Air Force evacuates President Rajapaksa to Maldives

Air Force evacuates President Rajapaksa to Maldives

The Sri Lanka Air Force evacuated President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his wife to the Maldives today.

Issuing a brief statement, the Air Force said that under the Constitution granted to an Executive President, Rajapaksa was flown to the Maldives onboard an Air Force plane this morning.

The Air Force said that President Rajapaksa and his wife were flown out on a request made by the Government.

According to the Sri Lanka Air Force, two security officers accompanied the President and hie wife to Male.

The Prime Minister’s Office also confirmed that the President had left the country.

On arrival in the Maldives they were driven to an undisclosed location under police escort, an airport official in Male said.

The departure of the 73-year-old leader once known as ‘The Terminator’ had been stymied for more than 24 hours in a humiliating stand-off with immigration personnel in Colombo.

He had wanted to fly to Dubai on a commercial flight, but staff at Bandaranaike International withdrew from VIP services and insisted that all passengers had to go through public counters.

The presidential party were reluctant to go through regular channels fearing public reactions, a security official said, and as a result, missed four flights on Monday that could have taken them to the United Arab Emirates. (Colombo Gazette)

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