PM Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office says Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled to the Maldives, hours before he was expected to resign.
- The Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s office has confirmed that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has fled the country.
- Rajapaksa, 73, left for the Maldives hours before he was expected to resign amid widespread protests over his handling of a devastating economic crisis.
- Hundreds of protesters in Colombo continue to occupy the official residences of the president and the prime minister after both buildings were stormed on Saturday.
- Sri Lanka is facing a severe shortage of fuel and other essential supplies and is seeking a bailout from the International Monetary Fund.
Here are the latest developments:
When will the Sri Lankan president resign?
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who has fled to the Maldives, is not expected to resign until after he reaches his final destination, sources tell Al Jazeera.
The president would most likely proceed to another Asian country from the Maldives, a government source said.
Saman Ekanayake, secretary to the prime minister, was told that the presidential secretariat is yet to receive his letter of resignation.
As a result, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has not made any preparation to take oath as temporary president, a source from the prime minister’s office told Al Jazeera.
Sri Lanka president flees to the Maldives
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, his wife and two bodyguards flew on a Sri Lankan Air Force plane to Male, the capital of the Maldives, the Sri Lankan Air Force confirmed in a statement to Al Jazeera.
The president’s flight brings an end to the rule of the powerful Rajapksa clan that has dominated politics in the South Asian nation for the last two decades.