International

President of Sri Lanka flees country

In the midst of widespread protests over Sri Lanka’s economic problems, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa departed the country on a military plane.

The 73-year-old, together with his wife and two security personnel, took a flight to the Maldives, according to the country’s air force.

According to BBC Sinhala, they landed in Male, the nation’s capital, at roughly 03:30 local time (22:00 GMT).

A family dynasty that has ruled Sri Lankan politics for the past twenty years comes to an end with Mr. Rajapaksa’s resignation.

After large crowds attacked his home on Saturday, the president fled and announced his intention to step down on Wednesday, July 13.
According to a source who spoke to the BBC, Mr. Rajapaksa will not stay in the Maldives and instead plans to continue on to a third nation.

Former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, who is also his brother, has reportedly departed Sri Lanka and is on his way to the United States.

Thousands of people flooded Colombo’s streets as Sri Lankans awakened to the news. At Galle Face Green, the city’s primary protest location, many people gathered. On a temporary platform made up for speakers of the people to grab the mike, some people listened to ferocious speeches.

The rallying cry of the protest movement, “Victory to the struggle,” was used as a punctuation mark as speakers lashed out at a government and its officials they believed had let them down.

According to a spokeswoman for Ranil Wickremesinghe, the prime minister of Sri Lanka, a curfew has been enforced in the western region and a state of emergency has been proclaimed nationwide.

Police have used tear gas to disperse a group of demonstrators who were moving toward parliament and the prime minister’s office.

Some protesters were incensed by Mr. Rajapaksa’s departure because they saw a lack of responsibility.

“We disagree with it. We intend to retain him. We need our cash back! And we want to lock up the entire Rajapaksa family in an outdoor facility where they may work on farms, according to protester GP Nimal.

Reshani Samarakoon, a 23-year-old university student, told the BBC that the former president’s exile gave her “hope that ultimately we may become a developed country, both economically and socially.”

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