GOTABAYA RAJAPAKSA AWAITS FOR PRIVATE JET TO DEPART FROM MALDIVES FOR SINGAPORE

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Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who fled to Maldives on Wednesday followed by an uprising triggered due to the economic collapse of the island nation, is now waiting to travel further to Singapore.

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is now an acting president, has declared a state of emergency in the country and a curfew in the Western province had been imposed.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has not departed for Singapore on the scheduled Singapore Airlines flight from Male to Singapore, the Daily Mirror reported.

Rajapaksa along with his wife Ioma Rajapaksa and two security officers were expected to leave for Singapore on board SQ437 from Male to Singapore tonight but did not board the aircraft due to security issues, Daily Mirror added citing sources.

Moreover, securing a private aircraft for the embattled President is currently in talks, Maldivian Media reported.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his wife along with two bodyguards from Katunayake International Airport travelled to the Maldives after full approval of the country’s Defence Ministry on Wednesday. An Air Force flight was given early in the morning on 13th July 2022.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday was sworn in as the President for a temporary period till a new President is elected by Parliament on July 20 and nominations for the presidency will be called for on July 19.

Sri Lanka is facing the worst economic crisis since its independence which has led to massive protests demanding the ouster of Rajapaksa as the President. Sri Lanka’s speaker of parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena has said political party leaders have decided to elect a new president on July 20 through a vote in parliament.

The development comes after thousands of people stormed into the President’s House in Fort on Saturday. The dramatic visuals also came from PM’s official residence where they were seen playing carrom board, sleeping on the sofa, enjoying in park premises and preparing food for dinner.

In the wake of record food price inflation, skyrocketing fuel costs and widespread commodity shortages, some 61 per cent of households in Sri Lanka are regularly using coping strategies to cut down on costs, such as reducing the amount they eat and consuming increasingly less nutritious meals.

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