Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka has categorically denied allegations that India has helped both Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa in fleeing Maldives.
New Delhi: Days after announcement to resign from the top post, Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his family on Wednesday fled to Maldives. According to the reports, Lankan President Rajapaksa was received by Maldivian government officials at the airport in Male early morning.
As per the reports, Rajapaksa, his wife and few bodyguards boarded to a military aircraft late night on Tuesday. They took the aircraft from Colombo and left the country. In a bid to escape, his younger brother Basil Rajapaksa, too, has left the country. Earlier, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s attempt to flee to Dubai was thwarted by protestors on the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. He was barred by the immigration officials and he had to return.
It was reported that the President had urged Sri Lankan military to provide a plane for safe exit for his family which was accepted. After reaching at Male, he was taken to a safe location by Maldives officials under police escort.
Meanwhile, Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka has categorically denied allegations that India has helped both Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Basil Rajapaksa in fleeing Maldives, another island nation. Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka, in a tweet, said, “The High Commission would like to categorically deny speculative reports in sections of media and social media about India sending her troops to Sri Lanka. These reports and such views are also not in keeping with the position of the Government of India. The Spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs of India clearly stated today that India stands with the people of Sri Lanka as they seek to realize their aspirations for prosperity&progress through democratic means & values, established institutions & constitutional framework.
The president of Sri Lanka enjoys immunity from the arrest but was feared action by authority after stepping down from the post. Though he had promised to step down on Wednesday but wanted to shift to another country before transition of the power. He was asking for peaceful transition of power in the country.
On Saturday last, Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksha had escaped from his home after protestors were surrounded his residence. This came amid heightened protests in the country over a continuing economic crisis.
The protestors were stormed into the house of Rajapasksa and when they were gathered to demand Rajapaksa’s resignation, the police had resorted to firing tear gas shells, leading to the protest turning violent.
The incident came on a day Sri Lanka lifted a curfew on Saturday which was already being defied by thousands of people ahead of a mass rally to demand Rajapaksa’s resignation.