India dismissed New Delhi’s speculative reports facilitating Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s trip to the Maldives late Tuesday night as “baseless”. The Indian High Commission in Colombo said India will continue to support the people of Sri Lanka “as they seek to realize their aspirations for prosperity and development through democratic means and values, established democratic institutions and constitutional framework “
“Category that the High Commission rejects baseless and speculative media reports that India facilitated the recently reported trip of @gotabayar @Realbrajapaksa out of Sri Lanka,” the high commission tweeted.
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Rajapaksa fled the country on Tuesday night with his wife and two bodyguards aboard a Sri Lankan Air Force medium lift Russian AN-32 plane.
In a brief statement, the Sri Lankan Air Force said that under the Constitution granted to an Executive President, Rajapaksa was flown to the Maldives aboard an Air Force plane on Wednesday morning.
“At the request of the government and in terms of the powers available to a President under the Constitution, with full approval from the ministry of defense, the President, his wife and two security officials were given the Sri Lanka Air Force to depart from Katunayake international airport for Maldives in the early hours of July 13, “the statement said.
Earlier some media reports said Rajapaksa was barred at the airport from leaving the country on Monday, which immigration officials denied. The Sri Lanka Immigration and Emigration Officers’ Association (SLIEOA) has said immigration officials have no legal power to prevent Gotabaya, which still holds the office of president, from leaving the country, the Daily reported Mirror.
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