State of emergency declared in Sri Lanka as president flees country

A state of emergency was declared in Sri Lanka as President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled for his life on a military jet amid mass protests over the nation’s economic crisis.

The 73-year-old president left the country on a jet heading for Maldives with his wife and two security officers. He plans to travel to a third country, yet unnamed, the Sri Lanka Air Force revealed. His brother, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, has also fled the country. It is understood he is on his way to the US.

The president had been in hiding after a mob stormed his residence on Saturday.

State of emergency declared in Sri Lanka as president flees country | News by Thaiger

Rajapaksa appointed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as acting president as he left.

Wickremesinghe’s first job as president was to declare a state of emergency across the country.

Thousands of angry people took to the capital’s streets, gathering at places such as Galle Face Green, the city’s main protest site, where dozens of people voiced their fury.

Some disenchanted protesters broke through barricades and stormed the president’s residence this afternoon despite coming under fire by police deploying tear gas.

One demonstrator made it known he is furious about Rajapaksa’s departure and his lack of accountability.

“We don’t like it. We want to keep him. We want our money back! And we want to put all the Rajapaksas in an open prison where they can do farm work,” said protester GP Nimal.

Sri Lankans blame Rajapaksa’s administration for their worst economic crisis in decades.

For months they have been struggling with daily power cuts and shortages such as fuel, food, and medicines.

Rajapaksa enjoys immunity from prosecution while president but did not want to take any chances of being arrested by a new administration so fled the country.


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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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