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Lankan ex-min Rajapaksa's attempt to flee nation fails



oi-Prakash KL

| Updated: Tuesday, July 12, 2022, 16:53 [IST]

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Colombo, July 12: Sri Lanka's former finance minister Basil Rajapaksa was reportedly stopped from fleeing the country on Monday evening.

Amid the ongoing economic crisis in the island nation, Basil, the youngest brother of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was trying to board a flight to Dubai. The airport immigration officials did not permit him to leave the country following protests from the passengers, Daily Mirror reported.

Basil Rajapaksa Basil Rajapaksa

Basil was forced to return without being able to proceed, reports in Sri Lankan media claim.

It comes after Parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena on Monday claimed that embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was still in Sri Lanka. "President of Sri Lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa is still in the country, I made a mistake in the (BBC) interview," Speaker Abeywardena told ANI in a telephone call.

On the other hand, after Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa officially informed Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that he is stepping down from his post on July 13, Minister of Urban Development and Housing, Prasanna Ranatunga said that the new President of Sri Lanka will be elected on July 20.

Explained: How will Sri Lanka appoint a new President if Gotabaya Rajapaksa resignsExplained: How will Sri Lanka appoint a new President if Gotabaya Rajapaksa resigns

Thousands of people stormed into the President's House in Fort on Saturday. From taking a dip in the swimming pool to preparing food, several videos showed that the protesters had a gala time at his palace. Even the Prime Minister's private house has also been forcefully occupied by protestors.

People who have stormed into the residences of the President and Prime Minister have cleared that they will continue to occupy their houses until they resign from their posts.

Sri Lanka is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, crippled by an acute shortage of foreign exchange that has left it struggling to pay for essential imports of fuel, and other essentials.


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