Fleeing Sri Lanka President fails to show up at Changi Airport as expected this morning

Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a July photo. Photo: Gotabaya Rajapaksa/Facebook
Gotabaya Rajapaksa in a July photo. Photo: Gotabaya Rajapaksa/Facebook

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa did not turn up in Singapore as he was expected to do so this morning.

There had been reports that Rajapaksa, who fled from his country to the Maldives yesterday after protestors hunted him down following the country’s economic collapse, had been expected to arrive at Changi Airport on a Singapore Airlines flight with his wife and security detail at 7:50am this morning but it turns out he did not board the flight for security related reasons. 

It was also reported that several Sri Lankans were at Changi Airport waiting on him to arrive so that they could express their disappointment directly to the 73-year-old president, whose family has been ruling the country for the past two decades.

Reuters reported that Rajapaksa was intending to head to Singapore to seek asylum.

Rajapaksa fled Columbo, the country’s capital, to the Maldives on a military jet to hide from protestors who stormed his residence on Saturday. He pledged to resign yesterday but has not filed an official resignation letter yet. 

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been appointed as the country’s acting president and declared a state of emergency.

Protests ensued with thousands taking over the streets of Colombo. Police retaliated by firing tear gas but that wasn’t enough to stop the protestors from entering the office and other state buildings.

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