Sri Lanka: President humiliated at Colombo airport


Gotabaya Rajapaksa was barred from traveling abroad after a face-to-face meeting with immigration officials on Tuesday.

The embattled head of state vowed to step down.

The embattled head of state vowed to step down.


The controversial Sri Lankan president was given a poor reception at the Colombo airport on Tuesday. Immigration officials have denied Gotabaya Rajapaksa access to the VIP lounge to stamp his passport. Fearing public reaction, the head of state preferred to avoid a terminal open to the public. Not resigned yet, He promised to do what he would do Rajapaksa steps down from the presidency for a “peaceful transition of power” on Wednesday. He may want to avail himself of the opportunity to seek asylum abroad.

The head of state and his wife had spent the previous night at a military base near the international airport after missing four flights that would have taken them to the United Arab Emirates. His younger brother Basil, who resigned as finance minister in April, missed his flight to Dubai after a similar run-in with immigration.

“It’s a tense situation.”

Basil tried to use the paid concierge service for business travelers, but airport and immigration staff announced that the express service was immediately suspended. “Some other passengers objected to Basil boarding their flight,” an airport official said. Due to the tense situation, he hurriedly left the airport.

Basil, also a US citizen, had to apply for a new passport. He left the Rajapaksa family at the Presidential Palace when they fled on Saturday Attack by thousands of demonstratorsAccording to a diplomatic source.


The Sri Lankan president left behind a suitcase full of documents and 17.85 million rupees (48,500 francs) in cash, now sealed. The President’s Office has not been contacted about his situation, but Rajapakse is the commander of the army and thus has a military facility. He still has the option of taking a military ship to India or the Maldives, a security source said.

If the head of state resigns as promised, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will automatically be appointed interim president until the end of the current term, i.e. until November 2024, when parliament elects a member of parliament. However, Wickremesinghe is also being contested by protesters. Rajapakse has been accused of mismanaging the economy, leading to the country’s inability to finance the imports that are so essential to this population of 22 million.


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