On Wednesday, the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka denied claims that India had assisted departing president Gotabaya Rajapaksa in leaving the country for the Maldives.

Later, according to the Sri Lankan Air Force, Gotabaya and first lady Ioma received the requisite approval from the island nation’s ministry of defense thanks to the president’s constitutionally-granted authority.

It also acknowledged that it supplied the Antonov-23 that carried them to Male. Air traffic controllers initially refused to let the president land in Male, but former president and speaker of the Maldives Majlis Mohamed Nasheed intervened to clear the way for the troubled leader.

To refute several claims that said India has helped the Sri Lankan PM on his escapade, the Indian High Commission said, “High Commission categorically denies baseless and speculative media reports that India facilitated the recent reported travel of Gotabaya Rajapaska and Basil Rajapaksa out of Sri Lanka.”

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The Indian High Commission has also said, “India will continue to support the people of Sri Lanka as they seek to realize their aspirations for prosperity and progress through democratic means and values, established democratic institutions and constitutional framework.”

According to Sri Lankan media, Gotabaya has already acknowledged his resignation by signing the paperwork.

On Tuesday, the Rajapaksa family missed four planes that were supposed to take them outside of Sri Lanka because immigration officials had stated their displeasure at letting them go.

Officials at immigration at the Colombo International Airport ignored the Rajapaksas’ requests to get through customs and immigration without joining the general public’s line out of fear of retaliation.

When the Rajapaksas’ escape became public, protests erupted in Colombo as outraged protestors took to the streets to voice their disapproval of the assistance provided to them in leaving the country.

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: News 18, NDTV, TOI

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This post is tagged under: india, sri lanka, president, escape

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