katunayake International Airport in the early hours of 13 July 2022 subject to immigration, customs and all other laws.

    As per available information Gotabaya landed at the Velana International Airport in Maldives early on Wednesday. The Prime Minister’s Office also confirmed that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has left the country.

    After making a public announcement on 11 July, Gotabaya had reportedly signed the resignation letter which was to be handed over to the Speaker of Parliament on Wednesday. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will take oath as the interim President and he will remain in this position until the election of a new President by Parliament on 20 July.

    Sri Lanka is facing the most severe economic crisis since independence in 1948. The worsening fiscal situation led to a large-scale protest demanding the removal of Gotabaya from the presidency. According to Sri Lanka’s parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeverdane political party leaders have taken a collective decision to elect a new president on July 20 through a vote in Parliament.

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