UPDATE: Sri Lanka president reportedly plans to fly to Saudi Arabia

Photo via Gotabaya Rajapaksa Facebook.


Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa reportedly plans to fly to Saudi Arabia, after he flies to Singapore. The Associated Press reported the development today, citing an unnamed Maldivian official. An unnamed security official in Colombo told CNN that Gotabaya was flying from Maldives to Singapore, as Sri Lanka’s rage has grown over his refusal to formally resign.

Gotabaya is expected to reach Singapore’s Changi airport tonight. His flight there with Saudia, Saudi Arabia’s flag carrier, left Maldives’ capital of Malé this morning. His flight, Saudia flight 788, is reportedly the most tracked in the world right now. It was being tracked by almost 5,000 users this morning, according to data from Flightradar24.com.

Gotabaya fled Sri Lanka for Maldives yesterday amid mass protests over the nation’s economic crisis. His brother, former Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, also left Sri Lanka and was said to be heading to the US.

This news comes after over 100,000 protestors stormed the presidential palace last week. A video showed the large crowd even swimming in the president’s swimming pool. Following the chaos, a meeting of party leaders agreed to ask both the president and PM to resign as per an “overwhelming request” according to Sri Lankan lawmaker Rauff Hakeem.

Gotabaya is expected to tender his resignation letter once at his destination. He did not tender it yesterday, July 13, despite having said that he would resign on that day.


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.

UPDATE: Sri Lanka president reportedly plans to fly to Saudi Arabia | 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.

SOURCE: BBC | Bloomberg | CNN

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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