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After two failed attempts, Sri Lankan president flees the country

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Morador do Sri Lanka acompanha no celular pronunciamento do presidente Gotabaya Rajapaksa, em imagem de maio deste ano

A Sri Lankan resident follows President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s speech on his cell phone, in an image from May of this year| Photo: EFE/EPA/CHAMILA KARUNARATHNE

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the country on Wednesday ( , local time), amid large protests calling for his resignation in front of the worst economic crisis since independence, in 2000.

He would resign the presidency later this Wednesday, but, according to information from CNN and the Associated Press, he left with his wife and two bodyguards aboard a plane of the Air Force of the United States. Sri Lanka to Male, capital of the Maldives.

The Maldives air traffic control even refused the request to land the aircraft, but it managed to land after intervention by the Speaker of the Local Parliament and former President of the country, Mohamed Nasheed.

At Monday -fair (), Rajapaksa had twice tried to leave Sri Lanka for the United Arab Emirates on civil flights, but was unable to because he and his family refused to queue for passengers to board at Bandaranaike International Airport, the largest in the country, to have their passports checked by migration agents.

If you stayed in Sri Lanka and resign as promised, Rajapaksa would be without presidential immunity and subject to a series of prosecutions.

Due to protests over the economic crisis, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his departure over the weekend after he and Rajapaksa had their homes invaded by protesters. The prime minister’s house was set on fire.

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